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Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering http://pid.sagepub.


Investigation of swirl meter performance

D M Heim and J B Ghandhi Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering 2011 225: 1067 originally published online 15 June 2011 DOI: 10.1177/0954407011404763 The online version of this article can be found at:

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Investigation of swirl meter performance

D M Heim and J B Ghandhi* Engine Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin, USA The manuscript was received on 17 December 2010 and was accepted after revision for publication on 3 March 2011. DOI: 10.1177/0954407011404763

Abstract: The performance of vane- and impulse-type swirl meters was investigated, and a direct calibration method for swirl meters was developed. The zero-swirl bias of the meters was tested by installing an axially aligned tube on the swirl meter. Both the vane- and impulse-type meters showed insignificant zero-swirl bias. A known swirl was provided to the swirl meters using an offset, inclined tube arrangement. The angular momentum flux delivered by this system was found to depend linearly on the product of the offset distance and cosine of the inclination angle. Both the impulse- and vane-type meters were found to give measurements below the known swirl value, but both meters gave results that were linearly dependent on the angular momentum flux, which allows characterization of the meters efficiency with a single parameter. The efficiency of the impulse-type meter varied from 0.7 to 0.93, was a moderate function of the flow straightener aspect ratio, and depended slightly on the meter size. The vane-type meters efficiency was 0.320.45 for the conditions tested, was insensitive to the paddle wheel flow straightener aspect ratio, and depended significantly on the meter size. The vane-type meter measurements were also found to depend on the paddleto-bore-diameter ratio; values slightly exceeding unity should be used. The swirl meter efficiency can be used to correct measurements to an absolute basis. Based on these findings, a universal correction factor does not exist, and a given measuring device will need to be calibrated using the methodology described. Keywords: swirl characterization, in-cylinder engine flow, port flow


The combustion rate in an internal combustion engine has long been understood to depend on the in-cylinder mixture turbulence and the turbulence is, in turn, directly influenced by large-scale flow structures such as swirl and tumble. It has been shown that higher levels of swirl produce higher levels of turbulence and lower cyclic variation [1]. Thus, the level of swirl produced in an engine can directly affect engine performance, cycle-to-cycle variability, and emissions. Therefore, being able to measure accurately and easily the swirl characteristics produced by an engine head is of great importance.
*Corresponding author: Engine Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1500 W. Engineering Dr., Madison, WI 53706, USA. email:

