Journal of Fluid Mechanics



Evolution and structure of sink-flow turbulent boundary layers


M. B. JONES a1, IVAN MARUSIC a2 and A. E. PERRY a1
a1 Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia
a2 Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

Abstract

An experimental and theoretical investigation of turbulent boundary layers developing in a sink-flow pressure gradient was undertaken. Three flow cases were studied, corresponding to different acceleration strengths. Mean-flow measurements were taken for all three cases, while Reynolds stresses and spectra measurements were made for two of the flow cases. In this study attention was focused on the evolution of the layers to an equilibrium turbulent state. All the layers were found to attain a state very close to precise equilibrium. This gave equilibrium sink flow data at higher Reynolds numbers than in previous experiments. The mean velocity profiles were found to collapse onto the conventional logarithmic law of the wall. However, for profiles measured with the Pitot tube, a slight ‘kick-up’ from the logarithmic law was observed near the buffer region, whereas the mean velocity profiles measured with a normal hot wire did not exhibit this deviation from the logarithmic law. As the layers approached equilibrium, the mean velocity profiles were found to approach the pure wall profile and for the highest level of acceleration Π was very close to zero, where Π is the Coles wake factor. This supports the proposition of Coles (1957), that the equilibrium sink flow corresponds to pure wall flow. Particular interest was also given to the evolutionary stages of the boundary layers, in order to test and further develop the closure hypothesis of Perry, Marusic & Li (1994). Improved quantitative agreement with the experimental results was found after slight modification of their original closure equation.

(Received February 26 1999)
(Revised June 4 2000)



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