Mixed Convection Adjacent to 3-D Backward-Facing Step


Results from three-dimensional numerical simulation of laminar, buoyancy assisting, mixed convection airflow adjacent to a backward-facing step in a vertical rectangular duct are presented. The Reynolds number, and duct geometry were kept constant at Re = 200, AR = 8, ER = 2, and S = 1 cm. Heat flux at the wall downstream from the step was kept uniform, but its magnitude was varied to cover a Grashof number (Gr) range between 0.0 to 4000. All the other walls in the duct were kept at adiabatic condition. The flow, upstream of the step, is treated as fully developed and isothermal. The relatively small aspect ratio of the channel is selected specifically to focus on the developments of the three-dimensional mixed convection flow in the separated and reattached flow regions downstream from the step. The presented results focus on the effects of increasing the buoyancy force, by increasing the uniform wall heat flux, on the three-dimensional flow and heat transfer characteristics. The flow and thermal fields are symmetric about the duct's centerline. Vortex generated near the sidewall, is the major contributor to the three dimensional behavior in the flow domain, and that feature increases as the Grashof number increases. Increasing the Grashof number results in an increase in the Nusselt number, the size of the secondary recirculating flow region, the size of the sidewall vortex, and the spanwise flow from the sidewall toward the center of the channel. On the other hand, the size of the primary reattachment region decreases with increasing the Grashof number. That region lifts away and partially detaches from the downstream wall at high Grashof number flow. The maximum Nusselt number occurs near the sidewalls and not at the center of the channel. The effects of the buoyancy force on the distributions of the three-velocity components, temperature, reattachment region, friction coefficient, and Nusselt number are presented, and compared with 2-D results.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

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Article - Conference proceedings

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© 2000 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2000

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