The flow developing downstream of a step change from smooth to rough surface condition is studied in the light of Townsend’s wall similarity hypothesis. Previous studies seem to support the hypothesis for channel and pipe flows, but there are considerable controversies about its application to boundary layers and in particular to surface roughness formed by spanwise bars. It has been suggested that this controversy arises from insufficient separation of scales between the boundary layer thickness and the roughness length scale. An experimental investigation has therefore been undertaken where the flow evolves from a fully developed smooth wall boundary layer at high Reynolds numbers over a step in surface roughness (Re θ = 13,400 at the step). The flow is mapped through the development of the internal layer until the flow is fully developed over the rough wall. The internal layer is found to grow as δ ∼ X 0.73, and after about 15 boundary layer thicknesses at the step, the internal layer has reached the outer edge of the incoming layer. At the last rough wall measurement station, the Reynolds number has grown to Re θ ≈ 32,600 and the ratio of boundary layer to roughness length scales is δ/k ≈ 140. The outer layer differences between the smooth and the rough wall data were found to be sufficiently small to conclude that for this setup the Townsend’s wall similarity hypothesis appears to hold.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 26, 2011
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