Abstract

This experimental study investigates the effect of confinement ratio (CR) on the flow field of a counter-rotating radial-radial swirler. Two-dimensional two-component (2D2C) particle image velocimetry (PIV) measurements are performed at the mid-plane of the jet. Four different confinement ratios (i.e., 10.4, 23.4, 41.6 and unconfined) are considered at a swirl number of 1.2. The results reveal the presence of a central toroidal recirculation zone (CTRZ) in all cases extending inside the jet which indicates the existence of an adverse pressure gradient. For the unconfined swirling jet, the recirculation zone is small in size and exists at the exit of the jet. For the CR = 41.6 case, on the other hand, there exist two separate recirculation zones with the first one being similar to the unconfined case in terms of size and axial position, while the second one being larger in size and positioned at a more downstream location. Variation of the axial velocity along the centerline of the jet for this case indicates the presence of an adverse pressure gradient only in the close-jet region correlated with the first recirculation zone. For the smaller CR values, a single massive CTRZ emerges. This leads to increase in the expansion angle of the swirling jet as the CR decreases. Correspondingly, the radial velocity at the jet exit increases. For the confined cases with a single recirculation zone, the length and the width to cross-section ratio increase with the CR. On the other hand, the ratio of the reverse flow rate to total mass flow rate decreases with increasing CR values.

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