Description: The development of a three-dimensional spatially evolving compressible mixing layer is investigated numerically using a parallel implementation of Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR) on a Cray C-90. The parallel implementation allowed the flow to be highly resolved while significantly reducing the wall-clock runtime. A sustained computation rate of 5.3 Gigaflops including I/O was obtained for a typical production run on a 16 processor machine. A novel mixing layer configuration is investigated where a pressure mismatch is maintained between the two inlet streams. In addition, the sonic character of the two streams is sufficiently different so that the pressure relief wave is trapped in the high speed stream. The trapped wave forces the mixing layer to form a characteristic cellular pattern. The cellular structure introduces curvature into the mixing layer that excites centrifugal instabilities characterized by large-scale counter-rotating vortical pairs embedded within the mixing layer. These are the dominant feature of the flow. Visualizations of these structures in cross-section show the pumping action which lifts dense fluid up into light gas. This effect has a strong impact on mixing enhancement as monitored by a conserved scalar formulation. Once the large-scale structures axe well established in the flow and undergo intensification from favorable velocity gradients, the time-averaged integrated product shows almost a four-fold increase. A spectral analysis of the flow-field over the cellular structures, as part of a full space-time analysis, shows these structures to be zero-frequency modes that develop from low level essentially broad-banded noise. This characterization of the vortical structures and their appearance is consistent with a recent linear stability analysis, of a mixing layer over a curved wall that predicts the most unstable modes to be zero frequency streamwise vortices.
Date: May 19, 1995
Creator: Greenough, J.A.; Crutchfield, W.Y. & Rendleman, C.A.
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