Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Direct numerical simulation of turbulent flow in a square duct

Asmund  Huser a1p1 and Sedat  Biringen a1
a1 Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO 80309, USA

Article author query
huser a   [Google Scholar] 
biringen s   [Google Scholar] 


A direct numerical simulation of a fully developed, low-Reynolds-number turbulent flow in a square duct is presented. The numerical scheme employs a time-splitting method to integrate the three-dimensional, incompressible Navier-Stokes equations using spectral/high-order finite-difference discretization on a staggered mesh; the nonlinear terms are represented by fifth-order upwind-biased finite differences. The unsteady flow field was simulated at a Reynolds number of 600 based on the mean friction velocity and the duct width, using 96 × 101 × 101 grid points. Turbulence statistics from the fully developed turbulent field are compared with existing experimental and numerical square duct data, providing good qualitative agreement. Results from the present study furnish the details of the corner effects and near-wall effects in this complex turbulent flow field; also included is a detailed description of the terms in the Reynolds-averaged streamwise momentum and vorticity equations. Mechanisms responsible for the generation of the stress-driven secondary flow are studied by quadrant analysis and by analysing the instantaneous turbulence structures. It is demonstrated that the mean secondary flow pattern, the distorted isotachs and the anisotropic Reynolds stress distribution can be explained by the preferred location of an ejection structure near the corner and the interaction between bursts from the two intersecting walls. Corner effects are also manifested in the behaviour of the pressure-strain and velocity-pressure gradient correlations.

(Published Online April 26 2006)
(Received May 22 1992)
(Revised March 3 1993)

p1 Current address: DNV Technica, N-1322 Høvik, Norway.