skip to main content

Title: Dynamics of Laminar-to-Turbulent Transition in a Wall-Bounded Channel Flow Up to Re=40,000
The transition from laminar to turbulent flow is of great interest since it is one of the most difficult and unsolved problems in fluids engineering. The transition processes are significantly important because the transition has a huge impact on almost all systems that come in contact with a fluid flow by altering the mixing, transport, and drag properties of fluids even in simple pipe and channel flows. Generally, in most transportation systems, the transition to turbulence causes a significant increase in drag force, energy consumption, and, therefore, operating cost. Thus, understanding the underlying mechanisms of the laminar-to-turbulent transition can be a major benefit in many ways, especially economically. There have been substantial previous studies that focused on testing the stability of laminar flow and finding the critical amplitudes of disturbances necessary to trigger the transition in various wall-bounded systems, including circular pipes and square ducts. However, there is still no fundamental theory of transition to predict the onset of turbulence. In this study, we perform direct numerical simulations (DNS) of the transition flows from laminar to turbulence in a channel flow. Specifically, the effects of different magnitudes of perturbations on the onset of turbulence are investigated. The perturbation magnitudes vary from 0.001 (0.1%) to 0.05 (5%) of a typical turbulent velocity field, and the Reynolds number is from 5,000 to 40,000. Most importantly, the transition behavior in this study was found to be in good agreement with other reported studies performed for fluid flow in pipes and ducts. With the DNS results, a finite amplitude stability curve was obtained. The critical magnitude of perturbation required to cause transition was observed to be inversely proportional to the Reynolds number for the magnitude from 0.01 to 0.05. We also investigated the temporal behavior of the transition process, and it was found that the transition time or the time required to begin the transition process is inversely correlated with the Reynolds number only for the magnitude from 0.02 to 0.05, while different temporal behavior occurs for smaller perturbation magnitudes. In addition to the transition time, the transition dynamics were investigated by observing the time series of wall shear stress. At the onset of transition, the shear stress experiences an overshoot, then decreases toward sustained turbulence. As expected, the average values of the wall shear stress in turbulent flow increase with the Reynolds number. The change in the wall shear stress from laminar to overshoot was, of course, found to increase with the Reynolds number. More interestingly was the observed change in wall shear stress from the overshoot to turbulence. The change in magnitude appears to be almost insensitive to the Reynolds number and the perturbation magnitude. Because the change in wall shear stress is directly proportional to the pumping power, these observations could be extremely useful when determining the required pumping power in certain flow conditions. Furthermore, the stability curve and wall shear stress changes can be considered robust features for future applications, and ultimately interpreted as evidence of progress toward solving the unresolved fluids engineering problem.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
Publisher / Repository:
American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the ASME 2022 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
Medium: X
Columbus, Ohio, USA
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Well-resolved direct numerical simulations (DNS) have been performed of the flow in a smooth circular pipe of radius$R$and axial length$10{\rm \pi} R$at friction Reynolds numbers up to$Re_\tau =5200$using the pseudo-spectral code OPENPIPEFLOW. Various turbulence statistics are documented and compared with other DNS and experimental data in pipes as well as channels. Small but distinct differences between various datasets are identified. The friction factor$\lambda$overshoots by$2\,\%$and undershoots by$0.6\,\%$the Prandtl friction law at low and high$Re$ranges, respectively. In addition,$\lambda$in our results is slightly higher than in Pirozzoliet al.(J. Fluid Mech., vol. 926, 2021, A28), but matches well the experiments in Furuichiet al.(Phys. Fluids, vol. 27, issue 9, 2015, 095108). The log-law indicator function, which is nearly indistinguishable between pipe and channel up to$y^+=250$, has not yet developed a plateau farther away from the wall in the pipes even for the$Re_\tau =5200$cases. The wall shear stress fluctuations and the inner peak of the axial turbulence intensity – which grow monotonically with$Re_\tau$– are lower in the pipe than in the channel, but the difference decreases with increasing$Re_\tau$. While the wall value is slightly lower in the channel than in the pipe at the same$Re_\tau$, the inner peak of the pressure fluctuation shows negligible differences between them. The Reynolds number scaling of all these quantities agrees with both the logarithmic and defect-power laws if the coefficients are properly chosen. The one-dimensional spectrum of the axial velocity fluctuation exhibits a$k^{-1}$dependence at an intermediate distance from the wall – also seen in the channel. In summary, these high-fidelity data enable us to provide better insights into the flow physics in the pipes as well as the similarity/difference among different types of wall turbulence.

