Journal of Fluid Mechanics

The production and diffusion of vorticity in duct flow

E.  Brundrett a1 and W. D.  Baines a1
a1 Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Toronto, Toronto

Article author query
brundrett e   [Google Scholar] 
baines wd   [Google Scholar] 


Secondary flows in non-circular ducts are accompanied by a longitudinal component of vorticity. The equation of motion defining this component in a turbulent flow is composed of three terms giving the rates of production, diffusion and convection. Since the expression for production is the second derivative of Reynolds strees components, longitudinal vorticity cannot exist in laminar flow. For turbulent flow in a square duct the Reynolds stress tensor is examined in detail. Symmetry requirements alone provide relationships showing that the production is zero along all lines of symmetry. General characteristics of flow in circular pipes are sufficient to indicate where the production must be greatest. Experimental measurements verify this result and define the point density of production, diffusion and convection of vorticity. Data also indicate that the basic pattern of secondary flow is independent of Reynolds number, but that with increasing values of Reynolds number the flows penetrate the corners and approach the walls. A similar experimental investigation of a rectangular duct shows that the corner bisectors separate independent secondary flow circulation zones. Production of vorticity is again associated with the region near the bisector. However, there is some evidence that the secondary flow pattern is not so complex as inferred from the distortion of the main longitudinal flow.

(Published Online March 28 2006)
(Received June 14 1963)
(Revised December 2 1963)