The Resolution and Structure of High Reynolds Number Turbulent Boundary Layers Over Rough and Smooth Walls in Pressure Gradient

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Virginia Tech


The velocity fields of high Reynolds number, turbulent, wall boundary layers in non-equilibrium pressure gradients are experimentally investigated. Experiments in two wall configurations were performed; one with a hydrodynamically smooth test wall composed of flat aluminum panels, and the other with a rough surface consisting of 2 mm tall, staggered, circular cylindrical elements. A representative set of pressure gradient distributions were generated on the research wall by a systematically rotated NACA 0012 airfoil placed in a wind tunnel section to determine the functional dependence of the boundary layer formation on pressure gradient. Particle image velocimetry (PIV) was the primary measurement technique used to determine time-resolved features of the velocity flow field. newline{}newline{} It is shown that regardless of wall condition and Reynolds number, the non-equilibrium turbulent boundary layers exhibit increasingly non-local behavior with streamwise development. This is apparent as a lag to the pressure gradient distribution observed in the streamwise developing integrated boundary layer parameters. These ``history effects" are also prevalent in mean velocity profiles which are exhibited as a cross-over of the favorable and adverse pressure gradient profiles in the logarithmic layer. Similar cross-over points are observed in the Reynolds shear and normal stresses, particularly at the streamwise station downstream of the pressure gradient switch. The primary effect of the rough wall is to increase the magnitude of flow scales, and, while they exhibit the same qualitative history effects as the smooth wall, the rough wall flows show an earlier relaxation to equilibrium. Despite inherent uncertainties of indirect skin friction methods for the rough wall, the effective sandgrain roughness parameter k_s does not show a functional dependency to pressure gradient history. An evaluation of the wall-similarity hypothesis solely based on boundary layer thickness to roughness parameter ratios delta/k_s is insufficient and additional parameters such as pressure gradient histories, local roughness Reynolds numbers, and bias uncertainties due to instrument spatial resolution must be considered.



Non-Equilibrium Flows, Pressure Gradient, Rough Wall Turbulent Boundary Layers, Smooth Wall Turbulent Boundary Layers