Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Vortex dynamics and entrainment in rectangular free jets

a1 Laboratory for Computational Physics & Fluid Dynamics, Code 6410, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375-5344, USA


Simulations of low-aspect-ratio, rectangular free jets are presented. The investigations focus on the entrainment and transitional vortex dynamics in compressible (subsonic) jets initialized with laminar conditions, a thin vortex sheet with slightly rounded-off corner regions, and uniform initial momentum thickness. A monotonically integrated large-eddy simulation approach based on the solution of the unsteady flow equations with high-resolution monotone algorithms is used. Inherent uncertainties in the jet entrainment measurement process are addressed using the database from laboratory experiments and simulations. Vorticity geometries characterizing the near flow field of low aspect-ratio (A) rectangular jets are demonstrated, involving: (i) self-deforming and (ii) splitting vortex rings; interacting ring and braid (rib) vortices including (iii) single ribs aligned with corner regions (A [gt-or-equal, slanted] 2) and (iv) rib pairs aligned with the corners (A = 1); (v) a more disorganized flow regime in the far jet downstream, where the rotational-fluid volume is occupied by a relatively weak vorticity background with strong, slender tube-like filament vortices filling a small fraction of the domain – as observed in fully developed turbulent flows. The near field entrainment properties of low-A rectangular jets are shown to be largely determined by the characteristic A-dependent coupling geometry of interacting rib and ring vortices and by vortex-ring axis-switching times.

(Received December 4 1998)
(Revised October 11 2000)

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