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AIAA-2007-5755

Modification of the Standard K- Model For Swirling Flows


James D. Chenoweth
*
, Brian York

, and Ashvin Hosangadi


Combustion Research and Flow Technology, Inc. Pipersville, PA 18947
The ability to accurately model axisymmetric, turbulent swirling jet flows over a variety
of inflow conditions is evaluated. The deficiency of the standard k- turbulence model in
predicting mixing rates in flows with streamline curvature is well known. A relatively
straightforward modification to this model is made based on a local value of the flux
Richardson number which accounts for the azimuthal velocity and its variation. To evaluate
the effectiveness of this modification two different experimental data sets are used to
compare the computational results against. All calculations were performed using the
structured, density based, CRAFT CFD

code utilizing a preconditioning methodology.


Both cases have initial swirl distributions that are equivalent to a solid-body rotation profile,
and have swirl numbers that are low enough to remain below the vortex breakdown regime.
They also have non-swirling jet data available for the same geometries and operating
conditions which allows the increased jet mixing rate of swirling jets over purely axial jets to
be confirmed. All calculations showed a significant improvement of centerline velocity decay
as well as downstream radial velocity profiles when the Richardson number correction was
activated. For the case with turbulence data, the centerline decay of turbulent kinetic
energy was also much improved. An important result that was discovered was the extreme
sensitivity of the downstream evolution of the jet to the specification of the initial k and
profiles, highlighting the critical need for a comprehensive experimental characterization of
all flow properties at the jet exit.
Nomenclature
D
V
Viscous flux vector
E, F, G Flux vectors
k, Turbulent kinetic energy, turbulent dissipation rate
P Static pressure
Q Vector of conservative variables
Q
V
Vector of primitive variables
R
f
Flux Richardson number
r Radial distance from jet axis (r=y for axisymmetric)
S Swirl number
u, v, w x, y, z components of velocity
Preconditioning matrix
Boundary layer thickness at jet exit

k
,

, Modeling constants
C1, C2 Modified coefficient of dissipation rate equation
I. Introduction
WIRLING flows are present in a wide variety of aerospace and industrial applications including both reacting
and non-reacting flowfields. Example reacting applications include gas turbine combustors, furnaces and liquid
rocket thrust chambers, in which swirl greatly enhances combustion efficiency through increased mixing, as well as
provides flame stability by inducing recirculation. A typical non-reacting application is circulation control over a
high-lift airfoil. In addition to these flows where swirl is imparted intentionally, there are also many occasions
S

**
Research Scientist, 3313 Memorial Parkway, Suite 108, Huntsville, AL 35801, and AIAA Member.

Treasurer and Principal Scientist, 6210 Kellers Church Road, Pipersville, PA 18947, and AIAA Member.

Secretary and Principal Scientist, 6210 Kellers Church Road, Pipersville, PA 18947, and AIAA Member.

