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Experimental study of turbulent flows through pipe bends
This thesis deals with turbulent flows in 90 degree curved pipes of circular cross-section. The flow cases investigated experimentally are turbulent flow with and without an additional motion, swirling or pulsating, superposed on the primary flow. The aim is to investigate these complex flows in detail both in terms of statistical quantities as well as vortical structures that are apparent when curvature is present. Such a flow field can contain strong secondary flow in a plane normal to the main flow direction as well as reverse flow.
The motivation of the study has mainly been the presence of highly pulsating turbulent flow through complex geometries, including sharp bends, in the gas exchange system of Internal Combustion Engines (ICE). On the other hand, the industrial relevance and importance of the other type of flows were not underestimated.
The geometry used was curved pipes of different curvature ratios, mounted at the exit of straight pipe sections which constituted the inflow conditions. Two experimental set ups have been used. In the first one, fully developed turbulent flow with a well defined inflow condition was fed into the pipe bend. A swirling motion could be applied in order to study the interaction between the swirl and the secondary flow induced by the bend itself. In the second set up a highly pulsating flow (up to 40 Hz) was achieved by rotating a valve located at a short distance upstream from the measurement site. In this case engine-like conditions were examined, where the turbulent flow into the bend is non-developed and the pipe bend is sharp. In addition to flow measurements, the effect of non-ideal flow conditions on the performance of a turbocharger was investigated.
Three different experimental techniques were employed to study the flow field. Time-resolved stereoscopic particle image velocimetry was used in order to visualize but also quantify the secondary motions at different downstream stations from the pipe bend while combined hot-/cold-wire anemometry was used for statistical analysis. Laser Doppler velocimetry was mainly employed for validation of the afore- mentioned experimental methods.
The three-dimensional flow field depicting varying vortical patterns has been captured under turbulent steady, swirling and pulsating flow conditions, for parameter values for which experimental evidence has been missing in literature.