Journal of Fluid Mechanics

Analytical and numerical studies of the structure of steady separated flows

Odus R.  Burggraf a1
a1 Department of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

Article author query
burggraf or   [Google Scholar] 


The viscous structure of a separated eddy is investigated for two cases of simplified geometry. In § 1, an analytical solution, based on a linearized model, is obtained for an eddy bounded by a circular streamline. This solution reveals the flow development from a completely viscous eddy at low Reynolds number to an inviscid rotational core at high Reynolds number, in the manner envisaged by Batchelor. Quantitatively, the solution shows that a significant inviscid core exists for a Reynolds number greater than 100. At low Reynolds number the vortex centre shifts in the direction of the boundary velocity until the inviscid core develops; at large Reynolds number, the inviscid vortex core is symmetric about the centre of the circle, except for the effect of the boundary-layer displacement-thickness. Special results are obtained for velocity profiles, skin-friction distribution, and total power dissipation in the eddy. In addition, results of the method of inner and outer expansions are compared with the complete solution, indicating that expansions of this type give valid results for separated eddies at Reynolds numbers greater than about 25 to 50. The validity of the linear analysis as a description of separated eddies is confirmed to a surprising degree by numerical solutions of the full Navier–Stokes equations for an eddy in a square cavity driven by a moving boundary at the top. These solutions were carried out by a relaxation procedure on a high-speed digital computer, and are described in § 2. Results are presented for Reynolds numbers from 0 to 400 in the form of contour plots of stream function, vorticity, and total pressure. At the higher values of Reynolds number, an inviscid core develops, but secondary eddies are present in the bottom corners of the square at all Reynolds numbers. Solutions of the energy equation were obtained also, and isotherms and wall heat-flux distributions are presented graphically.

(Published Online March 28 2006)
(Received July 7 1964)
(Revised June 21 1965)