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AIAA-2007-5755
where swirl is induced as a side effect such as the flow through turbomachinery. Because of their prevalence in
engineering applications, swirling flows have been studied extensively both experimentally and computationally, but
despite this an in depth understanding of the underlying mechanisms for the unique properties of swirling flows has
not been obtained. This is due in part to the sensitivity of swirling flow to intrusive measurement techniques, and
the difficulty of computational models to isolate the effects of different, often coupled, complexities such as
turbulence amplification, combustion and the presence of recirculation.
The goal of this study was to investigate a single isolated complex feature of swirling flows, namely increased
turbulence intensity, isolated from other complexities. The standard k- turbulence model, which is widely used in
engineering computational models, is well known to under-predict mixing rates in flows with streamline curvature.
While some have proceeded to algebraic Reynolds stress models (Gatski and Speziale
1
), or even full Reynolds
stress models, to account for the streamline curvature, the extra expense and complexity of these models is not
always practical for engineering level calculations. Another approach is to apply ad-hoc modifications to the
standard k- model to account for swirl-related effects on turbulence. All of these modifications involve modifying
the eddy viscosity directly, or through the turbulent length scale, based on a local value of either a gradient or flux
Richardson number. This is the approach we have chosen because it is a relatively simple modification in terms of
coding, and it does not bear the expense of more sophisticated approaches such as EASM. The particular
modification we chose to implement was that given by Dash, et al,
2
. In a more recent assessment of turbulence
model upgrades by Pajayakrit and Kind
3
, this correction was found to be the most reliable overall.
To evaluate the effectiveness of this particular implementation of the Richardson number correction, two
experimentally measured swirling jet flows were selected to validate against that both had low swirl intensities. The
low swirl intensity was necessary because at higher swirl numbers (typically S > 0.5) vortex breakdown can occur
and you must deal with the complexity of recirculation. Here the swirl number is defined as the ratio of the
integrated tangential momentum to the integrated axial momentum over the entire jet exit plane. In that regime the
governing flow equations are no longer parabolic, and errors due solely to defects in the turbulence model cannot be
isolated with certainty.
The first data set chosen was that of Faeth, et al,
4
taken at NASA Glenn Research Center. Although the
experiment also included particle laden jets only single phase gaseous jet results were considered in the present
study. These data were taken at a swirl number of 0.19 that is well below the vortex breakdown regime. In addition
to velocity profiles, the experiment also measured turbulence intensity at several downstream locations. It also
contained measurements of the same geometry with a purely axial jet. This allowed for a direct comparison of the
jet mixing rate for swirling versus non-swirling jets. Henceforward, this data set will be referred to simply as the
Faeth case.
The second data set chosen for validation was obtained from the experiments of Farokhi, et al,
5
. This purpose of
this experiment was to study the effects of initial swirl distribution on the evolution of the jet. Two different swirl
distributions were created at the jet exit. One was a solid-body type profile just as in the Faeth case. The other was
a free vortex type profile where w~1/r. Both profiles had the same constant swirl number of 0.48, which was
considerably higher than the Faeth case, but still low enough to not be in the vortex breakdown regime. To
eliminate as many complexities as possible, and be consistent with the Faeth case, the solid-body profile case was
the one chosen to be studied in this effort because the free-vortex profile displayed some asymmetry which would
have precluded an axisymmetric solution. Unlike the Faeth data set, this one did not contain any downstream
measurements of turbulence intensity. Henceforward, it shall be referred to simply as the Farokhi case.
All simulations were completed using the density based, structured, CRAFT CFD

code. Since the geometry is
very simple for both of the jet cases simulated, and quad elements are ideally suited for resolving shear flows, a
structured code is ideally suited for this study. A supplemental discovery of this investigation was the tremendous
benefit that using a preconditioning methodology can have for a density based code trying to solve a subsonic jet
into quiescent air. All swirling cases were run in 2D axisymmetric mode. In this case y=r, and all derivatives in the
tangential direction are by definition zero, and thus the generalized 3D Cartesian momentum equations can be
solved allowing the effect of the swirl velocity to be automatically included in the radial momentum equation
without altering the equations.
Comparisons of a swirling jet versus a purely axial jet for the identical geometry and conditions, as measured in
the Faeth case, clearly shows the mixing rate enhancement effect of imparting swirl to an axial jet. This
demonstrates the importance of these flows to applications where mixing rate is the controlling factor for some
engineering design parameter, such as the heat flux rise rate near the faceplate of a liquid rocket combustor. For the
swirling jet cases, calculations confirmed that neither data set was in the vortex breakdown regime, giving
confidence that the differences between mixing rate prediction were being solely driven by turbulence model effects.
Calculations for both cases showed conclusively that the Richardson number correction applied to the standard k-

