• cyclone separators;
  • swirl tubes in parallel;
  • separation efficiency;
  • gas purification;
  • aerosols


The results obtained by performance tests and flow visualization in a model swirl deck, containing 8 reverse-flow swirl tubes working in parallel being charged from and discharging to common plenums. Various features specific to such arrangements, such as the phenomenon of cross-talk, where flow from one tube to the other takes place in the dust collection plenum, are discussed in light of the results. The performance of the deck is compared to that of a single geometrically similar tube by Stokesian scaling. This comparison shows that the performance of this deck is not seriously reduced by effects such as cross-talk. The appearance of dancing rings in the tubes reveal the presence of the end of the vortex in the tubes, a fact that impacts the phenomenon of cross-talk. The end of the vortex was further studied using high-time-resolution pressure sensors. The flowpattern in the dust plenum was studied using neutral density tracers with normal and high-speed photography. The impact of various modifications to the deck, such as artificially roughening a tube, reducing the volume of the dust plenum to exacerbate cross-talk, and lengthening the individual tubes to improve separation performance are discussed. © 2007 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2007