The transition process of the boundary layer growing over a flat plate with pressure gradient simulating the suction side of a low-pressure turbine blade and elevated free-stream turbulence intensity level has been analyzed by means of PIV and hot-wire measurements. A detailed view of the instantaneous flow field in the wall-normal plane highlights the physics characterizing the complex process leading to the formation of large-scale coherent structures during breaking down of the ordered motion of the flow, thus generating randomized oscillations (i.e., turbulent spots). This analysis gives the basis for the development of a new procedure aimed at determining the intermittency function describing (statistically) the transition process. To this end, a wavelet-based method has been employed for the identification of the large-scale structures created during the transition process. Successively, a probability density function of these events has been defined so that an intermittency function is deduced. This latter strictly corresponds to the intermittency function of the transitional flow computed trough a classic procedure based on hot-wire data. The agreement between the two procedures in the intermittency shape and spot production rate proves the capability of the method in providing the statistical representation of the transition process. The main advantages of the procedure here proposed concern with its applicability to PIV data; it does not require a threshold level to discriminate first- and/or second-order time-derivative of hot-wire time traces (that makes the method not influenced by the operator); and it provides a clear evidence of the connection between the flow physics and the statistical representation of transition based on theory of turbulent spot propagation.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 24, 2016
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