The formation of counter-rotating vortex pair and the nature of liftoff-reattachment in film-cooling flow

Hao Ming Li, Wahid Ghaly, Ibrahim Hassan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Traditionally, the formation of the Counter-Rotating Vortex Pair (CRVP) has been attributed to three main sources: the jet-mainstream shear layer where the jet meets with the mainstream flow right outside the pipe, the in-tube boundary layer developing along the pipe wall, and the in-tube vortices associated with the tube inlet vorticity; whereas the liftoff-reattachment phenomenon occurring in the main flow along the plate right downstream of the jet has been associated with the jet flow trajectory. The jet-mainstream shear layer has also been demonstrated to be the dominant source of CRVP formation, whereby the shear layer disintegrates into vortex rings that deform as the jet convects downstream, becoming a pair of CRVPs flowing within the jet and eventually turning into the main flow direction. These traditional findings are assessed qualitatively and quantitatively for film-cooling flow in gas turbines by simulating numerically the flow and evaluating the extent to which the traditional flow phenomena are taking place particularly for CRVP and for flow liftoff-reattachment. To this end, three flow simulation cases are used; they are referred to as 1-the baseline case; 2-the free-slip in-tube wall case (FSIT); and 3-the unsteady flow case. The baseline case is a typical film-cooling case. The FSIT case is used to assess the in-tube boundary layer. Cases 1 and 2 are simulated using the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations (RANS), whereas Case 3 solves a Detached Eddy Simulation (DES) model. It is concluded that decreasing the strength of the CRVP, which is the case for e.g., shaped holes, provides high cooling performance, and the liftoff-reattachment phenomenon was thus found to be strongly influenced by the entrainment caused by the CRVP, rather than the jet flow trajectory. These interpretations of the flow physics that are more relevant to gas turbine cooling flow are new and provide a physics-based guideline for designing new film-cooling schemes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016



  • Counter-rotating vortex pair
  • CRVP formation
  • Liftoff
  • Reattachment
  • Source

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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