• An experimental study on the interaction of coaxial and co-rotating vortex rings

      Satti, Jagannadha Reddy (2012-05)
      The study investigated the role of formation time, Reynolds Number, and non-dimensional frequency number, the three most significant parameters in the dynamics of vortex rings, in the interaction between co-axial and co-rotating vortex rings and in the ring behaviors of merging and leapfrogging. To generate and investigate vortex rings with the required characteristics, two laminar vortex rings were generated consecutively from a piston-cylinder apparatus such that the rings propagated in the same direction and that the spatial separation between them decreased until they began merging. Using digital particle image velocimetry to measure the flow fields as well as the trajectory and circulation of the individual rings, a series of experiments were conducted at three formation times, with the experiments at each formation time repeated at different Reynolds Numbers, and the experiments at each Reynolds Number in turn repeated at different non-dimensional frequency numbers. The results indicate that at low Reynolds Numbers, the total circulation in the flow is relatively constant before and after the rings merge. However, at high Reynolds Numbers, the total circulation begins rapidly decreasing upon the contact of two vortex ring cores, indicating a transition to a turbulent vortex ring during merging, before stabilizing at a lower level, indicating that the merged ring has transitioned back to a laminar vortex ring after shedding some circulation.