The buoyancy effects on the development of the thermal mixing layer downstream from a horizontal separating plate were studied by comparing stable and unstable counter-gradient configurations. In this study, the novel experimental technique called parameterizable constant temperature anemometer, proposed by Ndoye et al. (Meas Sci Technol 21(7):075401, 2010), was improved to make possible the simultaneous measurement of temperature and two velocity components with an x-wire probe. The buoyancy effects on the flow are discussed through the transport equations of turbulent kinetic energy and temperature variance. In view of the low Richardson numbers at stake (Ri f < 0.03), the buoyancy forces appeared logically to be quantitatively negligible compared to the main driving forces, but such a low-energy forcing mechanism was in fact sufficient in unstable configurations to increase the shear stress and the expansion rate of the mixing layer significantly, both phenomena being associated with enhanced production of turbulence.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 25, 2013
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