Isolated surface roughness in a laminar boundary layer can create a wedge of turbulence that spreads laterally into the surrounding laminar flow. Some recent studies have identified high- and low-speed streaks along the exterior of turbulent wedges. In this experiment, developing turbulent wedges are measured to observe the creation of these streaks. Naphthalene shear stress surface visualization and hotwire measurements are utilized to investigate the details of turbulent wedges created by cylinders in a laminar flat-plate boundary layer. Both the surface visualization and the hotwire measurements show high- and low-speed streaks in the wake of the cylinder that devolve into a turbulent wedge. The turbulent wedge spreading is associated with the emergence of these high- and low-speed streaks along the outside of the wedge. As the wedge evolves in the streamwise direction, these streaks persist inside of the core of the wedge, while new, lower amplitude streaks form along the outside of the wedge. Adding asymmetry to the cylinder moved the virtual origin closer to the roughness and increased the vortex shedding frequency, while adding small-scale roughness features did not strongly affect turbulent wedge development. Intermittency calculations additionally show the origin of the turbulent core inside of the wedge. The structure and spacing of the high-speed streaks along the extremities of the turbulent wedge give insight into the spreading angle of the turbulent wedge.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 16, 2016
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