The effect of an isolated, cylindrical roughness on the stability of an airfoil boundary layer has been studied based on particle image velocimetry and hot-wire anemometry. The investigated roughness elements range from a sub-critical to a super-critical behavior with regard to the critical roughness Reynolds number. For the sub-critical case, the nonlinear disturbance growth in the near wake is governed by oblique Tollmien–Schlichting (TS) type modes. Further downstream, these disturbance modes are, however, damped with the mean flow stabilization and no dominant modes persist in the far wake. By contrast, in the transitional configuration the disturbance growth is increased, but still associated with a TS-type instability in the near-wake centerline region of the low-aspect (height-to-diameter) ratio element. That is, the disturbances in the centerline region show a similar behavior as known for 2D elements, whereas in the outer spanwise domain a Kelvin–Helmholtz (KH) type, shear-layer instability is found, as previously reported for larger aspect ratio isolated elements. With increasing height and, thereby, aspect ratio of the roughness, the KH-type instability domain extends toward the centerline and, accordingly, the TS-type instability domain decreases. For high super-critical cases, transition is already triggered in the wall-normal and spanwise shear layers upstream and around the roughness. In the immediate wake, periodic shear-layer disturbances roll up into a—for isolated elements characteristic—shedding of vortices, which was not present at the lower roughness Reynolds number cases due to the decreased aspect ratio and, thereby, different instability mechanism.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 19, 2015
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