Investigation of a Reattaching Turbulent Shear Layer: Flow Over a Backward-Facing Step

[+] Author and Article Information
J. Kim, S. J. Kline, J. P. Johnston

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.

J. Fluids Eng 102(3), 302-308 (Sep 01, 1980) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3240686 History: Received April 02, 1979; Online October 26, 2009


Incompressible flow over a backward-facing step is studied in order to investigate the flow characteristics in the separated shear-layer, the reattachment zone, and the redeveloping boundary layer after reattachment. Two different step-heights are used: h/δs = 2.2 and h/δs = 3.3. The boundary layer at separation is turbulent for both cases. Turbulent intensities and shear stress reach maxima in the reattachment zone, followed by rapid decay near the surface after reattachment. Downstream of reattachnent, the flow returns very slowly to the structure of an ordinary turbulent boundary layer. In the reattached layer the conventional normalization of outerlayer eddy viscosity by U∞ δ* does not collapse the data. However, it was found that normalization by U∞ (δ − δ*) does collapse the data to within ± 10% of a single curve as far downstream as x/xR ≈ 2, the last data station. This result illustrates the strong downstream persistence of the energetic turbulence structure created in the separated shear layer.

Copyright © 1980 by ASME
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