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AIAA-2007-5755
model greatly improves the ability to predict jet mixing rates. As will be discussed in greater detail later, an
important discovery of this investigation was the extreme sensitivity of the jet evolution to the initial profiles given
for k and at the jet exit. This highlights a critical need for an experimental data set of a subsonic, turbulent,
swirling jet that completely characterizes all velocity and turbulence values at the jet exit, as well as downstream
turbulence measurements. This data set could be then used to unambiguously validate the accuracy of current
turbulence models, and subsequently, any upgrades to those models.
II. Flowfield Governing Equations
All computations carried out for this study were conducted using the CRAFT CFD

code. CRAFT is a general


purpose, structured, density-based, finite-volume flow solver that solves the compressible Navier-Stokes equations
(Sinha, et al. [6]). The solver is fully implicit and uses Roe/TVD numerics for the inviscid fluxes, and second-order
central differencing for viscous and diffusive terms. CRAFT is generalized enough to simulate finite rate chemistry
and multi-phase flows, and contains standard polynomial curve fits for the thermodynamic properties. However, for
the simulations in this study only a single-phase gaseous jet with the assumption of an ideal gas was considered.
This section will give a summary description of the entire set of governing equations, with a more detailed
description of the turbulence model given in the next section.
The equation system can be written in vector form as:

v
Q E F G
S D
t x y z

+ + + = +

(1)
where Q is the vector of dependent variables in conservative form, E, F, G are the flux vectors, S is a vector of
source terms, and D
v
is a vector containing the viscous fluxes. The viscous fluxes are given by the standard full
compressible form of the Navier-Stokes equations. The vectors Q and E are defined below,

i
u
v
w
Q
H P
Y
k

x
y
z
i
U
uU P
vU P
wU P
E
HU
YU
kU
U



+


+


+

=







l
l
l
(2)
For solving low-speed jets the equations in this form can be very difficult to solve, both from a stability
standpoint, and in the amount of time it takes to obtain convergence. This is due mainly to stiffness of the
equations, and round-off errors since the variation in density is small due to the low Mach number of the flow,
especially in the entrainment region above the jet. To alleviate these problems in CRAFT, a Merkle-style
7

preconditioning method has been applied. This transforms Equation (1) to:

v
v
Q E F G
S D
t x y z


+ + + = + (3)
where is the preconditioning matrix given by,

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AIAA-2007-5755

( )
( )
1
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0
0 0 0
0 0 0 0
0 0
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0
i
i
i
i
i i
i
j
i
i
p T Y
p T Y
p T Y
p T
p p T T Y Y
ij
i Y
i p i T
i Y
p T Y
p T Y
Y
Y
H h H h H h
u u u
v v v
w w w
u v w
Y Y
k k k









0
Y


+
+

+ +

)
i
(4)
The vector Q
v
is the new vector of dependent variables in primitive variable form given as,
(
T
v
Q P u v w T Y k = (5)
where P
'
represents the gauge pressure, i.e., the actual pressure with a specified reference pressure subtracted off.
By solving for the gauge pressure the problems arising from round-off error are minimized.
III. Turbulence Model Description
A unified two-equation k- model specialized for jets and shear flows has been developed and been in use for
several years by workers at CRAFT-TECH. Only a general overview is given here, including a description of the
modification to the dissipation rate equation to account for streamline curvature, and the reader is referred to Ref. [8]
for a detailed discussion. This model retains the same basic coefficients as the original formulation of Jones and
Launder
9
and contains extensions necessary to account for compressibility and vortex stretching effects on turbulent
mixing. These revisions have been based on validation using a comprehensive set of free shear data sets to arrive at
a generalized framework for aeropropulsive problems. This framework includes the specific application of interest
in the current study, i.e., low-speed round jets. The k- turbulence model equations incorporated into CRAFT CFD


code are,

u k
k j
t
k
P D
k
t x x x
j j k j


+ = + +

k








(6)

u
j
t
P D SS

t x x x
j j j


+ = + + +










(7)
where:

u
i
P
k ij
x
j

(8)
D
k
= (9)

