Mode selection in swirling jet experiments: A linear stability analysis

Abstract : The primary goal of the study is to identify the selection mechanism responsible for the appearance of a double-helix structure in the pre-breakdown stage of so-called screened swirling jets for which the circulation vanishes away from the jet. The family of basic flows under consideration combines the azimuthal velocity profiles of Carton & McWilliams (1989) and the axial velocity profiles of Monkewitz (1988). This model satisfactorily represents the nozzle exit velocity distributions measured in the swirling jet experiment of Billant et al. (1998). Temporal and absolute/convective instability properties are directly retrieved from numerical simulations of the linear impulse response for different swirl parameter settings. A large range of negative helical modes, winding with the basic flow, are destabilized as swirl is increased, and their characteristics for large azimuthal wavenumbers are shown to agree with the asymptotic analysis of Leibovich & Stewartson (1983). However, the temporal study fails to yield a clear selection principle. The absolute/convective instability regions are mapped out in the plane of the external axial flow and swirl parameters. The absolutely unstable domain is enhanced by rotation and it remains open for arbitrarily large swirl. The swirling jet with zero external axial flow is found to first become absolutely unstable to a mode of azimuthal wavenumber m = -2, winding with the jet. It is suggested that this selection mechanism accounts for the experimental observation of a double-helix structure.
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François Gallaire, Jean-Marc Chomaz. Mode selection in swirling jet experiments: A linear stability analysis. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2003, november (494), pp.223-253. ⟨10.1017/s0022112003006104⟩. ⟨hal-01024938⟩

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