As early as 1934, Alcock [2] described using an incylinder rotating vane to measure an optimal swirl ratio that gave the best performance for a given engine. These studies, however, required special engine heads to accommodate placement of the vane inside the cylinder and eliminate obstructions due to poppet valves and injectors. Steady flow tests with a vane-type meter subsequently replaced the in-cylinder rotating vane measurements, and have been used for decades. Fitzgeorge and Allison [3] measured swirl speed using a two-bladed impeller inside a flow rig cylinder. They adjusted the axial distance between the impeller and engine head and found the impeller speed was a maximum when this distance was 1.4 times the cylinder bore diameter. They also used the steady swirl results to try to predict the swirl in an actual engine. Jones [4] measured swirl speed using a straight-bladed anemometer inside the flow rig cylinder and Watts and Scott [5] used a
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rectangular-shaped vane in their flow rig cylinder and noted the form of the vane had little influence on the measured swirl. Tindal and Williams [6] studied the air flow patterns in a steady-flow rig using light paper flags and a vane anemometer to measure swirl speed. They simulated the presence of a piston in the cylinder by inserting a restrictor plate into the flow rig liner at two bore diameters away from the cylinder head and found that it caused the axial velocity to assume a more regular pattern, which resulted in an increase in measured swirl. Tippelmann [7] set forth the idea of using an impulse-type swirl meter with a flow straightener that converted the angular momentum into a measurable torque. Uzkan et al. [8] described their impulse-type meter having a honeycomb with small cells and large aspect ratio capable of straightening the swirling flow completely. They also note that the honeycomb should not be inserted into the rig cylinder (as in references [7] and [9]), but should lie below it with a larger diameter to eliminate air blow-by. Swirl measurements were made using different head-to-honeycomb distances. A monotonic decrease in measured torque with increasing distance was observed and attributed to cylinder wall friction. They estimated the rate at which the angular momentum decays is on the order of 10 per cent per cylinder diameter of axial distance. A number of studies have made comparisons between vane-type and impulse-type meters and in general conclude that vane-type meters provide lower swirl coefficients than impulse-type meters. Tippelmann [7] showed that the readings from a vane-type anemometer were too small and varied in magnitude compared with the impulse-type meter. Monaghan and Pettifer [10] calculated swirl ratios for four different types of ports using both vane-type and impulse-type meters. Swirl ratios using the impulse-type meter were generally 30 per cent greater than those using the vane-type meter. Stone and Ladommatos [11] took cylinder head swirl measurements using both a paddle wheel anemometer and impulse-type meter and also concluded that the paddle wheel results fell below those of the impulse-type torque meter. Snauwaert and Sierens [12] acquired steady rig swirl measurements with a paddle wheel anemometer, impulse-type meter and a laser Doppler velocimeter (LDV) to show that different flow patterns produced over the range of intake valve lift have varying effects on measurement accuracy. Tanabe et al. [13] tested the same sized honeycomb using a vane wheel anemometer and impulse-type meter. The vane wheel anemometer gave swirl numbers below those of the impulse-type meter, where the level of difference
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depended on port type and valve lift. At the maximum valve lift the swirl numbers from the vane wheel anemometer all tended to be about 0.8 times as large as those calculated using the impulse-type meter. There have been limited published results on the effect of flow straightener and paddle wheel geometry on measurement accuracy. In one such study, Tanabe et al. [13] tested honeycomb flow straighteners with cell sizes of 3.2 and 6.4 mm and heights of 10, 20, and 30 mm. They first measured the drag coefficients of the flow straighteners with steady axial flow. Swirl numbers were then measured with an impulse-type meter for three different cylinder head port types at maximum valve lift. They found that the flow straighteners with smaller drag coefficients tended to measure higher swirl numbers, but the differences varied with valve lift. Several investigators have made LDV measurements to compare with steady-flow measurements. Monaghan and Pettifer [10] took LDV measurements in the steady-flow device to show how both vane-type and impulse-type meters affect the axial and radial velocity profiles in the swirl rig. The axial flow was shown to be highly non-uniform and higher towards the outer part of the cylinder. This discredited the assumption of uniform axial velocity inherent in the use of the vane-type swirl meter calculations, which leads to an underestimation of calculated angular momentum. Kent et al. [14] made LDV measurements in a motored engine, then integrated the results to find the mean swirl at the end of induction. The results were approximately 15 per cent higher than predicted by the impulse-type swirl meter, but they found their predictions of incylinder swirl based on steady-flow angular momentum flux measurements to be in trendwise agreement with the LDV measurements in the motored engine. In the current investigation, two geometrically identical engine heads have been built to study the speed- and size-scaling relationships of engine flows. The length scale ratio between the engine heads of this study is 1.69. Geometrically similar engine heads should produce similar levels of swirl when appropriately non-dimensionalized. In order to span a wide range of in-cylinder conditions, the heads are fitted with both normal and shrouded intake valves. The first step in ensuring the flow similarity of the heads was to perform steady-flow measurements. These measurements, which span a wide dynamic range in swirl level, brought to light several features of steady-flow swirl measurements that needed to be resolved in order to assess the flow similarity between the scaled engine heads. Vane- and impulse-type meters have been tested,

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and an absolute calibration methodology has been established in order to compare the results confidently from the different sized heads.


