Boundary-Layer Flows in Rotating Cavities

[+] Author and Article Information
C. L. Ong, J. M. Owen

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9QT, United Kingdom

J. Turbomach 111(3), 341-348 (Jul 01, 1989) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3262278 History: Received September 15, 1987; Online November 09, 2009


A rotating cylindrical cavity with a radial outflow of fluid provides a simple model of the flow between two corotating air-cooled gas-turbine disks. The flow structure comprises a source region near the axis of rotation, boundary layers on each disk, a sink layer on the peripheral shroud, and an interior core of rotating inviscid fluid between the boundary layers. In the source region, the boundary layers entrain fluid; outside this region, nonentraining Ekman-type layers are formed on the disks. In this paper, the differential boundary-layer equations are solved to predict the velocity distribution inside the entraining and nonentraining boundary layers and in the inviscid core. The equations are discretized using the Keller-box scheme, and the Cebeci–Smith eddy-viscosity model is used for the turbulent-flow case. Special problems associated with reverse flow in the nonentraining Ekman-type layers are successfully overcome. Solutions are obtained, for both laminar and turbulent flow, for the “linear equations” (where nonlinear inertial terms are neglected) and for the full nonlinear equations. These solutions are compared with earlier LDA measurements of the radial and tangential components of velocity made inside a rotating cavity with a radial outflow of air. Good agreement between the computations and the experimental data is achieved for a wide range of flow rates and rotational speeds.

Copyright © 1989 by ASME
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