A computational investigation of impulsive and pulsed starting annular jets

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University of Alabama Libraries

A computational study is carried out on low Reynolds number impulsive and pulsating annular jets. This work is inspired by the biological flow of marine life that uses jet propulsion for self maneuver. Marine life such as squids and jellyfish propel themselves by discharging a water jet followed by a refilling phase. The discharging portion is a starting jet, i.e. the releasing of a moving fluid into a quiescent fluid, while the refilling phase can be viewed as an inflow jet. The combined jets will be called fully oscillating jets. Although fully oscillating jets have been indirectly examined experimentally, they have never been studied computationally. This dissertation is divided into three investigations that examine the starting jet, inflow jet, and fully oscillating jet based on the resultant force (i.e. either thrust or suction force) at the annulus exit plane, jet efficiency, and vortex dynamics. Furthermore, each of the following three performance criterion is examined under various velocity imposed boundaries (i.e. impulsive, unit pulsed, and sinusoidal pulsed jets), ambient pressure, and blocking ratios. An axisymmetric, incompressible and unsteady Navier Stokes numerical model was used to implement the analysis. The model was validated against theoretical and experimental results, where both result types bounded the computational results of this endeavor. In addition, numerical verification was carried out on each of the three investigations ensuring grid and time independent results. Several substantial outcomes were drawn from the results of the three investigations. The numerical results confirmed previously published experimental data regarding the universal dimensionless time scale (i.e. vortex formation number) of optimal vortex ring development triggered by starting jets. Moreover, the computational results showed evidence that the vortex formation number was not affected by ambient pressure nor blocking ratio. The computational results also confirmed earlier experimental findings that pulsed jet inflows trigger a standing vortex ring. Furthermore, the current study showed that impulsive jet inflows do not trigger vortex ring formation. In addition, unlike the expected net thrust of zero due to mass flux, fully oscillating jets showed evidence of thrust augmentation due to the enhanced entrainment caused by the vortex formation.

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Mechanical engineering, Aerospace engineering