1

P C P
k
k
= (10)

2
D C

k

= (11)

2
k
C


t
= (12)

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AIAA-2007-5755

u
u u
2 j
i n
k
ij t ij t
x x 3 x
j i n






= + +







(13)
with constant coefficients C
1
=1.43, C
2
=1.92, C

=0.09,
k
=1.0, and

=1.3.
The standard k- turbulence model does not accurately address the round-jet anomaly; i.e., it over predicts the
mean flow mixing rates for round-jets than is observed experimentally. The SS

term included in Equation (2) is a
source term correction recommended by Pope
10
to account for this. Although it is a globally applied correction
term, it is only operative in regions where vortex-stretching is appreciable, e.g., in the vicinity of the jet axis. This
correction was implemented and validated in the CRAFT CFD

code in a past effort


6
.
The fundamental idea of correcting the turbulent transport equations to account for the effect of swirl induced
amplified turbulence level, is that this effect can be modeled by effectively increasing the turbulent length scale. To
this end we modified Equation (2) by replacing the constant coefficient in the production source term with the
following variable expression,

( )
1 1
1.0 0.9
f
C C R

= + (14)
Here, R
f
is a non-dimensional parameter referred to as the flux Richardson number, that accounts for the swirl
velocity and its radial gradient and is defined as follows:

( )
( )
2
2 /
/
f
w w r
r
R
u
r w r
r r

=
2


+






(15)
In Equation (15), w is the tangential (swirl) velocity, and r is the radial coordinate (same as y for axisymmetric
cases). Note that R
f
may be positive or negative depending on the sign of the numerator and its value becomes
significant only in regions where both the swirl velocity and its radial gradient is large. We note that this was the
same approach used in the computational studies undertaken in Ref. [11] and Ref. [4].
IV. Validation for Faeth Swirling Jet Case
The validation case used to study the effectiveness of the flux Richardson correction was a subsonic, swirling jet
case with data taken at NASA Glenn Research Center
4
. The test apparatus consisted of an air jet tube with an inside
diameter of 19 mm that discharged into quiescent, ambient air. Swirl was generated by injecting air tangentially
through slots upstream of the nozzle exit. Although in the experiment particle laden jets were also measured, for
this task only the single phase jet was looked at for both a non-swirling jet and a single swirl case with a swirl
number of 0.19. Detailed experimental data of both axial variation of flow variables as well as radial variation of
flow variables downstream at X/D=10 are compared with simulations. The paper, which had an accompanying CFD
calculation, notes that experimental data was obtained at X/D=0.5 and in fact the CFD calculation presented in the
paper used this near-field as the starting point for their calculations. Unfortunately, the authors have neglected to
present the near-field experimental data at X/D=0.5 in the paper and we were unable to use this as the starting point
for our calculations. The description of how the inlet profile was generated in our calculation as well other numerical
details are given below.
For our calculations here, a hexagonal, axisymmetric grid was used with dimensions of 271X101 in the x and y
directions, respectively. The grid went two points upstream into the jet and imposed a fixed profile there as the
boundary condition. Since the inlet profiles have not been reported in the paper as noted earlier, the profiles for u
velocity and k- values were obtained from a fully developed, non-dimensional pipe solution, which was
dimensionalized based on jet diameter and the centerline velocity at the jet exit (given as test condition from
experiment). For the non-swirling case, this value was 14.86 m/s. For the swirling case tested, this value was 12.94
m/s. The tangential velocity profile was determined by assuming a solid body rotating flow, i.e., w=r, where is
a constant angular frequency which is determined from the maximum air tangential velocity at the exit (given as test
condition from experiment). Because of the radial variation of w, the radial momentum equation must be considered
which leads to the radial pressure gradient equilibrium condition,

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
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AIAA-2007-5755

