Journal of Fluid Mechanics

An experimental study of reverse transition in two-dimensional channel flow

M. A. Badri  Narayanan a1
a1 Department of Aeronautical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

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An experimental investigation on reverse transition from turbulent to laminar flow in a two-dimensional channel was carried out. The reverse transition occurred when Reynolds number of an initially turbulent flow was reduced below a certain value by widening the duct in the lateral direction. The experiments were conducted at Reynolds numbers of 625, 865, 980 and 1250 based on half the height of the channel and the average of the mean velocity. At all these Reynolds numbers the initially turbulent mean velocity profiles tend to become parabolic. The longitudinal and vertical velocity fluctuations ($\overline{u^{\prime 2}}$ and $\overline{v^{\prime 2}}$) averaged over the height of the channel decrease exponentially with distance downstream, but $\overline{u^{\prime}v^{\prime}} $ tends to become zero at a reasonably well-defined point. During reverse transition $\overline{u^{\prime}}\overline{v^{\prime}}/\sqrt{\overline{u^{\prime 2}}}\sqrt{\overline{v^{\prime 2}}}$ also decreases as the flow moves downstream and Lissajous figures taken with u’ and v’ signals confirm this trend. There is approximate similarly between $\overline{u^{\prime 2}} $ profiles if the value of $\overline{u^{\prime 2}_{\max}} $ and the distance from the wall at which it occurs are taken as the reference scales. The spectrum of $\overline{u^{\prime 2}} $ is almost similar at all stations and the non-dimensional spectrum is exponential in wave-number. All the turbulent quantities, when plotted in appropriate co-ordinates, indicate that there is a definite critical Reynolds number of 1400±50 for reverse transition.

(Published Online March 28 2006)
(Received December 10 1966)
(Revised August 23 1967)

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