In order to investigate the connection between the bubble and the spiral form of vortex breakdown, experiments were conducted: an external disturbance in the form of an azimuthally spinning waveform was imposed in a pipe. The azimuthal wave number was varied by adjusting the phase difference among four oscillating pistons mounted circumferentially on the pipe. By imposing a disturbance of zero azimuthal wave number, a spiral was transformed into a bubble, and this occurred only for selective piston frequencies; the vortex breakdown which altered from the spiral to the bubble moved upstream, where it remained as a bubble as long as the external disturbance remained. Once the disturbance was removed, the bubble returned to a spiral. By imposing a disturbance of azimuthal wave number +1 (the first circumferential mode rotating in the same direction as the mean swirl), a bubble was transformed into a spiral for selective piston frequencies, and the spiral moved downstream. These preferred frequencies were found to be the same as the unexcited frequencies observed in the spiral in its natural state. As long as the external disturbance was imposed, the breakdown altered from the bubble to the spiral remained as a spiral; once the disturbance was removed, the spiral reverted to a bubble. By imposing a disturbance with azimuthal wave number –1 (the first circumferential mode rotating in the opposite direction to the mean swirl), no change was detected in either a bubble or a spiral. By imposing a disturbance with azimuthal wave number 2 (the second circumferential mode), for selective piston frequencies a bubble was transformed into what appears to be the so-called two-tailed type. Thus, it appears that hydrodynamic instability plays a role in interchanging vortex breakdown types, and a comparison with available stability theories is discussed.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 12, 2003
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