Boundary-Layer Transition Affected by Surface Roughness and Free-Stream Turbulence

[+] Author and Article Information
S. K. Roberts

 Carleton University, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 3135 Mackenzie Bldg., 1125 Colonel By Dr., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1S 5B6skrobert@connect.carleton.ca

M. I. Yaras

 Carleton University, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 3135 Mackenzie Bldg., 1125 Colonel By Dr., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1S 5B6metiṉyaras@carleton.ca

J. Fluids Eng 127(3), 449-457 (Feb 21, 2005) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1906266 History: Received July 27, 2004; Revised February 21, 2005

This paper presents experimental results documenting the effects of surface roughness and free-stream turbulence on boundary-layer transition. The experiments were conducted on a flat surface, upon which a pressure distribution similar to those prevailing on the suction side of low-pressure turbine blades was imposed. The test matrix consists of five variations in the roughness conditions, at each of three free-stream turbulence intensities (approximately 0.5%, 2.5%, and 4.5%), and two flow Reynolds numbers of 350,000 and 470,000. The ranges of these parameters considered in the study, which are typical of low-pressure turbines, resulted in both attached-flow and separation-bubble transition. The focus of the paper is on separation-bubble transition, but the few attached-flow test cases that occurred under high roughness and free-stream turbulence conditions are also presented for completeness of the test matrix. Based on the experimental results, the effects of surface roughness on the location of transition onset and the rate of transition are quantified, and the sensitivity of these effects to free-stream turbulence is established. The Tollmien–Schlichting instability mechanism is shown to be responsible for transition in each of the test cases presented. The root-mean-square height of the surface roughness elements, their planform size and spacing, and the skewness (bias towards depression or protrusion roughness) of the roughness distribution are shown to be relevant to quantifying the effects of roughness on the transition process.

Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic of the wind tunnel test section

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Figure 2

Topography of the rough surfaces—(a) krms=31μm; (b) krms=53μm; (c) krms=107μm; (d) krms=185μm

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Figure 3

Streamwise distribution of the free-stream acceleration parameter

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Figure 4

Distributions of boundary-layer displacement thickness. (ac): ReL=350,000; (df): ReL=470,000

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Figure 5

Distributions of boundary-layer shape factor. (ac): ReL=350,000; (df): ReL=470,000

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Figure 6

Sensitivity of the transition inception location in separation bubbles to surface roughness and free-stream turbulence

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Figure 7

Wavelet-averaged power spectra of u′∕Uref. (a) Turef=0.4%; krms=0.7μm; ReL=470,000. (b) Turef=4.5%; krms=185μm; ReL=470,000

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Figure 8

Streamwise distributions of intermittency—separation-bubble cases (a) Turef=0.4–0.9%; (b) Turef=2.2–2.6%; (c) Turef=3.4–4.8%

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Figure 10

Cross-stream distributions of intermittency for krms=53μm and krms=185μm(Turef=3.4–4.8%;ReL=470,000)

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Figure 9

Streamwise distributions of intermittency—attached-flow cases (ReL=470,000). (a) Turef=2.2–2.6%; (b) Turef=3.4–4.8%




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