Pressure-gradient turbulent boundary layers developing around a wing section

Authors: Vinuesa, R., Hosseini, M.H., Hanifi, A., Henningson, D.S.H., Schlatter, P.
Document Type: Article
Pubstate: Published
Journal: Flow Turbulence and Combustion
Volume: 99   613-641
Year: 2017


A direct numerical simulation database of the flow around a NACA4412 wing section at Rec = 400,000 and 5 degree angle of attack (Hosseini et al., Int. J. Heat Fluid Flow, vol. 61, pp. 117-128), obtained with the spectral-element code Nek5000, is analyzed. The Clauser pressure-gradient parameter beta ranges from 0 and 85 on the suction side, and from 0 to -0.25 on the pressure side of the wing. The maximum Re_tau and Re_theta values are around 2,800 and 373 on the suction side, respectively, whereas on the pressure side these values are 818 and 346. Comparisons between the suction side with zero-pressure-gradient turbulent boundary layer data show larger values of the shape factor and a lower skin friction, both connected with the fact that the adverse pressure gradient present on the suction side of the wing increases the wall-normal convection. The adverse-pressure-gradient boundary layer also exhibits a more prominent wake region, the development of an outer peak in the Reynolds-stress tensor components, and increased production and dissipation across the boundary layer. All these effects are connected with the fact that the large-scale motions of the flow become relatively more intense due to the adverse pressure gradient, as apparent from spanwise premultiplied power-spectral density maps. The emergence of an outer spectral peak is observed at values of around 4 for lambda_z = 0:65*delta_99, closer to the wall than the spectral outer peak observed in zero-pressure-gradient turbulent boundary layers at higher Re_theta. The effect of the slight favorable pressure gradient present on the pressure side of the wing is opposite the one of the adverse pressure gradient, leading to less energetic outer-layer structures.