A high Reynolds number boundary-layer wind-tunnel facility at New Mexico State University was fitted with a regularly distributed braille surface. The surface was such that braille dots were closely packed in the streamwise direction and sparsely spaced in the spanwise direction. This novel surface had an unexpected influence on the flow: the energy of the very large-scale features of wall turbulence (approximately six-times the boundary-layer thickness in length) became significantly attenuated, even into the logarithmic region. To the author’s knowledge, this is the first experimental study to report a modification of ‘superstructures’ in a rough-wall turbulent boundary layer. The result gives rise to the possibility that flow control through very small, passive surface roughness may be possible at high Reynolds numbers, without the prohibitive drag penalty anticipated heretofore. Evidence was also found for the uninhibited existence of the near-wall cycle, well known to smooth-wall-turbulence researchers, in the spanwise space between roughness elements.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 8, 2011
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