Testing was performed using a SuperFlow 600 flow bench. The flow bench pulls air into the machine with a prescribed pressure drop across an attached test section ranging from 0.25 to 12 kPa (1 to 48 in H2O). The volumetric flowrate was found from the pressure drop across a calibrated orifice inside the flow bench using an inclined manometer. The density of the air was calculated from temperature and humidity data acquired using a Mannix model J411TH digital hygro thermometer, and the barometric pressure was measured using a Heise model CM dial pressure gauge. The engine heads were tested at the industry-standard pressure drop of 7 kPa (28 in H2O). The steady-flow swirl testing was performed using a different swirl adapter fixture for each size of engine head (see Fig. 1 and Table 1). Hereafter, the two engine heads and associated components will be referred to as small for the smaller engine and large for the larger engine. The swirl adapter fixtures, which have H/B = 1.5, are installed between the cylinder head and the swirl meter. The valve lift was adjusted using a modified micrometer that mounted to the engine head. Intake horns, with radii of curvature large enough to minimize the pressure drop at the inlet to the intake ports, were connected to the entrance of the intake ports. The bore diameters of the swirl adapter fixtures were the same as the engine cylinder bore. Table 1 gives the relevant dimensions of the engine heads and

swirl adapter fixtures used with both vane-type and impulse-type swirl meters. The vane-type swirl meter used for this study was an Audie Technology paddle-style swirl meter. The meter featured a honeycomb paddle wheel made of polycarbonate plastic with tubular cells. The outer diameter of the paddle featured a smooth, thin polycarbonate sheet wrapped around the honeycomb to form a continuous cylinder-like shape. The swirl meter provided an electronic output of two pulses per revolution, which are also used to determine both the direction of rotation and the rotation rate with the addition of an HP model 5315A universal counter; for all testing, data were collected and averaged over a 40 s period to obtain the mean rotation rate of the paddle. The relevant dimensions of the paddle meter are provided in Table 1. Two impulse-type swirl meters were used for this study. Tests were first conducted using the impulsetype meter from the study by Bottom [15]. This will be referred to as the first impulse-type meter. In this meter, a polycarbonate shaft is fixed on one end and the other end is attached to a honeycomb flow straightener consisting of an aluminium honeycomb matrix (see Table 1 for dimensions). The shaft was instrumented with two Vishay/Micro-Measurements torsional strain gauges located 180 apart. The shaft was designed to deform elastically for low angular momentum flows. An Omega DMD-465 strain-gauge amplifier provided the excitation voltage for the strain gauges and a data acquisition system recorded the instantaneous voltage at a rate of 10 Hz. Data were collected and averaged over a 40 s period to obtain the mean voltage (torque). A second impulse-type meter was used for this study, henceforth referred to as the second

Fig. 1 (a) Vane-type swirl meter test set-up; (b) impulse-type torque meter test set-up
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Table 1 Relevant dimensions of the engine heads, swirl adapters, vane-type meter, and first impulse-type meter
Dimensions (mm) Parameter B H D Lmax DP HP DI HI Paddle honeycomb cell diameter, dP First impulse torque honeycomb cell size Large engine head 82.0 123.0 35.0 7.9 132.0 15.9 165.0 64.0 3.7 6.4 Small engine head 48.6 72.8 20.7 4.7

lifts over the range of the cam profile, and are reported as a function of L/D, where L is the valve lift and D is the valve inner seat diameter. The flow coefficient is a measure of the actual mass flowrate to a theoretical mass flowrate and is defined as Cf = _ m rVB Av (1)

_ where m is the air mass flowrate, r is the upstream air density, AV is the valve inner seat area, and VB is the Bernoulli velocity given by s 2DP VB = r (2)

impulse-type meter. In this meter, a Transducer Techniques RTS-5 torque sensor was secured at the bottom and, similarly to the first impulse-type meter, a shaft was attached at one end to the sensor and on the other end to a honeycomb flow straightener. The honeycomb was made of the same material and tubular structure as used in the vane-type meter. The design of the second impulse-type meter allowed different honeycomb flow straighteners to be easily tested. A Daytronic model 3270 strain gauge conditioner/indicator provided the excitation voltage for the torque sensor and the same data acquisition system recorded the instantaneous voltage at a rate of 10 Hz. Dimensions of the honeycomb flow straightener will be discussed in a later section. Both impulse-type meters were calibrated by applying a set of known torques to the centre of the honeycomb flow straightener. For each applied torque, a corresponding voltage was recorded. Before and after each applied torque, the zero-torque voltage was recorded and averaged. The average zero-torque voltage was subtracted from the appliedtorque voltage to obtain the voltage difference. The voltage difference was plotted against the applied torques to determine a linear calibration curve. Calibration data were collected for counterclockwise torques applied to the honeycomb flow straightener. 3 FLOW PARAMETERS

