Unsteady flow evolution in swirl injectors with radial entry. II. External excitations

Shanwu Wang, Vigor Yang

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67 Citations (Scopus)


Our previous study on turbulent flows in a gas-turbine swirl injector was extended to explore the effects of externally impressed excitations on the unsteady flow evolution. Three-dimensional large-eddy simulations were conducted to investigate the responses of the injector flowfield by imposing periodical oscillations of the mass flow rate at the entrance over a wide range of frequencies. Results show that the impressed disturbances are decomposed and propagate in two different modes because of their distinct propagating mechanisms in swirl injectors. The flow oscillation in the streamwise direction travels in the form of acoustic wave, whereas the oscillation in the circumferential direction is convected downstream with the local flow velocity. The vortex breakdown is mainly controlled by the dynamics in the core region near the axis, not so much by the excitation in the main flow passage surrounding the central recirculation zone. External excitations only exert minor influences on the mean flow properties due to the broadband characteristics of the injector flow. One exception is in the outer shear-layer region when the forcing frequency matches the intrinsic frequency of vortex shedding, and the mixing process of two counter-rotating swirl flows is considerably enhanced. The dynamic response of the injector flow, however, depends significantly on the forcing frequency in terms of the acoustic admittance and the mass transfer functions. Energy can be transferred among the various structures in the flowfield under external excitations, causing highly nonuniform spatial and temporal distributions of the oscillatory flow properties at the injector exit. The mass transfer function between the injector exit and entrance at the forcing frequency could be substantially greater than unity when the disturbance resonates with the injector flow. The injector essentially acts as an amplifier under this condition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045107
Pages (from-to)045107-1-045107-12
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Apr

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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