This study is concerned with the use of low-Reynolds-number models of turbulence transport in the computation of flows through rotating cavities. The models tested are the Launder and Sharma low-Re k-ε (L-S) and a low-Re differential second-moment closure (DSM), first used by Iacovides and Toumpanakis, both with and without the Yap correction term to the dissipation rate equation. The cases examined include rotor-stator systems without throughflow, rotor-stator systems with radial outflow, contra-rotating disc systems without throughflow and also with radial outflow, co rotating discs with radial outflow and also rotor-stator systems with radial inflow. Earlier studies have shown that, when no throughflow or when radial outflow is involved, the L-S tends to over-estimate the size of the regions over which the boundary layers remain laminar, while the zonal k-ε/l-eqn model is unable to predict partially laminarized flows. A modification to the ε equation proposed here, which in regions of low turbulence reduces the dissipation rate when the fluid is in solid body rotation, provides a simple empirical way to significantly improve the L-S predictions of partially laminarized flows through rotating cavities, to acceptable levels. The DSM model used, in some cases led to some further predictive improvements and, for rotor-stator systems without throughflow, to a significant improvement in the predicted value of the moment coefficient. The Yap length scale correction term, while in most cases it has either a beneficial or a neutral effect on the flow predictions, in cases involving radial inflow it leads to poorer predictions. Models that do not rely on wall distance thus appear more likely to have a wider range of applicability.

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