Fluid mechanical aspects of open- and closed-toe flue organ pipe voicing

  • D. Steenbrugge


Open- and closed-toe voicing of flue organ pipes constitute two opposite extremes of possible ways todetermine the air-jet flow rate through the flue. The latter method offers more voicing control parametersand thus more flexibility, at the expense of a necessary pressure loss at the toe hole. Another differencebetween both cases arises from different air-jet characteristics, such as velocity profile, Re number, flowmomentum or aspect ratio, the latter influencing jet instability. Furthermore, for closed-toe voicing, the flowfield in the pipe foot is modified by an axisymmetric air jet created through the highly constricted toe hole.Velocity measurements on air jets, pressure measurements in the pipe foot are presented, compared anddiscussed for both voicing methods. The ratio of flue to toe hole area is shown to be the sole pipeparameter to entirely determine the jet velocity and can be useful to quantitatively characterize flue and toehole voicing. Open-toe voicing turns out to be the more delicate and low-pressure only method becauseany modification of the flue has consequences on all aspects of the pipe operation, whereas the closed-toemethod, in connection with higher pressures and with active involvement of cut-up adjustment, allows someseparation between sound timbre and power regulation.

How to Cite:

Steenbrugge, D., (2011) “Fluid mechanical aspects of open- and closed-toe flue organ pipe voicing”, International Journal of Sustainable Construction and Design 2(2), 284-295. doi:

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Published on
05 Nov 2011
Peer Reviewed