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Turbulent flow through 90° pipe bends, for four different curvatures, has been investigated using large eddy simulations. In particular, the origin of the so-called swirl switching phenomenon, which is a large scale oscillation of the flow after the bend, has been studied for different bend curvature ratios. A classification of the phenomenon into a high and a low frequency switching, with two distinct physical origins, is proposed. While the high frequency switching stems from modes formed at the bend, and becomes increasingly important for sharp curvatures, the low frequency switching originates from very-large-scale motions created in the upstream pipe flow.


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