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The intense vorticity structures near the turbulent/non-turbulent interface in a jet

  • Carlos B. da Silva (a1), Ricardo J. N. dos Reis (a1) and José C. F. Pereira (a1)

The characteristics of the intense vorticity structures (IVSs) near the turbulent/non-turbulent (T/NT) interface separating the turbulent and the irrotational flow regions are analysed using a direct numerical simulation (DNS) of a turbulent plane jet. The T/NT interface is defined by the radius of the large vorticity structures (LVSs) bordering the jet edge, while the IVSs arise only at a depth of about from the T/NT interface, where is the Kolmogorov micro-scale. Deep inside the jet shear layer the characteristics of the IVSs are similar to the IVSs found in many other flows: the mean radius, tangential velocity and circulation Reynolds number are , , and , where , and are the root mean square of the velocity fluctuations and the Reynolds number based on the Taylor micro-scale, respectively. Moreover, as in forced isotropic turbulence the IVSs inside the jet are well described by the Burgers vortex model, where the vortex core radius is stable due to a balance between the competing effects of axial vorticity production and viscous diffusion. Statistics conditioned on the distance from the T/NT interface are used to analyse the effect of the T/NT interface on the geometry and dynamics of the IVSs and show that the mean radius , tangential velocity and circulation of the IVSs increase as the T/NT interface is approached, while the vorticity norm stays approximately constant. Specifically , and exhibit maxima at a distance of roughly one Taylor micro-scale from the T/NT interface, before decreasing as the T/NT is approached. Analysis of the dynamics of the IVS shows that this is caused by a sharp decrease in the axial stretching rate acting on the axis of the IVSs near the jet edge. Unlike the IVSs deep inside the shear layer, there is a small predominance of vortex diffusion over stretching for the IVSs near the T/NT interface implying that the core of these structures is not stable i.e. it will tend to grow in time. Nevertheless the Burgers vortex model can still be considered to be a good representation for the IVSs near the jet edge, although it is not as accurate as for the IVSs deep inside the jet shear layer, since the observed magnitude of this imbalance is relatively small.

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