A coaxial piping system (CPS) that involves a transition from a smaller annulus into a larger annulus is investigated to evaluate the generation of vortices and recirculation zones around the transition area. These areas are of interest for industrial applications where erosion within the piping system is a concern. The focus of this work is to evaluate the capabilities of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) using commercial Reynolds-Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) models to predict the regions and intensity of vortices and recirculation zones. A trusted grid is developed and used to compare turbulence models. The commercial CFD solver Fluent (Ansys Inc., USA) is used to solve the flow governing equations for different CFD numerical formulations, namely the one equation Spalart-Allmaras model, and steady-state RANS with different turbulence models (standard k-epsilon, k-epsilon realizable, k-epsilon RNG, standard k-omega, k-omega SST, and transition SST) [1].

CFD results are compared to time-averaged particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurements. The PIV provides 3D flow field measurements in the outer annulus of the piping system. Velocities in regions of interest were used to compare each model to the PIV results. An RMS comparison of the numerical results to the measured values is used as a quantitative evaluation of each turbulence model being considered. The results provide a useable CFD model for evaluation of the flow field of this flow field and highlights areas of uncertainty in the CFD results.

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