Journal of Fluid Mechanics

On finite amplitude oscillations in laminar mixing layers

J. T.  Stuart a1
a1 Department of Mathematics, Imperial College, London

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In the first part of the paper, a mixing layer of tanh y form is considered, and twodimensional solutions of the non-linear inviscid equations are found representing periodic perturbations from the neutral wave of linearized stability theory. To second order in amplitude the solutions are equivalent to the equilibrium state calculated by Schade (1964), who studied the development of perturbations in time and found an evolution towards that equilibrium state. The present calculation, however, is taken to fourth-order in amplitude. It is noted that the solutions presented in this paper are regular, even though viscosity is ignored; and the relationships to the singular (if inviscid) time-dependent solutions of Schade are explained. Such regular, inviscid solutions have been found only for odd velocity profiles, such as tanh y.

Although the details of the velocity distributions are not of the form observed experimentally, it is shown that the amplitude ratios of fundamental and first harmonic, for a given absolute amplitude, are comparable with those observed.

In part 2 some exact non-linear solutions are presented of the inviscid, incompressible equations of fluid flow in two or three spatial dimensions. They illustrate the flows of part 1, since they are periodic in one co-ordinate (x), have a shear in another (y) and are independent of the third. Included, as two-dimensional cases, are (i) the tanh y velocity distribution for a flow wholly in the x-direction, (ii) the well-known solution for the flow due to a set of point vortices equi-spaced on the axis, and (iii) an example of linearized hydrodynamic (Orr-Sommerfeld) stability theory. The flows may involve concentrations of vorticity. In three-dimensional cases the z component of velocity is even in y, whereas the x component is odd. Consequently, the class of flows represents, in general, small or large periodic perturbations from a skewed shear layer. Time-dependent solutions, representing waves travelling in the x direction may be obtained by translation of axes.

(Published Online March 28 2006)
(Received July 6 1966)
(Revised April 7 1967)