Journal of Fluid Mechanics

An experimental study of compressible turbulent mixing enhancement in swirling jets

a1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA


Compressible jets with various amounts of swirl and compressibility are investigated experimentally. The mixing-layer growth rate is obtained from time-averaged images of the mixing layer using the planar laser scattering (PLS) technique, and the swirl is quantified with laser Doppler velocimetry and intrusive probes. The results conclusively demonstrate that the addition of swirl to the jet increases entrainment by up to 60% compared to a corresponding non-swirling case. Instantaneous PLS images reveal modified turbulent structure in the mixing layer of the swirling-jet cases. In particular, analysis of these images indicates that both the spatial extent and amplitude of the largest turbulent fluctuations are increased when swirl is added. Based upon these results, a parameter β that correlates the observed growth-rate enhancement is proposed. This parameter is derived assuming that the streamwise vorticity, generated in the mixing layer by the addition of small amounts of swirl, causes additional turbulent mixing that increases the growth rate. When the available growth-rate data for swirling jets are plotted against this parameter, they collapse to a single curve with increased enhancement for higher values of β. This result implies that the degree of enhancement actually increases with compressibility, although the dimensional growth rates for the present compressible swirling-jet cases are still less than those of their incompressible counterparts.

(Received June 14 1994)
(Revised July 22 1996)

Present address: MCAT, Inc., Mountain View, CA 94043, USA.
Present address: High Technology Corporation, Hampton, VA 23666, USA.