Effects of swirl in turbulent pipe flows - computational studies
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The primary objective of this doctoral thesis was to investigate the effect of swirl in steady turbulent pipe flows. The work has been carried out by a numerical approach, with direct numerical simulations as the method of choice. A key target to pursue was the effects of the swirl on the wall friction in turbulent pipe flows. The motivation came from studies of rotating pipe flows in which drag reduction was achieved. Drag reduction was reported to be due to the swirl favourably influencing the coherent turbulent structures in the near-wall region. Based on this, it was decided to investigate if similar behaviour could be obtained by inducing a swirl in a pipe with a stationary wall. To do a thorough investigation of the general three-dimensional swirl flow and particularly of the swirl effects; chosen variations of mean and turbulent flow parameters were explored together with complementary flow visualizations. Two different approaches in order to induce the swirl in the turbulent pipe flow, have been carried out. However, the present thesis might be regarded to be comprised of three parts. The first part consists of the first approach to induce the swirl. Here a prescribed circumferential force was implemented in a serial open source Navier-Stokes solver. In the second approach, the swirl was intended induced by implementing structures at the wall. Simulations of flows through a pipe with one or more helical fin(s) at the pipe wall was decided to be performed. In order to pursue this approach, it was found necessary to do a parallelization of the existing serial numerical code. The key element of this parallelization has been included as a part of the present work. Additionally, the helical fin(s) were implemented into the code by use of an immersed boundary method. A validation of this work is also documented in the thesis. The work done by parallelizing the code and implementing an immersed boundary method constitutes the second part of the present thesis. The last part of this thesis includes the simulations of flows with helical fin(s) at the pipe wall. First laminar flow in different pipe configurations were investigated; varying fin height, fin number, and fin angle. Secondly, turbulent flow in a pipe configuration with one helical fin was studied.