Measurements in a Transitional Boundary Layer With Görtler Vortices

[+] Author and Article Information
R. J. Volino

Department of Mechanical Engineering, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD 21402

T. W. Simon

Heat Transfer Laboratory, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455

J. Fluids Eng 119(3), 562-568 (Sep 01, 1997) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2819281 History: Received July 22, 1996; Revised March 31, 1997; Online December 04, 2007


The laminar-turbulent transition process has been documented in a concave-wall boundary layer subject to low (0.6 percent) free-stream turbulence intensity. Transition began at a Reynolds number, Rex (based on distance from the leading edge of the test wall), of 3.5 × 105 and was completed by 4.7 × 105 . The transition was strongly influenced by the presence of stationary, streamwise, Görtler vortices. Transition under similar conditions has been documented in previous studies, but because concave-wall transition tends to be rapid, measurements within the transition zone were sparse. In this study, emphasis is on measurements within the zone of intermittent flow. Twenty-five profiles of mean streamwise velocity, fluctuating streamwise velocity, and intermittency have been acquired at five values of Rex , and five spanwise locations relative to a Görtler vortex. The mean velocity profiles acquired near the vortex downwash sites exhibit inflection points and local minima. These minima, located in the outer part of the boundary layer, provide evidence of a “tilting” of the vortices in the spanwise direction. Profiles of fluctuating velocity and intermittency exhibit peaks near the locations of the minima in the mean velocity profiles. These peaks indicate that turbulence is generated in regions of high shear, which are relatively far from the wall. The transition mechanism in this flow is different from that on flat walls, where turbulence is produced in the near-wall region. The peak intermittency values in the profiles increase with Rex , but do not follow the “universal” distribution observed in most flat-wall, transitional boundary layers. The results have applications whenever strong concave curvature may result in the formation of Görtler vortices in otherwise 2-D flows.

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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