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Unsteady fluid mechanics of annular swirling shear layers

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posted on 17.06.2011, 08:54 by David Dunham
The vast majority of gas turbine combustor systems employ swirl injectors to produce a central toroidal recirculation zone (CTRZ) which entrains and recirculates a portion of the hot combustion gases to provide continuous ignition to the incoming air-fuel mix. In addition to these primary functions, swirl injectors often generate multiple aerodynamic instability modes which are helical in nature with characteristic frequencies that can differ by many orders of magnitude. If any of these frequencies are consistent with prevalent acoustic modes within the combustor there is a potential for flow-acoustic coupling which may reinforce acoustic oscillations and drive combustion instabilities via the Rayleigh criterion. The aerodynamic performance of the swirl injector is thus of great practical importance to the design and development of combustion systems and there is a strong desire within industry for reliable computational methods that can predict this highly unsteady behaviour. This assessment can be made under isothermal conditions which avoids the complex interactions that occur in reacting flow. The goal of the present work was to compare and contrast the performance of Unsteady Reynolds- Averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) and Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) CFD methodologies for a combustion system equipped with a derivative of an industrial Turbomeca swirl injector as this exhibits similar unsteady aerodynamic behaviour under reacting and isothermal conditions. (Continues...).



  • Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering


  • Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering


Loughborough University

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© D. Dunham

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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Jim McGuirk ; Adrian Spencer

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