Dynamics of hairpin vortices generated by a mixing tab in a channel flow

Research paper by W. Yang, H. Meng, J. Sheng

Indexed on: 01 Jun '01Published on: 01 Jun '01Published in: Experiments in Fluids


To better understand mixing by hairpin vortices, time-series particle image velocimetry (PIV) was applied to the wake of a trapezoidal-shaped passive mixing tab mounted at the bottom of a square turbulent channel (Reh=2,080 based on the tab height). Instantaneous velocity/vorticity fields were obtained in sequences of 10 Hz in the tab wake in the center plane (x–y) and in a plane (x–z) parallel to the wall. Periodically-shed hairpin vortices were clearly identified and seen to rise as they advected downstream. Experimental evidence shows that the vortex-induced ejection of the near-wall viscous fluid to the immediate upstream is important to the dynamics of hairpin vortices. It can increase the strength of the hairpin vortices in the near tab region and cause generation of secondary hairpin vortices further downstream when the hairpin heads are farther away from the wall. Measurements also reveal the existence of a type of new secondary vortice with the opposite-sign spanwise vorticity. The distribution of vortex loci in the x–y plane shows that the hairpin vortices and the reverse vortices are spatially segregated in distinct layers. Turbulence statistics, including mean velocity profiles, Reynolds stresses, and turbulent kinetic energy dissipation rate distributions, were obtained from the PIV data. These statistical quantities clearly reveal imprints of the identified vortex structures and provide insight into mixing effectiveness.