Effects of confinement, geometry, inlet velocity profile, and Reynolds number on the asymmetry of opposed-jet flows
The opposed-jet counterflow configuration is widely used to measure fundamental flame properties that are essential targets for validating chemical kinetic models. The main and key assumption of the counterflow configuration in laminar flame experiments is that the flow field is steady and quasi-one-dimensional. In this study, experiments and numerical simulations were carried out to investigate the behavior and controlling parameters of counterflowing isothermal air jets for various nozzle designs, Reynolds numbers, and surrounding geometries. The flow field in the jets’ impingement region was analyzed in search of instabilities, asymmetries, and two-dimensional effects that can introduce errors when the data are compared with results of quasi-one-dimensional simulations. The modeling involved transient axisymmetric numerical simulations along with bifurcation analysis, which revealed that when the flow field is confined between walls, local bifurcation occurs, which in turn results in asymmetry, deviation from the one-dimensional assumption, and sensitivity of the flow field structure to boundary conditions and surrounding geometry. Particle image velocimetry was utilized and results revealed that for jets of equal momenta at low Reynolds numbers of the order of 300, the flow field is asymmetric with respect to the middle plane between the nozzles even in the absence of confining walls. The asymmetry was traced to the asymmetric nozzle exit velocity profiles caused by unavoidable imperfections in the nozzle assembly. The asymmetry was not detectable at high Reynolds numbers of the order of 1000 due to the reduced sensitivity of the flow field to boundary conditions. The cases investigated computationally covered a wide range of Reynolds numbers to identify designs that are minimally affected by errors in the experimental procedures or manufacturing imperfections, and the simulations results were used to identify conditions that best conform to the assumptions of quasi-one-dimensional modeling.
KeywordsCounterflow configuration Numerical simulations Quasi- one-dimensional modeling Bifurcation
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The Air Force Office of Scientific Research (Grant No. FA9550-15-1-0409) supported this work under the technical supervision of Dr. Chiping Li. The numerical simulations were carried out using the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), which is supported by National Science Foundation Grant Number TG-CTS140012. The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Dr. Vyaas Gururajan for his feedback and technical support with the numerical simulations.
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