Turbulent flow in an elbow has been numerically investigated. The flow was modeled using two approaches; Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) and Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) methods. The DNS allows for all the scales of turbulence to be evaluated, providing a detailed depiction of the flow. The RANS simulation, which is typically used in industry, evaluates time-averaged components of the flow. The numerical results are accompanied by experimental data, which was used to validate the two methods. Profiles of the mean and root-mean-square (RMS) fluctuating components were compared at various points along the midplane of the elbow. Upstream of the elbow, the predicted mean and RMS velocities from the RANS and DNS simulations compared well with the experiment, differing slightly near the walls. However, downstream of the elbow, the RANS deviated from the experiment and DNS, showing a longer region of flow re-circulation. This caused the mean and RMS velocities to significantly differ. Examining the cross-section flow field, secondary motion was clearly present. Upstream secondary motion of the first kind was observed which is caused by anisotropy of the reynolds stresses in the turbulent flow. Downstream of the bend, the flow transitions to secondary motion of the second kind which is caused by streamline curvature. Qualitatively, the RANS and DNS showed similar results upstream of the bend, however downstream, the magnitude of the secondary motion differed significantly.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.