On the universality of inertial energy in the log layer of turbulent boundary layer and pipe flows

D. Chung, I. Marusic, J. P. Monty, M. Vallikivi, A. J. Smits

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Recent experiments in high Reynolds number pipe flow have shown the apparent obfuscation of the kx-1 behaviour in spectra of streamwise velocity fluctuations (Rosenberg et al. in J Fluid Mech 731:46–63, 2013). These data are further analysed here from the perspective of the $$\log r$$logr behaviour in second-order structure functions, which have been suggested as a more robust diagnostic to assess scaling behaviour. A detailed comparison between pipe flows and boundary layers at friction Reynolds numbers of $${{Re}}_\tau \approx$$Reτ≈ 5000–20,000 reveals subtle differences. In particular, the $$\log r$$logr slope of the pipe flow structure function decreases with increasing wall distance, departing from the expected $$2A_1$$2A1 slope in a manner that is different to boundary layers. Here, $$A_1 \approx 1.25$$A1≈1.25, the slope of the log law in the streamwise turbulence intensity profile at high Reynolds numbers. Nevertheless, the structure functions for both flows recover the $$2A_1$$2A1 slope in the log layer sufficiently close to the wall, provided the Reynolds number is also high enough to remain in the log layer. This universality is further confirmed in very high Reynolds number data from measurements in the neutrally stratified atmospheric surface layer. A simple model that accounts for the ‘crowding’ effect near the pipe axis is proposed in order to interpret the aforementioned differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number141
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 26 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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