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On the drag of turbulent vortex rings

  • L. Gan (a1), J. R. Dawson (a1) and T. B. Nickels (a1)


In this paper the pressure field during the early development of turbulent vortex rings at two Reynolds numbers is determined using temporally resolved two-dimensional and stereoscopic particle image velocimetry (PIV). The pressure gradient terms are obtained by solving the incompressible Euler equation so that the drag coefficients of the vortex rings can be evaluated. Maxworthy (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 64, 1974, pp. 227–239) and Glezer & Coles (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 211, 1990, pp. 243–283) each developed models to describe the long-term physics of turbulent vortex rings: the former developed a semi-empirical model which permits loss of impulse via the shedding of vorticity into the wake whereas the latter developed a similarity model based on invariance of the hydrodynamic impulse. Maxworthy’s model implies that a significant correction to the similarity solution is required to account for the drag on the vortex ring bubble. We show that during the early development of the turbulent vortex rings the drag is very small and the similarity scaling can basically be retained.


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