    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    Recent direct numerical simulations (DNS) and experiments in turbulent channel flow have found intermittent low- and high-drag events in Newtonian fluid flows, at Reτ=uτh/ν between 70 and 100, where uτ, h and ν are the friction velocity, channel half-height and kinematic viscosity, respectively. These intervals of low-drag and high-drag have been termed “hibernating” and “hyperactive”, respectively, and in this paper, a further investigation of these intermittent events is conducted using experimental and numerical techniques. For experiments, simultaneous measurements of wall shear stress and velocity are carried out in a channel flow facility using hot-film anemometry (HFA) and laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV), respectively, for Reτ between 70 and 250. For numerical simulations, DNS of a channel flow is performed in an extended domain at Reτ = 70 and 85. These intermittent events are selected by carrying out conditional sampling of the wall shear stress data based on a combined threshold magnitude and time-duration criteria. The use of three different scalings (so-called outer, inner and mixed) for the time-duration criterion for the conditional events is explored. It is found that if the time-duration criterion is kept constant in inner units, the frequency of occurrence of these conditional events remain insensitive to Reynolds number. There exists an exponential distribution of frequency of occurrence of the conditional events with respect to their duration, implying a potentially memoryless process. An explanation for the presence of a spike (or dip) in the ensemble-averaged wall shear stress data before and after the low-drag (or high-drag) events is investigated. During the low-drag events, the conditionally-averaged streamwise velocities get closer to Virk’s maximum drag reduction (MDR) asymptote, near the wall, for all Reynolds numbers studied. Reynolds shear stress (RSS) characteristics during these conditional events are investigated for Reτ = 70 and 85. Except very close to the wall, the conditionally-averaged RSS is higher than the time-averaged value during the low-drag events. 
    more » « less
  3. In past experiments, simulations and theoretical analysis, rotation has been shown to dramatically effect the characteristics of turbulent flows, such as causing the mean velocity profile to appear laminar, leading to an overall drag reduction, as well as affecting the Reynolds stress tensor. The axially rotating pipe is an exemplary prototypical model problem that exhibits these complex turbulent flow physics. For this flow, the rotation of the pipe causes a region of turbulence suppression which is particularly sensitive to the rotation rate and Reynolds number. The physical mechanisms causing turbulence suppression are currently not well-understood, and a deeper understanding of these mechanisms is of great value for many practical examples involving swirling or rotating flows, such as swirl generators, wing-tip vortices, axial compressors, hurricanes, etc. In this work, Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS) of rotating turbulent pipe flows are conducted at moderate Reynolds numbers (Re=5300, 11,700, and 19,000) and rotation numbers of N=0 to 3. The main objectives of this work are to firstly quantify turbulence suppression for rotating turbulent pipe flows at different Reynolds numbers as well as study the effects of rotation on turbulence by analyzing the characteristics of the Reynolds stress tensor and the production and dissipation terms of the turbulence budgets. 
    more » « less
  4. Reducing wall drag in turbulent pipe and channel flows is an issue of great practical importance. In engineering applications, end-functionalized polymer chains are often employed as agents to reduce drag. These are polymers which are floating in the solvent and attach (either by adsorption or through irreversible chemical binding) at one of their chain ends to the substrate (wall). We propose a PDE model to study this setup in the simple setting where the solvent is a viscous incompressible Navier–Stokes fluid occupying the bulk of a smooth domain Ω⊂ℝ𝑑, and the wall-grafted polymer is in the so-called mushroom regime (inter-polymer spacing on the order of the typical polymer length). The microscopic description of the polymer enters into the macroscopic description of the fluid motion through a dynamical boundary condition on the wall-tangential stress of the fluid, something akin to (but distinct from) a history-dependent slip-length. We establish the global well-posedness of strong solutions in two-spatial dimensions and prove that the inviscid limit to the strong Euler solution holds with a rate. Moreover, the wall-friction factor ⟨𝑓⟩ and the global energy dissipation ⟨𝜀⟩ vanish inversely proportional to the Reynolds number 𝐑𝐞. This scaling corresponds to Poiseuille’s law for the friction factor ⟨𝑓⟩∼1/𝐑𝐞 for laminar flow and thereby quantifies drag reduction in our setting. These results are in stark contrast to those available for physical boundaries without polymer additives modeled by, for example, no-slip conditions, where no such results are generally known even in two-dimensions. 
    more » « less
  5. Turbulent boundary layers subject to severe acceleration or strong favorable pressure gradient (FPG) are of fundamental and technological importance. Scientifically, they elicit great interest from the points of view of scaling laws, the complex interaction between the outer and inner regions, and the quasi-laminarization phenomenon. Many flows of industrial and technological applications are subject to strong acceleration such as convergent ducts, turbines blades and nozzles. Our recent numerical predictions (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 775, pp. 189-200, 2015) of turbulent boundary layers subject to very strong FPG with high spatial/temporal resolution, i.e. Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS), have shown a meaningful weakening of the Reynolds shear stresses with an evident logarithmic behavior. In the present study, assessment of three different turbulence models (Shear Stress Transport, k-w and Spalart-Allmaras, henceforth SST, k-w and SA, respectively) in Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations is performed. The main objective is to evaluate the ability of popular turbulence models in capturing the characteristic features present during the quasi-laminarization phenomenon in highly accelerating turbulent boundary layers. Favorable pressure gradient is prescribed by a top converging surface (sink flow) with an approximately constant acceleration parameter of K = 4.0 x 10^(-6). Furthermore, the quasi-laminarization effect on the temperature field is also examined by solving the energy equation and assuming the temperature as a passive scalar. Validation of RANS results is carried out by means of a large DNS dataset. 
    more » « less