Review: Laminar-to-Turbulent Transition of Three-Dimensional Boundary Layers on Rotating Bodies

[+] Author and Article Information
Ryoji Kobayashi

Department of Machine Intelligence and Systems Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan

J. Fluids Eng 116(2), 200-211 (Jun 01, 1994) (12 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2910255 History: Received October 16, 1992; Revised September 28, 1993; Online May 23, 2008


The laminar-turbulent transition of three-dimensional boundary layers is critically reviewed for some typical axisymmetric bodies rotating in still fluid or in axial flow. The flow structures of the transition regions are visualized. The transition phenomena are driven by the compound of the Tollmien-Schlichting instability, the crossflow instability, and the centrifugal instability. Experimental evidence is provided relating the critical and transition Reynolds numbers, defined in terms of the local velocity and the boundary layer momentum thickness, to the local rotational speed ratio, defined as the ratio of the circumferential speed to the free-stream velocity at the outer edge of the boundary layer, for the rotating disk, the rotating cone, the rotating sphere and other rotating axisymmetric bodies. It is shown that the cross-sectional structure of spiral vortices appearing in the transition regions and the flow pattern of the following secondary instability in the case of the crossflow instability are clearly different than those in the case of the centrifugal instability.

Copyright © 1994 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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