Investigation of unsteady secondary flows and large-scale turbulence in heterogeneous turbulent boundary layers

D.D. Wangsawijaya, N. Hutchins
2022 Journal of Fluid Mechanics  
Following the findings by Wangsawijaya et al. (J. Fluid Mech., vol. 894, 2020, A7), we re-examine the turbulent boundary layers developing over surfaces with spanwise heterogeneous roughness of various roughness half-wavelengths $0.32 \leq S/\bar {\delta } \leq 3.63$ , where $S$ is the width of the roughness strips and $\bar {\delta }$ is the spanwise-averaged boundary-layer thickness. The heterogeneous cases induce counter-rotating secondary flows, and these are compared with the large-scale
more » ... rbulent structures that occur naturally over the smooth wall. Both appear as meandering elongated high- and low-momentum streaks in the instantaneous flow field. Results based on the triple decomposed velocity fluctuations suggest that the secondary flows are spanwise-locked turbulent structures, with $S/\bar {\delta }$ governing the strength of the turbulent structures and the efficacy of the surface in locking the structures in place (most effective when $S/\bar {\delta } \approx 1$ ). In terms of unsteadiness, we find additional evidence from conditional averages of the fluctuating velocity fields showing that the secondary flows exhibit maximum unsteadiness (or meandering) when $S/\bar {\delta } \approx 1$ . The conditional averages of both spanwise heterogeneous and smooth-wall cases result in structures that are reminiscent of those proposed for the streak-vortex instability model for the inner cycle of wall-bounded turbulence. However, in this case these structures are larger and do not necessarily share the same formation mechanism with the inner cycle. Secondary flows and large-scale structures coexist in the limits where either $S/\bar {\delta } \gg 1$ or $S/\bar {\delta } \ll 1$ , where the secondary flows scale on $\delta$ or $S$ , respectively. When $S/\bar {\delta } \gg 1$ , the secondary flows are locked about the roughness transition, while relatively unaltered large-scale structures occur further from the transition. In the case where $S/\bar {\delta } \ll 1$ , $S$ -scaled secondary flows are confined close to the surface, coexisting with unaltered larger-scale turbulent structures that penetrate much deeper into the layer.
doi:10.1017/jfm.2021.1152 fatcat:ugmdwkb2qneipfrfin5en5wvhm