Control of vortex breakdown in a closed cylinder with a rotating lid

Bo Hoffmann Jørgensen, Jens Nørkær Sørensen, Nadine Aubry

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The flow within a closed cylinder with a rotating lid is considered as a prototype for fundamental studies of vortex breakdown. Numerical simulations for various parameter values have been carried out to reproduce the known effect of a thin rotating rod positioned along the center axis as well as analyze the influence of local vorticity sources. As expected, the results show that the breakdown bubbles in the steady axisymmetric flow can be affected dramatically, i.e., fully suppressed or significantly enhanced, by rotating the rod. The main contribution of this article is to show that the observed behavior can be explained by the vorticity generated by the rod locally near the rotating lid and near the fixed lid, as analogous behavior is caused by the introduction of local vorticity sources in the flow without a rod. Moreover, we describe the influence on the breakdown bubbles of the vorticity sources by an analytical model. In addition to improving our understanding, this finding should also open the door to other types of flow control devices capable of generating localized vorticity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTheoretical and Computational Fluid Dynamics
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)483-496
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Vortex breakdown suppression
  • Flow control
  • Rotating flow
  • Laminar flows in cavities


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