Formation, growth and instability of vortex pairs in an axisymmetric stagnation flow
Date of Issue2013
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
The formation, growth and instability of a pair of counter-rotating vortices over a circular plate in the downstream of a thin fishing line were studied using particle image velocimetry and flow visualization. Initially, the vortex pair in an axisymmetric stagnation flow was small, but it grew steadily by accumulating the shear-layer vorticity of the wake before going through vortical instability. Two types of vortical development were observed in the present experiment. Type I was a common type of vortical development in an axisymmetric stagnation flow over a circular plate. Here, the circulation of the vortex pair increased linearly with time reflecting a constant flux of vorticity impinging on the plate wall. After the growth, the counter-rotating pair of vortices went through an antisymmetric deformation in the wall-normal direction while the vortex deformation was symmetric in the wall-parallel direction. This was remarkably similar to the short-wavelength elliptic instability of counter-rotating vortices in an open system. On the other hand, type II development of a vortex pair was a rare case, where the vortices grew for much longer duration than in type I cases. This initiated a breakdown of vortices before the residual vorticity moved away from the centre of the plate. It is considered that the disturbance due to vortical instability could be partially responsible for the unexpectedly high heat transfer rate in the stagnation region of bluff bodies that has been reported in the last half-century.
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Journal of fluid mechanics
© 2013 Cambridge University Press. This paper was published in Journal of Fluid Mechanics and is made available as an electronic reprint (preprint) with permission of Cambridge University Press. The paper can be found at the following official DOI: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/jfm.2013.205]. One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic or multiple reproduction, distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.