Journal of Fluid Mechanics


A comparison of turbulent pipe, channel and boundary layer flows

J. P. MONTYa1 c1, N. HUTCHINSa1, H. C. H. NGa1, I. MARUSICa1 and M. S. CHONGa1

a1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Melbourne, VIC 3010, Australia


The extent or existence of similarities between fully developed turbulent pipes and channels, and in zero-pressure-gradient turbulent boundary layers has come into question in recent years. This is in contrast to the traditionally accepted view that, upon appropriate normalization, all three flows can be regarded as the same in the near-wall region. In this paper, the authors aim to provide clarification of this issue through streamwise velocity measurements in these three flows with carefully matched Reynolds number and measurement resolution. Results show that mean statistics in the near-wall region collapse well. However, the premultiplied energy spectra of streamwise velocity fluctuations show marked structural differences that cannot be explained by scaling arguments. It is concluded that, while similarities exist at these Reynolds numbers, one should exercise caution when drawing comparisons between the three shear flows, even near the wall.

(Received November 18 2008)

(Revised March 20 2009)


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