Simulations of turbulent asymptotic suction boundary layers

Authors: Bobke, A.B., Örlü, R., Schlatter, P.
Document Type: Article
Pubstate: Published
Journal: J. Turbulence
Volume: 17   155-178
Year: 2016


A series of large-eddy simulations of a turbulent asymptotic suction boundary layer (TASBL) was performed in a periodic domain, on which uniform suction was applied over a flat plate. Three Reynolds numbers (defined as ratio of free-stream and suction velocity) of Re = 333, 400 and 500 and a variety of domain sizes were considered in temporal simulations in order to investigate the turbulence statistics, the importance of the computational domain size, the arising flow structures as well as temporal development length required to achieve the asymptotic state. The effect of these two important parameters was assessed in terms of their influence on integral quantities, mean velocity, Reynolds stresses, higher order statistics, amplitude modulation and spectral maps. While the near-wall region up to the buffer region appears to scale irrespective of Re and domain size, the parameters of the logarithmic law (i.e. von Karman and additive coefficient) decrease with increasing Re, while the wake strength decreases with increasing spanwise domain size and vanishes entirely once the spanwise domain size exceeds approximately two boundary-layer thicknesses irrespective of Re. The wake strength also reduces with increasing simulation time. The asymptotic state of the TASBL is characterised by surprisingly large friction Reynolds numbers and inherits features of wall turbulence at numerically high Re. Compared to a turbulent boundary layer (TBL) or a channel flow without suction, the components of the Reynolds-stress tensor are overall reduced, but exhibit a logarithmic increase with decreasing suction rates, i.e. increasing Re. At the same time, the anisotropy is increased compared to canonical wall-bounded flows without suction. The reduced amplitudes in turbulence quantities are discussed in light of the amplitude modulation due to the weakened larger outer structures. The inner peak in the spectral maps is shifted to higher wavelength and the strength of the outer peak is much less than for TBLs. An additional spatial simulation was performed, in order to relate the simulation results to wind tunnel experiments, which – in accordance with the results from the temporal simulation – indicate that a truly TASBL is practically impossible to realise in a wind tunnel. Our unique data set agrees qualitatively with existing literature results for both numerical and experimental studies, and at the same time sheds light on the fact why the asymptotic state could not be established in a wind tunnel experiment, viz. because experimental studies resemble our simulation results from too small simulation boxes or insufficient development times.