Experiments on Transition to Turbulence in a Constant-Acceleration Pipe Flow

[+] Author and Article Information
P. J. Lefebvre

Naval Underwater Systems Center, Newport, RI 02841

F. M. White

University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881

J. Fluids Eng 111(4), 428-432 (Dec 01, 1989) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3243663 History: Received April 04, 1989; Online October 26, 2009


Experiments were conducted to study transition to turbulence in pipe flows started from rest with a linear increase in mean velocity. The data were taken at the Unsteady Flow Loop Facility at the Naval Underwater System Center, using a 5-cm diameter pipe 30 meters long. Instrumentation included static pressure, wall pressure, and wall shear stress sensors, as well as a laser Doppler velocimeter and a transient flowmeter. A downstream control valve was programmed to produce nearly constant mean flow accelerations, a, from 2 to 12 m/s2 . In each of 37 runs, the time of transition to turbulence was the same throughout the pipe to within ± 30 ms, indicating a global instability. As acceleration increased, the transition Reynolds number ReD increased monotonically from 2 × 105 to 5 × 105 . Other dimensionless transition parameters are also presented, the simplest and most effective of which is T* ≈ 400 ± 10 percent for the present experiments, where T* = ttr (a2 /ν)1/3 and ν is kinematic viscosity.

Copyright © 1989 by ASME
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