where DP is the pressure drop across the test section. The incompressible relation for velocity is sufficient at the 7 kPa pressure drop, i.e. the Mach number is 0.32, but for higher pressure drops a compressible form of the velocity should be used. The swirl coefficient, Cs, is a characteristic nondimensional rotation rate and is calculated for vanetype meters using Cs = vB VB (3)

where v is the vane or paddle wheel angular velocity and B is the cylinder bore. For impulse-type swirl meters, the swirl coefficient is calculated from Cs = 8T _ BB mV (4)

where T is the torque measured by the meter. The swirl ratio, Rs, is a convenient single metric that takes into account the flow and swirl coefficients over the entire lift profile of the engine. The swirl ratio is calculated as

ph2 BS v Rs = 4AV

Cf Cs du !2 Cf du (5)


The flow parameters that will be used to characterize the engine heads are the flow coefficient, Cf, the swirl coefficient, Cs, and the swirl ratio, Rs. The flow and swirl coefficients are measured at discrete valve

where hv is the volumetric efficiency, assumed equal to 1 for all calculations, uIVO and uIVC are the crank angle (rad), at intake valve open and intake valve closed, respectively, and S is the engine stroke. A full derivation of the swirl coefficient and swirl ratio can be found in Appendix 2.

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0.2 0.0 -0.2 Cs -0.4 -0.6 -0.8 -1.0 Impulse Meter Vane Meter open symbol - small head filled symbol - large head 0.00 0.05 0.10 L/D 0.15 0.20 0.25

Initial swirl measurements on the geometrically similar heads were performed using the first impulse-type meter. The study included using both standard and shrouded intake valves, where an 180 shroud was used to produce higher levels of swirl. The flowrate data indicated that the mass flowrate was well scaled between the two heads, i.e. a certain level of similarity had been achieved. From equation (4) it can be seen that for a constant pressure drop (VB) the torque will scale as the swirl coefficient and a characteristic length to the third power. Based on the 1.69 scale ratio, and assuming a worst-case scenario of a swirl ratio of 3 for the large head with the shrouded valve and a swirl ratio of 0.15 for the small head with a standard valve (a 20:1 ratio of Cs), a 96: 1 ratio of torque is obtained. Thus, a measurement device with a very high dynamic range is required to cover the entire test range of interest. It was desired to have a precision of 1 per cent (a 100: 1 signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio) in the measurements. The S/N ratio was calculated based on the variability in the measured torque over the 40 s integration period. For both heads fitted with the shrouded valves, the precision criterion was achieved by L/D~0.07. For the unshrouded valve cases, at the maximum valve lift the criterion was just satisfied for the large head, but for the small head the peak S/N ratio was 25: 1 over all L/D. These results motivated the investigation of a vane-type meter because, intrinsically, a rotation rate is easier to measure with a wide dynamic range. Figure 2 shows the swirl coefficients for both heads with the shrouded valves as a function of L/D measured with both the first impulse-type meter and the vane-type meter. This condition was chosen because of the high S/N achieved with the first impulse-type meter. The impulse meter results show a good degree of similarity the resulting swirl ratios were 2.65 and 2.75 for the large and small heads, respectively. In contrast, the vane-type meter results showed two disturbing features. First, the measurements for both heads differed from the impulse meter results. Second, the results for the two heads differed quite significantly from each other; the swirl ratio was 0.57 for the small head and 1.13 for the large head. The former problem is an issue of absolute accuracy, which will be discussed below, but the latter is an issue of the operation of the vanetype meter and is discussed here. Owing to the difference in the diameters of the two swirl adapter fixtures, it was thought that there

