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Numerical Investigation of the Thermal Separation in a Vortex Tube

Authors: N.Pourmahmoud, S.Akhesmeh


This work has been carried out in order to provide an understanding of the physical behaviors of the flow variation of pressure and temperature in a vortex tube. A computational fluid dynamics model is used to predict the flow fields and the associated temperature separation within a Ranque–Hilsch vortex tube. The CFD model is a steady axisymmetric model (with swirl) that utilizes the standard k-ε turbulence model. The second–order numerical schemes, was used to carry out all the computations. Vortex tube with a circumferential inlet stream and an axial (cold) outlet stream and a circumferential (hot) outlet stream was considered. Performance curves (temperature separation versus cold outlet mass fraction) were obtained for a specific vortex tube with a given inlet mass flow rate. Simulations have been carried out for varying amounts of cold outlet mass flow rates. The model results have a good agreement with experimental data.

Keywords: Ranque–Hilsch vortex tube, Temperature separation, k–ε model, cold mass fraction.

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