2
P w
r r

=

(16)
This equation is integrated to obtain the radial pressure profile imposed at the jet inlet. An axisymmetric
symmetry boundary condition was applied along the centerline. Entrainment boundaries were set to subsonic inflow
boundaries with ambient pressure and temperature. The exit boundary was a non-reflecting boundary 75 diameters
downstream of the exit.
The flowfield for the non-swirling case was initialized at ambient conditions, while the swirling case copied the
exit profile downstream several diameters to prevent a large gradient being setup initially. Both cases proved to be
very stable and converged without issue. This was due in large part to the fact that preconditioning was employed
on both cases since the velocities of the jet were low and the ambient velocities generated from entrainment of the
jet were even lower. The use of preconditioning allowed large CFL numbers (O~10) to be used which contributed
to the quick convergence. Although not tested explicitly on this case, past experience has indicated that a low Mach
number flow such as this (0.04 at exit, less than 0.001 in free-stream) would be very difficult with a standard density
based code, and even if a solution could be obtained it would certainly not be obtained as fast as with
preconditioning, both in terms of actual CPU time and man-in-the-loop hours.
The results from the non-swirling case are shown in Figure 1. The plot of axial velocity along the centerline for
the non-swirling jet shows excellent agreement with the data. The turbulent kinetic energy comparison shows some
differences; the data continues to rise after the core of the jet has mixed and the shear layer has hit the axis. The
reasons for this are not entirely clear and the authors do not provide an explanation. Our numerical calculations
perform as expected from physical grounds where the turbulent kinetic energy asymptotes to the value at the end of
the jet potential core and remains constant thereafter.

Centerline Axial Velocity, S=0
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
0 10 20 30 40
x/d
u
/
u
cExp. Data
Standard k-e

(a)
Turbulent Kinetic Energy, S=0
0
0.02
0.04
0.06
0.08
0.1
0.12
0 10 20 30 40
x/d
k
c
/
u
c
2
Exp. Data
Standard k-e

(b)
Figure 1. Axial Variation Of Flow Variables For Jet With No Swirl;
(A) Centerline Velocity, (B) Turbulence Intensity.

The corresponding axial variation for the swirl case is shown in Figure 2. The deficiency of the standard k-
model in predicting turbulence for swirling flows is clearly observed with the flux Richardson correction showing an
obvious improvement over the standard model; this is particularly noticeable for the turbulent kinetic energy where
the Richardson number correction gives significantly better mixing and higher values of the turbulent kinetic energy
downstream. One important point we would like to highlight is that on comparing Figure 1 and Figure 2 (for no-
swirl vs. swirl flows) we observe that swirling flows have significantly higher mixing rates than non-swirling flows,

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AIAA-2007-5755
and accounting for this enhanced mixing is essential for modeling many engineering swirl applications. The second
important point we want to note is that proper characterization of the inlet profiles for swirl and turbulence
intensities are essential to get the right distribution downstream. The turbulence intensity plot in Figure 2c (swirl
case) indicates that the turbulence intensities are being under predicted significantly at the inlet, and that the pipe
flow analogy used is failing. In contrast the pipe flow analogy is adequate for the non-swirling case (Figure 1b)
where the turbulent intensities match at the inlet. Despite the seemingly good results for the axial variation, the
consequence of incorrect inlet profiles becomes apparent when the radial distribution is compared with experimental
data in the near-field as discussed below.
Radial profiles of the axial velocity, swirl and turbulent kinetic energy are given in Figure 3 for X/D=10. We
observe that the profiles with the flux Richardson number correction come much closer to the data for both the axial
velocity and the turbulence intensity. However, the peak values of turbulence intensities are under predicted
significantly in this relatively near field location; the peak values come closer further downstream as seen in the
axial variation plots Figure 3. The radial variation of swirl shows very poor comparison with the experimental peak
value occurring at a much higher radius. At this point we believe this discrepancy is due to differences in the radial
distribution of swirl profiles at the inlet between the experiment and the calculation highlighting the sensitivity of
swirling flow solutions to the initial conditions.

