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Experimental studies in jet flows and zero pressure-gradient turbulent boundary layers

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Ramis Örlü Doctoral thesis 2009 Download 11.2 Mb
ISSN 0348-467X


This thesis deals with the description and development of two classical turbulent shear flows, namely free jet and flat plate turbulent boundary layer flows. In both cases new experimental data has been obtained and in the latter case comparisons are also made with data obtained from data bases, both of experimental and numerical origin.
The jet flow studies comprise three parts, made in three different experimental facilities, each dealing with a specific aspect of jet flows. The first part is devoted to the effect of swirl on the mixing characteristics of a passive scalar in the near-field region of a moderately swirling jet. Instantaneous streamwise and azimuthal velocity components as well as the temperature were simultaneously accessed by means of combined X-wire and cold-wire anemometry. The results indicate a modification of the turbulence structures to that effect that the swirling jet spreads, mixes and evolves faster compared to its non-swirling counterpart. The high correlation between streamwise velocity and temperature fluctuations as well as the streamwise passive scalar flux are even more enhanced due to the addition of swirl, which in turn shortens the distance and hence time needed to mix the jet with the ambient air.
The second jet flow part was set out to test the hypothesis put forward by Talamelli & Gavarini (Flow, Turbul. & Combust. 76), who proposed that the wake behind a separation wall between two streams of a coaxial jet creates the condition for an absolute instability. The experiments confirm the hypothesis and show that the instability, by means of the induced vortex shedding, provides a continuous forcing mechanism for the control of the flow field. The potential of this passive mechanism as an easy, effective and practical way to control the near-field of interacting shear layers as well as its effect towards increased turbulence activity has been shown.
The third part of the jet flow studies deals with the hypothesis that so called oblique transition may play a role in the breakdown to turbulence for an axisymmetric jet. For wall bounded flows oblique transition gives rise to steady streamwise streaks that break down to turbulence, as for instance documented by Elofsson & Alfredsson (J. Fluid Mech. 358). The scenario of oblique transition has so far not been considered for jet flows and the aim was to study the effect of two oblique modes on the transition scenario as well as on the flow dynamics. For certain frequencies the turbulence intensity was surprisingly found to be reduced, however it was not possible to detect the presence of streamwise streaks. This aspect must be furher investigated in the future in order to understand the connection between the turbulence reduction and the azimuthal forcing.
The boundary layer part of the thesis is also threefold, and uses both new data as well as data from various data bases to investigate the effect of certain limitations of hot-wire measurements near the wall on the mean velocity but also on the fluctuating streamwise velocity component.
In the first part a new set of experimental data from a zero pressure-gradient turbulent boundary layer, supplemented by direct and independent skin friction measurements, are presented. The Reynolds number range of the data is between 2300 and 18700 when based on the free stream velocity and the momentum loss thickness. Data both for the mean and fluctuating streamwise velocity component are presented. The data are validated against the composite profile by Chauhan et al. (Fluid Dyn. Res. 41) and are found to fulfil recently established equilibrium criteria.
The problem of accurately locating the wall position of a hot-wire probe and the errors this can result in is thoroughly discussed in part 2 of the boundary layer study. It is shown that the expanded law of the wall to forth and fifth order with calibration constants determined from recent high Reynolds number DNS can be used to fix the wall position to an accuracy of 0.1 and 0.25 l_* (l_* is the viscous length scale) when accurately determined measurements reaching y^+=5 and 10, respectively, are available. In the absence of data below the above given limits, commonly employed analytical functions and their log law constants, have been found to affect the the determination of wall position to a high degree. It has been shown, that near-wall measurements below y^+=10 or preferable 5 are essential in order to ensure a correctly measured or deduced absolute wall position. A number of peculiarities in concurrent wall-bounded turbulent flow studies, was found to be associated with a erroneously deduced wall position.
The effect of poor spatial resolution using hot-wire anemometry on the measurements of the streamwise velocity is dealt with in the last part. The viscous scaled hot-wire length, L^+, has been found to exert a strong impact on the probability density distribution (pdf) of the streamwise velocity, and hence its higher order moments, over the entire buffer region and also the lower region of the log region. For varying Reynolds numbers spatial resolution effects act against the trend imposed by the Reynolds number. A systematic reduction of the mean velocity with increasing L^+ over the entire classical buffer region and beyond has been found. A reduction of around 0.3 u_tau, where u_tau is the friction velocity, has been deduced for L^+=60 compared to L^+=15. Neglecting this effect can lead to a seemingly Reynolds number dependent buffer or log region. This should be taken into consideration, for instance, in the debate, regarding the prevailing influence of viscosity above the buffer region at high Reynolds numbers. We also conclude that the debate concerning the universality of the pdf within the overlap region has been artificially complicated due to the ignorance of spatial resolution effects beyond the classical buffer region on the velocity fluctuations.