Experimental control of vortex breakdown by density effects

Mohd-Zulhilmi Paiz Ismadi, Patrice Meunier, Andreas Fouras, Kerry Hourigan
2011 Physics of Fluids  
The vortex breakdown inside a cylinder with a rotating top lid is controlled experimentally by injecting at the bottom a fluid with a small density difference. The density difference is obtained by mixing a heavy dye or alcohol with water in order to create a jet denser or lighter than water. The injection of a heavy fluid creates a buoyancy force downward, which counteracts the meridional recirculation in the cylinder and thus enhances the formation of a vortex breakdown bubble. The stability
more » ... ble. The stability diagram shows that even a very small density difference of 0.02% is able to decrease by a factor of 2 the critical Reynolds number of appearance of the breakdown. On the other hand, the injection of a lighter fluid does not destroy the vortex breakdown. However, for large enough density differences ͑larger than 0.03%͒, the lighter fluid is able to pierce through the bubble and leads to a new structure of the vortex breakdown. Finally, a parallel is drawn between a light jet and a vortex ring generated at the bottom of the cylinder: strong vortex rings are able to pierce through the bubble, whereas weak vortex rings are simply advected around the bubble.
doi:10.1063/1.3560386 fatcat:nywnqjfr35fldpclowk5sozbpq