Centerline Axial Velocity, S=0.19
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
x/d
u
/
u
c
Exp. Data
Standardk-e
Flux Richardson
Correction

(a)
Maximum Swirl Velocity, S=0.19
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
x/d
w
M
/
w
M
0
Exp. Data
Standardk-e
FluxRichardson
Correction

(b)
Turbulent Kinetic Energy, S=0.19
0
0.01
0.02
0.03
0.04
0.05
0.06
0.07
0.08
0.09
0.1
0 5 10 15 20 25 30
x/d
k
c
/
u
c
2
Exp. Data
Standardk-e
Flux Richardson
Correction

(c)
Figure 2. Axial Variation of Flow Variables for Jet With Swirl (a): Centerline Velocity,
(b) Maximum Swirl Velocity, (c) Turbulence Intensity.

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AIAA-2007-5755
Axial Velocity at X/D=10
0
0.2
0.4
0.6
0.8
1
1.2
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3
r/x
u
/
u
c
Exp. Data
Standardk-e
FluxRichardson
Correction

(a)
Swirl Velocity at X/D=10
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3
r/x
w
/
w
m
Exp. Data
Standardk-e
Flux Richardson
Correction

(b)
Turbulent Kinetic Energy at X/D=10
0
0.02
0.04
0.06
0.08
0.1
0.12
0 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3
r/x
k
/
u
c
2
Exp. Data
Standardk-e
FluxRichardson
Correction

(c)
Figure 3. Radial Variation on Flow Variables At X/D=10 For Jet With Swirl:
(a) Axial Velocity, (b) Swirl Velocity, (c) Turbulent Kinetic Energy.

V. Validation for Farokhi Swirling Jet Case
To further validate the effectiveness of the flux Richardson number correction for modeling swirling flows, an
additional experimental swirling jet case was selected from the literature. The case selected was a swirling jet case
tested by Farokhi, et al,
5
as discussed in the introduction. In the experiment two swirl manifolds are used to
generate two different initial swirl profiles at the jet exit. One manifold generates an axisymmetric swirl profile that
behaves like a solid body rotation (w=r), and the other generates a non-axisymmetric, free-vortex flow (w~1/r),
but both have the same constant swirl number of 0.48. This swirl number is considerably higher than the value of
0.19 that was used for the earlier Faeth jet case, but for the solid-body profile it is still low enough to stay out of the
vortex breakdown regime. Because the free-vortex flow displays non-axisymmetric velocity profiles, we decided,
for this effort, to focus only on the solid-body swirl profile to assess the effectiveness of the Richardson number
correction.
The test apparatus used in the experiment consisted of a converging nozzle with an exit diameter of 11.43 cm
discharging into quiescent, ambient air. The jet centerline velocity was 62 m/s at the exit. Swirl was generated
upstream of the nozzle by a set of concentric manifold rings with attached elbow nozzles that injected air
tangentially into the axial flow. The flowrate through these manifolds could be adjusted to change the swirl number
and swirl velocity profile. All experimental measurements were made with a five-hole pitot probe and data reported
are time-mean values. One reason this experiment was chosen as a validation test case was its detailed
characterization of the velocity profiles just downstream of the jet exit at X/D=0.06. In addition to the u, v, and w
profiles given at the exit, the radial pressure gradient resulting from the swirling flow was also measured and

