JFCMV  Vol.4 No.1 , January 2016
Effect of Axial Clearance on the Flow Structure around a Rotating Disk Enclosed in a Cylindrical Casing
Numerical study is performed to investigate the swirling flow around a rotating disk in a cylindrical casing. The disk is supported by a thin driving shaft and it is settled at the center of the casing. The flow develops in the radial clearance between the disk tip and the side wall of the casing as well as in the axial clearance between the disk surfaces and the stationary circular end walls of the casing. Keeping the geometry of the casing and the size of the radial clearance constant, we compared the flows developing in the fields with small, medium and large axial clearances at the Reynolds number from 6000 to 30,000. When the rotation rate of the disk is small, steady Taylor vortices appear in the radial clearance. As the flow is accelerated, several tens of small vortices emerge around the disk tip. The axial position of these small vortices is near the end wall or the axial midplane of the casing. When the small vortices appear on one side of the end walls, the flow is not permanent but transitory, and a polygonal flow with larger several vortices appears. With further increase of the rotation rate, spiral structures emerge. The Reynolds number for the onset of the spiral structures is much smaller than that for the onset of the spiral rolls in rotor-stator disk flows with no radial clearance. The spiral structures in the present study are formed by the disturbances that are driven by a centrifugal instability in the radial clearance and they are penetrated radially inward along the circular end walls of the casing.

Cite this paper
Watanabe, T. , Furukawa, H. , Fujisawa, S. and Endo, S. (2016) Effect of Axial Clearance on the Flow Structure around a Rotating Disk Enclosed in a Cylindrical Casing. Journal of Flow Control, Measurement & Visualization, 4, 1-12. doi: 10.4236/jfcmv.2016.41001.
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