Fig. 2 Initial measurements of swirl coefficient using the first impulse-type meter and the vane-type meters with the standard rotor. The measurements are for the shrouded valves

might be a difference in air frictional losses from the paddle outside the cylinder bore (the same sized paddle was used for both heads). The portion of the paddle outside the cylinder would experience air friction tending to retard the motion of the paddle, which is consistent with the lower Cs measured for the small head. In order to test the effect of air frictional losses on the rotational speed of the paddle, custom paddles were fabricated of the same honeycomb material and geometry as the original paddle wheel, but with a smaller paddle diameter, DP. For both the small and large heads, the ratio of the paddle diameter to the swirl adapter fixture, DP/B, was set to 1.2. Figure 3 shows the results of the constant DP/B tests for the same conditions as Fig. 2. It can be seen that by controlling DP/B the differences between the two vane-type meter measurements have been eliminated, and it may be concluded that self-similarity has been achieved. It is also possible that the gap between the paddle and bore adapter affected the friction, but this was not expressly tested. There are, however, still differences in the absolute value of swirl coefficient between the impulse- and vane-type meter measurements.


The wide dynamic range required for these experiments suggests that more than one swirl meter may be needed. However, based on the initial measurements it is clear that using a vane-type meter for the low range and an impulse-type meter for the high
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0.2 0.0 -0.2 Cs -0.4 -0.6 -0.8 -1.0 Impulse Meter Vane Meter open symbol - small head filled symbol - large head 0.00 0.05 0.10 L/D 0.15 0.20 0.25

5.2 Known swirl reference The second fixture is a known swirl reference and is shown in Fig. 4(b) with the relevant dimensions given in Table 2. The known swirl reference features a tube with its axis offset from the swirl adapter fixture axis and a flat plate that secures to the top of the swirl adapter fixture. The tube is installed in the flat plate at an inclination angle uR relative to the horizontal. Again, a flow straightener was installed at the inlet of the tube. For a given geometry (R2 and uR), it can be shown (see Appendix 3) that the angled-tube geometry provides a constant value of Cs; the correlation for any geometry is provided in Appendix 3. Thus, using equation (4), T can be found, or combining equations (3) and (4), a measured v can be used to find an equivalent torque, Teq, as a function of the measured velocity V, which is determined from the volume flowrate and pipe area and is used in place of the Bernoulli velocity. In the subsequent plots, the term angular momentum flux will be used, which is equivalent to T (see equation (6) in Appendix 2). Figure 5 shows the results of the angled-tube calibrations of the vane- and impulse-type swirl meters for both the large and small fixtures (the second impulse-type meter was used for these measurements). For the vane meter measurements DP/ B = 1.2 was used, and for all cases the cell aspect ratio (HI/dI or HP/dP) was 4.3. Both measurement techniques show excellent linearity with respect to the angular momentum flux, but there is not a 1: 1 correspondence between the measured (or derived in the case of the vane meter) torque and the inlet angular momentum flux. The high degree of linearity indicates that a single conversion efficiency can be used to describe the performance of the swirl meters, and this efficiency is the slope of the lines in Fig. 5. For the data in Fig. 5, the efficiency ranges from 0.90 for the large fixture using the impulsetype meter, to 0.32 for the small fixture using the vane-type meter. From Fig. 5 it is clear that the conversion efficiency is a function of the meter type and the fixture size. The impulse-type meter gives results that are larger in magnitude than the vanetype meters by nearly a factor of two, and the impulse-meter results are closer to, but still less than, the correct value. For the data in Fig. 5, the smaller fixture gave higher results for both meters. The effect of the flow straightener or vane cell size was measured using polycarbonate honeycombs having a tubular geometry. The honeycomb cell diameters tested were 6.4 and 3.7 mm. For the vane-type meter DP/B was again set to 1.2 to minimize the frictional losses, and the honeycomb height was limited

Fig. 3 Swirl coefficient using the paddles with Dp/ B = 1.2 for the vane-type swirl meter. The impulse-type meter measurements are the same as Fig. 2

range is not a good option unless an absolute reference can be established against which both meters can be calibrated. There are two aspects to an absolute calibration, establishing a zero point and determining the constant of proportionality (assuming a linear dependence). Additionally, it is useful to monitor the long-term performance of a flow bench, and the apparatus that has been developed for calibration can also be used for this.