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
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AIAA-2007-5755
reported in the paper, making it unnecessary to assume a swirl profile then integrate the radial momentum equation
to obtain the pressure gradient as had to be done for the Faeth case. Unfortunately, although a detailed
characterization of velocity and pressure was given, no turbulence data were taken during the experiment making it
necessary to assume profiles for k and for the simulation. Results from the Faeth jet indicated the extreme
sensitivity of the downstream evolution of a swirling jet to the inlet turbulence values, and the Farokhi jet further
demonstrated this as discussed below.
For our calculations here, a hexagonal, axisymmetric grid was used with dimensions of 271X101 in the x and y
directions, respectively. This is the same grid used in the Faeth case, but with a scaling factor applied to account for
the larger diameter. The grid went two points upstream into the jet and imposed a fixed profile there as the
boundary condition. The grid extended 75 jet diameters axially downstream of the jet exit. The initialization
procedure was as for the swirling Faeth case; the inlet profile values were copied ten diameters downstream, and
then over a distance of several diameters these values were interpolated down to ambient conditions.
As mentioned earlier, the velocity and pressure profiles were simply taken from the experimental data presented
in the paper, but the lack of turbulence data meant we had to assume a distribution of k- to impose as a boundary
condition at the inlet. The approach taken with the earlier Faeth jet case of using a non-dimensionalized, fully
developed pipe flow is not applicable here; the inlet mean velocity profile in Figure 4 shows only a thin boundary
layer. Two different approaches were tried here. One was to use freestream turbulence quantities (i.e., ignore the
boundary layer) and the alternate approach was to specify turbulent viscosity as proportional to an assumed mixing
length and the velocity gradient in the y-direction:

y
u
l
t

=
2

(17)
An equilibrium assumption was then assumed to exist between the production and dissipation of turbulent
kinetic energy to yield the following for turbulent kinetic energy and dissipation:

C
y
u
l
k
2
2

=
(18)

3
2
y
u
l

=
(19)
where the length scale is assumed as,
) 09 . 0 , 41 . 0 ( y MIN l = (20)
The boundary layer thickness, , was estimated from Figure 4 to be 2.4% of the jet radius, and the standard value
of 0.09 was assumed for C


0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
-0.6 -0.4 -0.2 0 0.2 0.4 0.6
r/D
U

(
m
/
s
)

Figure 4. Experimental Axial Velocity Profile at X/D = 0.06.

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AIAA-2007-5755
The calculations with the Richardson number correction required one additional change to that used in the Faeth
validation case. We had to apply a filter that limited the Richardson number at small radius values close to the
centerline as well as restricted the correction to the source term, (1.0+0.9R
f
), from going below zero, as suggested
by Leschziner and Rodi
11
. Since the flux Richardson number definition contains derivatives of 1/r terms, it can be
very sensitive at small values of r and noise in the swirl velocity derivates can cause large values of Richardson
number to occur near the axis that can lead to unphysical solutions and also make the calculation unstable. The
reason why this problem may not have appeared in the earlier test case may be attributed to the lower swirl numbers
in that case.
After applying this filter the solution was very stable with the Richardson correction activated. Both solutions
(with and without Richardson number) were run using preconditioning, and as was the case for the Faeth jet this
allowed large CFL numbers (~5) to be utilized for very efficient turnaround time. Without preconditioning,
convergence, if obtainable at all, would take considerably longer because CFL numbers would not be as high, and
the solution would be limited by the low Mach number (M~0.002) region in the freestream.
The mean velocity decay along the centerline is shown in Figure 5; the black line corresponds to the solution
with specification of freestream turbulence condition, while the blue line corresponds to the specification of a
boundary layer turbulent distribution. Both these cases were done with the swirl correction on. For reference we
also show a calculation done without the swirl correction with freestream turbulence specification. We note two
points: 1) the effectiveness of the Richardson number correction in increasing mixing is clearly observed (blue and
black line versus red line), 2) The sensitivity of the solution to inlet turbulence specification is again highlighted
(black line with freestream turbulence vs. blue line with inlet boundary layer turbulence specified). Figure 6 shows
the downstream evolution of the axial velocity profiles. The dramatically increased mixing from swirl that is
correctly represented by the swirl correction becomes apparent even by X/D=2. While both the data and the
Richardson correction solutions (blue and black curves) both show a rapid decay of axial velocity, with their
centerline values having dropped to half the initial value by X/D=4, the standard k- turbulence model with no
correction (red curve) shows almost no decay even at X/D=4. Overall, the Richardson number correction to the
standard k- model does a good job of capturing the downstream evolution of the axial velocity with the comparison
getting even better as more realistic inlet turbulence profiles are specified (blue vs. black solution curves).
Cent erline Axial Velocity Decay
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.6
0.7
0.8
0.9
1
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
X/D
U
c
/
U
c
o
Exp. Data
Ri. Correction
No Ri. Correction
Profile fromdu/dy

Figure 5. Effect of Richardson Number Correction on Axial Velocity Decay.

