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An experimental study of fluid flow and heat transfer in decaying swirl through a heated annulus


The mean and turbulent structures of turbulent swirling flow in a heated annulus have been measured. Both forced and free vortex swirling flows were generated, and the outer wall of the test section was heated uniformly. The maximum swirl number was 1.39, Reynolds numbers were up to 200000, and heat input was 10.5 kW. Mean and turbulent velocity components, air and wall temperatures, and wall static pressures were all measured. Hot-film techniques were developed to measure turbulence. From these parameters, the flow and temperature fields, pressure distribution, and heat transfer coefficients were determined. The mechanisms of heat transfer were identified.

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A, B, C :

constants in Eq. (5)

A c :

cross-sectional area of flow passage, equals π (r 0 2r i 2) (m2)

d h :

hydraulic diameter, equals (m) 2(r 0-r i )

E, e :

mean and fluctuating value of hot-wire output voltage (Volt)

h :

convective heat transfer (W·m-2·K-1) coefficient

Nu :

Nusselt number, equals hd h

P :

pressure (N·m-2)

Q in :

heat input to the test section (W)

r :

radial co-ordinate (m)

R :

dimensionless radial co-ordinate, equals (r — r i )/(r 0r i )

Re :

Reynolds number, equals ϱUd h

S :

swirl number, equals the ratio of axial to angular momentum, divided by r 0

T :

temperature (K)

t :

tube wall thickness (m)

U :

mean value of axial velocity (m · s-1)

u :

fluctuating component of axial velocity (m · s-1)

W, w :

mean and fluctuating tangential velocity (m · s- 1)

x :

axial co-ordinate (m)


thermal conductivity (W·m-1·K-1)


fluctuating component of air temperature (K)


fluid kinetic viscosity (kg·m-1·s-1)


fluid density (kg · m-3)


flow angle (°)

τ xx , τθθ :

Reynolds normal stresses (N·m-2)

a :



value for air

av :

average value

ax :

evaluated for axial flow conditions

b :

evaluated at the bulk temperature

i :

inner wall

m :

at maximum velocity


outer wall

sw :

evaluated under swirling flow conditions


total, or resultant

w :

evaluated at the outer wall


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Research support for C. B. Solnordal and for related developments within the G. K. Williams Co-operative Research Centre has been provided by the Australian Research Council and the Australian Mineral Industries Research Association Limited

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Solnordal, C.B., Gray, N.B. An experimental study of fluid flow and heat transfer in decaying swirl through a heated annulus. Experiments in Fluids 18, 17–25 (1994).

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