5.1 Zero-swirl reference A zero-swirl reference fixture is shown in Fig. 4(a) with the relevant dimensions given in Table 2. The zero-swirl reference features a tube that is coaxial with the swirl adapter fixture and a flat plate that secures to the top of the swirl adapter fixture. A flow straightener was installed at the inlet of the tube in order to help ensure a uniform incoming flow. Tests were performed at flowrates corresponding to a pressure drop of 28 in H2O across the test section. The data from the impulse meter showed a small torque offset in comparison to a zero-flow condition. Converting this into an equivalent swirl coefficient based on the measured flowrate, the maximum value was Cs = 0.024, which is small in comparison with typical values of Cs, even with the unshrouded valve. The paddle meter results were more difficult to quantify because the paddle was essentially stationary, changing position erratically but not rotating. It is sufficient to say that both swirl meters were robust relative to a zero-swirl bias.
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Fig. 4 Calibration devices for establishing (a) a zero-swirl reference and (b) a known swirl condition

Table 2 Dimensions of the vertical and angled reference standards

Parameter uR SR DR LR Dimensions Vertical reference, 90 Angled reference, 45 127.0 mm 19.0 mm 445.0 mm

to 15.9 mm (Hp/dp = 4.3) by the meter design. For the impulse-type meter longer honeycombs were tested, up to HI/dI = 17, and a fixed straightener diameter of DI = 104 mm was used. The cell geometry results are shown in Fig. 6. The vane-type meter (Fig. 6(a)), showed a weak sensitivity to the cell geometry, but as was seen in Fig. 5 the conversion efficiency is poor. For the large fixture, the conversion efficiency was ~0.32 and for the small fixture it was ~0.44. The lower conversion efficiency for the large fixture could be due to friction at the hub, which would be greater for the larger vane size, or from slip between the air and the paddle. If air slip was causing the low conversion efficiency, it might be expected that the higher HP/dP cases would perform better, which was not the case. The impulse-type meter showed a stronger sensitivity to the flow straightener geometry, with the conversion efficiency decreasing with increasing aspect ratio of the honeycomb. This result agrees with the

Fig. 5 Impulse- and vane-type meter responses to a known angular momentum flux produced from the angled tube for the small and large fixture. For all cases a cell height-to-length ratio of 4.3 was used

findings of Tanabe et al. [13]. In comparison with the vane-type meter, the conversion efficiency of the impulse-type meter is significantly larger, but differences exist between the two fixture sizes and the magnitude of the conversion efficiency can be as low as 0.7. Thus, the results from an impulse-style meter

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D M Heim and J B Ghandhi

Fig. 6 Swirl conversion efficiency as a function of the cell aspect ratio for (a) the vane-type meter and (b) the impulse-type meter

Fig. 7 Raw and corrected swirl coefficient data for (a) a shrouded valve and (b) an unshrouded valve and the large head

will underpredict the true level of swirl. It is possible that the losses in the H/B = 1.5 cylinder diameter tube could account for some of the underprediction seen with the impulse-type meter.


The swirl meter efficiency, such as those found in Figs 5 and 6, can be used to correct measurements to an absolute basis, and for the current study to remove size-dependent measurement artefacts. The correction procedure simply involves dividing the measured torque by the efficiency factor determined using the angled-tube measurements. Figures 7(a) and (b) show both uncorrected and corrected data for the vane- and impulse-type swirl meters acquired using the large head. The data are shown using the same axis range to highlight the
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dynamic range of the measurements. The vane-type measurements were made with Hp/dp = 4.3 and the impulse-meter measurements were made with HI/ dI = 1.4. Similar to the results of Fig. 3, the uncorrected vane-type meter results are approximately a factor of two lower in magnitude for the shrouded valve case (Fig. 7(a)). After correction, this difference is significantly reduced, and the vane-type meter measurements slightly exceed the impulse-type measurements. The unshrouded valve data, which exhibit very low values of Cs, are slightly overcorrected, but since the swirl level is not very significant, this is not too problematic.


