Direct numerical simulation of turbulent liquid metal flow entering a magnetic field
SourceFusion Engineering and Design
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This paper presents direct numerical simulations (DNS) of fully developed turbulent liquid-metal flow in a circular duct entering a magnetic field. The case of a magnetohydrodynamic flow leaving a strong magnetic field has been extensively studied experimentally and numerically owing to its similarity to typical flow configurations appearing in liquid metal blankets of nuclear fusion reactors. Although also relevant to the design of fusion reactor blankets, the flow entering the fringing field of a magnet remains unexplored because its high intricacy precludes any simplification of the governing equations. Indeed, the complexity of the magnetohydrodynamic-turbulence interaction can only be analysed by direct numerical simulations or experiments. With that purpose, this paper addresses the case of a fully developed turbulent flow (Re τ ≈ 520) entering low, intermediate and strong magnetic fields under electrically insulating and poorly conducting walls by means of three-dimensional direct numerical simulations. Purely hydrodynamic computations (without the effect of the magnetic field) reveal an excellent agreement against previous experimental and numerical results. Current MHD results provide a very detailed information of the turbulence decay and reveal new three-dimensional features related to liquid-metal flow entering strong increasing magnetic fields, such as flow instabilities due to the effect of the Lorentz forces within the fringing region at high Ha numbers. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. © 2013 Published by Elsevier B.V.