Supervisor: Dr Nicholas Bojdo
The aim of this project is to design an experiment to investigate the flowfield and subsequent efficiency of vortex tube particle separators. Vortex tube separators are fitted to the air intakes of helicopter engines to remove potentially harmful sand and dust from the influent air. They work by swirling the air, thus centrifuging the particulate to the tube’s periphery. A peripheral scavenge flow then ejects the outermost particulate-laden air to the outside, while the cleaner inner ‘core’ air continues to the engine. Their efficiency is a fine balance between minimising pressure loss and mass flow loss, while achieving high removal efficiency through intricate and optimised helix design. This project will focus on setting up an experiment to test these variables. It will include the use of rapid prototyping, CAD, and experimental instrumentation.
Skills: Experimental techniques, fluid mechanics, CAD, 3D printing, gas turbines.
Fig: 1 1: cutaway of Vortex Tube Separator
Fig: 2: Vortex Tube Separator Array fitted to helicopter engine intake