A methodology to measure the absolute performance of swirl meters was developed. An axial tube

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arrangement was employed to determine the zeroswirl performance of a meter. Both the vane- and impulse-type meters tested showed insignificant zero-swirl bias. An offset, angled-tube arrangement was developed to measure swirl meter performance against a known swirl reference. The swirl coefficient for the angled-tube geometry was found to be a linear function of the product of the offset distance and the cosine of the inclination angle. Impulse-type swirl meters were found to give measured results closer in magnitude to the known swirl level than vane-type meters; both meter types showed a linear dependence on the input angular momentum flux, allowing calibration using a single coefficient. The absolute efficiency of the impulsetype meter was found to be a function of its physical size, and of the geometry of the flow straightener used, with lower cell aspect ratios giving higher efficiency. Vane-type meters were found to be sensitive to the paddle-to-bore-diameter ratio; higher values of Dp/B give lower measured swirl coefficient due to excess friction. The efficiency of the vane-type meter was found to be insensitive to the paddle cell aspect ratio, but was sensitive to the physical size of the meter, even with a constant Dp/B.

7 Tippelmann, G. A new method of investigation of swirl ports. SAE paper 770404, 1977. 8 Uzkan, T., Borgnakke, C., and Morel, T. Characterization of flow produced by a high-swirl inlet port. SAE paper 830266, 1983. 9 Davis, G. and Kent, J. Comparison of model calculations and experimental measurements of the bulk cylinder flow processes in a motored PROCO engine. SAE paper 790290, 1979. 10 Monaghan, M. and Pettifer, H. Air motion and its effect on diesel performance and emissions. SAE paper 810255, 1981. 11 Stone, C. and Ladommatos, N. The measurement and analysis of swirl in steady flow. SAE paper 921642, 1992. 12 Snauwaert, P. and Sierens, R. Experimental study of the swirl motion in direct injection diesel engines under steady-state flow conditions (by LDA). SAE paper 860026, 1986. 13 Tanabe, S., Iwata, H., and Kashiwada, Y. On characteristics of impulse swirl meter. Trans. Jap. Soc. Mech. Engrs, Ser. B, 1994, 60(571), 10541060. 14 Kent, J., Haghgooie, M., Mikulec, A., Davis, G., and Tabaczynski, R. Effects of intake port design and valve lift on in-cylinder flow and burnrate. SAE paper 872153, 1987. 15 Bottom, K. PIV measurements of in-cylinder flow and correlation with engine performance. PhD Thesis, University of WisconsinMadison, Wisconsin, USA, 2003.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Support for this work was provided by the Wisconsin Small Engine Consortium. The authors special thanks are extended to D. Kilian for designing the new impulse-type meter and for his help in data collection. Authors 2011 APPENDIX Notation Av B Cf Cs dI dP D DI DP DR H HI HP L Lmax LR _ m P valve inner seat area swirl adapter fixture bore flow coefficient swirl coefficient diameter of impulse torque meter honeycomb cells diameter of paddle meter honeycomb cells inner seat diameter diameter of impulse torque meter honeycomb flow rectifier diameter of paddle meter paddle wheel diameter of reference standard tubes height of swirl adapter fixture height of impulse torque meter honeycomb flow rectifier height of paddle meter paddle wheel valve lift peak valve lift calibration tube length mass flowrate of air pressure 1

1 Bracco, F. Structure of flames in premixed-charge IC engines. Combust. Sci. Technol., 1988, 58, 209 230. 2 Alcock, J. Air swirl in oil engines. Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs, 1934, 128, 123193. 3 Fitzgeorge, D. and Allison, J. Air swirl in a roadvehicle diesel engine. Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs, 19621963, 4, 151177. 4 Jones, P. Induction system development for highperformance direct-injection engines. Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs, 19651966, 180(Part 3N), 4252. 5 Watts, R. and Scott, W. Air motion and fuel distribution requirements in high-speed direct injection diesel engines. Proc. Instn Mech. Engrs, 19691970, 184(Part 3J), 181191. 6 Tindal, M. and Williams, T. An investigation of cylinder gas motion in the direct injection diesel engine. SAE paper 770405, 1977.

