Institute of Fluid Dynamics
The institute is conducting basic and applied research in the fields of thermo-fluid dynamics and magnetohydrodynamics in order to improve the sustainability, the energy efficiency and the safety of industrial processes. The topics are embedded in the research field Energy.
Research of basic phenomena, e.g., in multi-phase flows which undergo phase change or in electrically conducting flows under control of electromagnetic fields is complemented with the in-house developement of advanced measurement techniques and of reliable numerical models. For this purpose, evaluation models for process analysis are being developed and validated, which comprehend multi-phase phenomena as well as thermal aspects and chemical reactions. The institute is coordinating a joint research effort on increasing the energy efficiency of multi-phase processes in chemical industry within a Helmholtz Energy Alliance.
Examples for the developement of advanced measurement techniques for multi-phase, non-opaque flows are wire-mesh sensors, fast X-ray and gamma tomography as well as ultrasonic and inductive tomography methods for metal melts. A number of unique experimental facilities in our institute allow for applied research of complex flow regimes which are relevant to processes in, e.g., chemical, metallurgical and power industry.
The new department "Transport processes at interfaces" established in Oct. 2016 focuses on detailed analyses of multi-scale transport processes at interfaces between solid, liquid and gaseous phases.
Research in magnetohydrodynamics deals with flow phenomena of electrically conducting liquids and its interaction with or control by electromagnetic fields. Applied research is performed for designing customised magnetic fields to optimize industrial processes in metallurgy, crystal growth, as well as electrochemistry. The institute is coordinating a joint research effort on liquid metal technologies within the Helmholtz Alliance LIMTECH.
Future projects currently under construction are model experiments on precession-driven dynamos, the development of liquid metal batteries for an efficient stationary storage of energy and the extension of the TOPFLOW facility.