Circulation generation and vortex ring formation by conic nozzles

Moshe Rosenfeld*, Kakani Katija, John O. Dabiri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vortex rings are one of the fundamental flow structures in nature. In this paper, the generation of circulation and vortex rings by a vortex generator with a static converging conic nozzle exit is studied numerically. Conic nozzles can manipulate circulation and other flow invariants by accelerating the flow, increasing the Reynolds number, and by establishing a two-dimensional flow at the exit. The increase in the circulation efflux is accompanied by an increase in the vortex circulation. A novel normalization method is suggested to differentiate between two contributions to the circulation generation: a one-dimensional slug-type flow contribution and an inherently two-dimensional flow contribution. The one-dimensional contribution to the circulation increases with the square of the centerline exit velocity, while the two-dimensional contribution increases linearly with the decrease in the exit diameter. The two-dimensional flow contribution to the circulation production is not limited to the impulsive initiation of the flow only (as in straight tube vortex generators), but it persists during the entire ejection. The twodimensional contribution can reach as much as 44% of the total circulation (in the case of an orifice). The present study offers evidences on the importance of the vortex generator geometry, and in particular, the exit configuration on the emerging flow, circulation generation, and vortex ring formation. It is shown that both total and vortex ring circulations can be controlled to some extent by the shape of the exit nozzle.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)912041-912048
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Fluids Engineering, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • CFD
  • Circulation
  • Laminar flow
  • Nozzle
  • Vortex ring


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