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Rs R1 R2 S S/N SR T Teq V VB hv uIVC uIVO uR r v

swirl ratio radius of angled reference standard tube angled reference standard offset from the centre-line of the cylinder bore engine piston stroke signal-to-noise ratio flow straightener length measured torque equivalent torque measured velocity Bernoulli velocity volumetric efficiency crank angle at intake valve closed crank angle at intake valve open angle of reference tube density of air paddle wheel angular velocity 2

2 3 4 r3v rd85 + rvurv dA 0= t

8 S1


The second term on the right-hand side is just Tz using equation (6), and by assuming a quasi-steady filling process for an initially empty cylinder, equation (9) may be integrated to find

r3v rd8 =


Tz dt


Assuming that the cylinder contents have a solidbody rotation at O at the time of intake valve closure, and that the engine rotation rate is Oeng, then the swirl ratio is found as Rs [ O 32 = Oeng rpSB4 O2 eng uIVC


Tz du


Swirl coefficient and swirl ratio determination Consider a cylinder closed at one end and open at the other end. Fluid enters the cylinder through some arbitrary surface S1 on the closed end, and flows uniformly (in the axial direction) out of the open end of the cylinder. If the exit plane contains a flow-straightening device such that the exit flow is purely in the axial direction, then the torque required to hold the flow straightener is found from the conservation of angular momentum as Tz =

Substituting for Tz from (8) and collecting in terms of Cf, the following is found
2 4VB Aref Rs = pSB3 O2 eng


Cf Cs du


Where Aref is the reference area used to define Cf. In order to remove the engine speed from the denominator of equation (12), the following is noted uIVC

rvurv dA


Cf du =

Oeng rVB Aref


_ mdt


If instead, the flow exits the open end of the cylinder with a solid-body rotation at rotational rate v, then using angular momentum conservation the rotation rate can be written in terms of Tz from equation (6) as v= 8Tz _ mB2 (7)

and that the rightmost integral is just the mass delivered per cycle. Assuming that the swept volume is close to the total cylinder volume, and using the volumetric efficiency, hv, the following is found Oeng = 4VB Aref hv pB2 S uIVC

Cf du


The swirl coefficient is defined as v normalized by a characteristic rotation rate VB/B, which using equation (7) gives Cs = 8Tz _ mVB B (8)

Introducing equation (14) into equation (12), the following is found uIVC h2 pSB uIVO Cf Cs du v Rs =  2 4Aref uIVC Cf du uIVO


The swirl ratio, Rs, is found by considering the unsteady angular momentum conservation for the cylinder
Proc. IMechE Vol. 225 Part D: J. Automobile Engineering

The results presented herein used the inner seat area for Aref, but inspection of equation (15) suggests that if Aref were chosen to be the cylinder

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Investigation of swirl meter performance


cross-sectional area pB2 =4 further simplifications would be achieved.


Known swirl calibration The torque measured by a flow straightener can be written as Tz =

rvurvn dA


where the normal velocity, vn = V cos u, the tangential velocity, vu = V cos u cos a, a is the angle that the differential area element dA makes with the vertical in Fig. 4(b), and V is the measured velocity obtained from the flowrate measurement of the flow bench and the known pipe area. Normalizing all of the dimensions by the cylinder radius (B/2) and denoting dimensionless distances with an overbar,  e.g. R1 = R1 =B=2, and recasting equation (16) in terms of the swirl coefficient, the following is found Cs = 4  sin u cos u p R2 1

Fig. 8 Swirl coefficient dependence on angled tube geometry

  r cos a dA


The integral was evaluated numerically, and the results were found to be independent of tube size

  R1 , linearly dependent on tube offset R2 , and dependent on the cos u. The results can be summarized in the single plot shown in Fig. 8, where a single line that passes through the origin fits all of the data with a slope as shown. These results have been used in conjunction with equation (8) to find the torque as a function of volume flowrate, where V is used in place of VB. Similarly, using equations (7) and (8), it is possible to find the vane rotation rate as a function of volume flowrate.

Proc. IMechE Vol. 225 Part D: J. Automobile Engineering

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