This paper experimentally investigates the flow-sound interaction mechanisms in a T-junction combining the flow from its two co-axial side-branches into the central branch. The T-junction has a sudden area expansion at each side-branch entrance. Flow separation at these area expansions forms free shear layers which are shown to excite the acoustic mode(s) of the branches over several ranges of flow velocity, each of which results from the coupling of the acoustic mode with a different shear layer oscillation mode. Phase-locked particle image velocimetry is utilized to detail the unsteady flow field over the acoustic cycle for the oscillation mode which resulted in the strongest acoustic resonance. Finite element analysis is used to characterize the excited acoustic mode shape and its associated particle velocity field. In-depth analysis of the flow-sound interaction mechanism inside the T-junction is performed by means of Howe’s acoustic analogy. It is concluded that the flow-sound interaction mechanism in the entrance region of the T-junction produces a spatially alternating pattern of acoustic energy generation and absorption. This alternating pattern of energy exchange between the flow and sound fields results in a minimal amount of net acoustic power being generated in the entrance region. However, the increasing orthogonality between the acoustic particle streamlines and the flow streamlines near the exit of the T-junction at its center results in the majority of the generated sound power which sustains the acoustic resonance.

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