Onsager's analysis of the hydrodynamics of fluid circulation in the boundary layer on the rotor wall of a gas centrifuge is reviewed. The description of the flow in the boundary layers on the top and bottom end caps due to Carrier and Maslen is summarized. The method developed by Wood and Morton of coupling the flow models in the rotor wall and end cap boundary layers to complete the hydrodynamic analysis of the centrifuge is presented. Mechanical and thermal methods of driving the internal gas circulation are described. The isotope enrichment which results from the superposition of the elementary separation effect due to the centrifugal field in the gas and its internal circulation is analyzed by the Onsager-Cohen theory. The performance function representing the optimized separative power of a centrifuge as a function of throughput and cut is calculated for several simplified internal flow models. The use of asymmetric ideal cascades to exploit the distinctive features of centrifuge performance functions is illustrated.
Olander, D R;  California Univ., Berkeley (USA). Dept. of Nuclear Engineering)
- California Univ., Berkeley (USA). Lawrence Berkeley Lab.