Numerical studies of transtion in wall-bounded flows
Sammanfattning: Disturbances introduced in wall-bounded flows can grow and lead to transition from laminar to turbulent flow. In order to reduce losses or enhance mixing in energy systems, a fundamental understanding of the flow stability and transition mechanism is important. In the present thesis, the stability, transition mechanism and early turbulent evolution of wall-bounded flows are studied. The stability is investigated by means of linear stability equations and the transition mechanism and turbulence are studied using direct numerical simulations. Three base flows are considered, the Falkner-Skan boundary layer, boundary layers subjected to wall suction and the Blasius wall jet. The stability with respect to the exponential growth of waves and the algebraic growth of optimal streaks is studied for the Falkner-Skan boundary layer. For the algebraic growth, the optimal initial location, where the optimal disturbance is introduced in the boundary layer, is found to move downstream with decreased pressure gradient. A unified transition prediction method incorporating the influences of pressure gradient and free-stream turbulence is suggested. The algebraic growth of streaks in boundary layers subjected to wall suction is calculated. It is found that the spatial analysis gives larger optimal growth than temporal theory. Furthermore, it is found that the optimal growth is larger if the suction begins a distance downstream of the leading edge. Thresholds for transition of periodic and localized disturbances as well as the spreading of turbulent spots in the asymptotic suction boundary layer are investigated for Reynolds number Re=500, 800 and 1200 based on the displacement thickness and the free-stream velocity. It is found that the threshold amplitude scales like Re^-1.05 for transition initiated by streamwise vortices and random noise, like Re^-1.3 for oblique transition and like Re^-1.5 for the localized disturbance. The turbulent spot is found to take a bullet-shaped form that becomes more distinct and increases its spreading rate for higher Reynolds number. The Blasius wall jet is matched to the measured flow in an experimental wall-jet facility. Both the linear and nonlinear regime of introduced waves and streaks are investigated and compared to measurements. It is demonstrated that the streaks play an important role in the breakdown process where they suppress pairing and enhance breakdown to turbulence. Furthermore, statistics from the early turbulent regime are analyzed and reveal a reasonable self-similar behavior, which is most pronounced with inner scaling in the near-wall region.
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