A visualization study is conducted on the excited laminar-turbulent transition within a flat plate boundary layer flow in a water tunnel. The hydrogen bubble technique is employed to investigate the complex characteristics of the flow structure and its breakdown in the later stages of the transition. A new flow structure is observed, which involves two secondary hairpin vortices outboard of both legs of a primary hairpin vortex. This complex structure is argued to be a precursor of a turbulent spot in this K-type transition. Also reported in the paper is the evolution of the flow structure and its subsequent breakdown, manifested by the emergence of dark spots, low-speed fluid bumps, and near-wall hairpin vortex groups. The results indicate that the near-wall flow breakdown is the result of instability of a local three-dimensional high-shear layer between the low-speed fluid bump and the outer higher-speed region.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 5, 2004
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