Improving the efficiency of 'Clean-In-Place' procedures using a four-lobed swirl pipe: A numerical investigation

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


This paper presents a computational fluid dynamics model of the swirl flow that is induced in a fluid flow passing through a horizontally mounted optimized four-lobed swirl pipe. Tangential velocity, swirl type, swirl intensity and its decay rate of the swirl flow are investigated in flows with various inlet velocities. Special attention is paid to the potential of the swirl flow on improving 'Clean-In-Place' efficiency by increasing wall shear stress downstream of the swirl pipe. It was found that the swirl pipe induces a tangential wall shear stress on the pipe downstream and its value and variation are dependent on swirl intensity. A swirl pipe also slightly increases axial wall shear stress; however axial wall shear stress is mainly proportional to the fluid Reynolds number. Wall shear stress along the pipe circumference forms a wave-like distribution, which is attributed to the four-lobed cross-section of the swirl pipe, with the gap between peak and valley being more obvious at circumferences close to the swirl pipe exit. The mean shear stress exerted on the pipe wall downstream of the swirl pipe increases due to the presence of swirl, with the increase in value and distance more obvious in flows with a larger Reynolds number. The numerical results indicate that the swirl pipe may locally improve efficiency of 'Clean-In-Place' procedures without increasing inlet velocity, thus reducing downtime and costs for cleaning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-128
Number of pages13
JournalComputers and Fluids
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2015


  • CFD
  • Clean-In-Place efficiency
  • Swirl flow
  • Swirl intensity
  • Wall shear stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (all)
  • Engineering (all)


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