X/D=1.0
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
r/D
U
(
m
/s
)
Exp. Data
Ri. Correction
No Ri. Correction
Profile fromdu/dy

X/D=2.0
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
r/D
U
(
m
/s
)
Exp. Data
Ri. Correction
No Ri. Correction
Profile fromdu/dy

(a) (b)
X/D=3.0
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
0 0.5 1 1.5
r/D
U
(
m
/s
)
Exp. Data
Ri. Correction
No Ri. Correction
Profile fromdu/dy

X/D=4.0
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
0 0.5 1 1.5
r/D
U
(
m
/s
)
Exp. Data
Ri. Correction
No Ri. Correction
Profile fromdu/dy

(c) (d)
Figure 6. Downstream Development of Axial Velocity.

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
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AIAA-2007-5755
X/D=1.0
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
r/D
W
(m
/s
)
Exp. Data
Ri. Correction
No Ri. Correction
Profile fromdu/dy

X/D=2.0
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
r/D
W
(m
/s
)
Exp. Data
Ri. Correction
No Ri. Correction
Profile fromdu/dy

(a) (b)
X/D=3.0
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
0 0.5 1 1.5
r/D
W
(m
/s
)
Exp. Data
Ri. Correction
No Ri. Correction
Profile fromdu/dy

X/D=4.0
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
40
-0.1 0.1 0.3 0.5 0.7 0.9 1.1 1.3 1.5
r/D
W
(m
/s
)
Exp. Data
Ri. Correction
No Ri. Correction
Profile fromdu/dy

(c) (d)
Figure 7. Downstream Development of Tangential Velocity.
VI. Conclusion
The standard k- turbulence model has been shown to be inadequate when it comes to predicting mean mixing
rates for swirling axisymmetric flows. A simple, straightforward modification to the dissipation rate transport
equation has been made based on the local value of the flux Richardson number. This modification was then
validated against two independent experimental data sets that measured the downstream evolution of axisymmetric,
swirling jets. In both cases, the modified turbulence model was clearly superior to the standard formulation. This
was true both for axial and tangential velocity decay downstream, as well as for downstream prediction of turbulent
kinetic energy for the Faeth data set that included those measurements.
In performing the current calculations it was discovered that the downstream evolution of both cases was
extremely sensitive to initial k and profiles specified at the jet exit. For the Faeth case, velocity and turbulence
profiles generated based on a fully developed pipe flow solution proved to be sufficiently appropriate for that case.
For the Farokhi jet case this assumption was invalid and a turbulence profile generated based on physical reasoning
more appropriate to the measured velocity profile at the exit was needed. The reason the pipe profile was sufficient
for the Faeth case, but not the Farokhi case, was attributed to the fact that the jet swirl number for the latter case was
~2.5 times higher than the former. This extreme sensitivity to initial conditions demonstrates the clear need for a
complete experimental characterization of all velocity and turbulence values at the jet exit. Until such a data set is
available, it is difficult to make any definitive evaluations of the accuracy of particular turbulence models for
swirling flows, other than relative comparisons between models given the same initial conditions.
VII. Acknowledgements
This research was funded through a SBIR under Contract No.: NNM06AA58C funded by NASA Marshall
Space Flight Center. The contract monitor was Mr. Kevin Tucker. The technical inputs given by Dr. Jeff West and
Mr. Kevin Tucker are gratefully acknowledged.
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