Vortex structure and dynamics in the near field of a coaxial jet

Werner J.A. Dahm, Grétar Tryggvason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations


We present results from an experimental and numerical investigation into the structure of vortex patterns and the dynamics of their interactions for the incompressible flow in the near field of a round coaxial jet issuing into a quiescent ambient fluid. A two-colour planar laser-induced-fluorescence technique is used to document the flow field via still photographs and cine sequences over a limited range of parameters. We examine the effects of varying the velocity ratio as well as the absolute velocities of the two coaxial streams for equal densities and for a single area ratio. Results show that a variety of widely differing near-field vortex patterns can arise, with very different interaction dynamics, which can depend both on the velocity ratio and on the absolute velocities of the two streams. The observed vortex structures and their dynamics are interpreted in terms of the instability of the initially cylindrical and concentric vorticity layers separating each of the fluid streams, and their subsequent rollup to form wake-like or shear-layer-like vortices. Our results show that in addition to the velocity jump across each of these vorticity layers, an accounting of the layer thicknesses and the wake defect within each layer can be essential to understanding the resulting near-field structure that occurs. Ensuing dynamical interactions between the vortices formed from each layer can produce a strong coupling between the development of the two layers. These resulting vortex structures and interaction dynamics are also seen to produce widely differing mixing patterns in the jet near field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-402
Number of pages32
Journaljournal of fluid mechanics
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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