Revival of Classical Vortex Generators Now for Transition Delay

Authors: Shahinfar, S., Sattarzadeh, S. S., Fransson, J. H. M., Talamelli, A.
Document Type: Article
Pubstate: Published
Journal: Physical Review Letters
Volume: 109  
Year: 2012


Classical vortex generators, known for their efficiency in delaying or even inhibiting boundary layer separation, are here shown to be coveted devices for transition to turbulence delay. The present devices are miniature with respect to classical vortex generators but are tremendously powerful in modulating the laminar boundary layer in the direction orthogonal to the base flow and parallel to the surface. The modulation generates an additional term in the perturbation energy equation, which counteracts the wall-normal production term and, hence, stabilizes the flow. Our experimental results show that these devices are really effective in delaying transition, but we also reveal their Achilles’ heel.