The response of a compressible turbulent boundary layer to short regions of concave surface curvature

Margaret W. Taylor, Mohan Jayaram, Alexander J. Smits

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Experiments were performed to investigate the supersonic flow of a turbulent boundary layer over short regions of concave surface curvature. Upstream of each curved wall, the free-stream Mach number was 2.87, and the incoming boundary layer was typical of a two-dimensional, zero-pressure-gradient, high-Reynolds-number flow. Two different curvatures were used, with radii of curvature equal to 10 and 50 initial boundary-layer thicknesses (Models I and II, respectively). The turning angle was 8° in each case. As the boundary layer passed through the curved region, it experienced a strong adverse pressure gradient, as well as the destabilizing influences of bulk compression and concave curvature. Downstream of the curved walls, the flow relaxed on a short plane wall. The mean and turbulent field for each flow was investigated, using normal and inclined hot wires to measure the turbulent fluctuations. Wherever possible, the results were compared with those from a corresponding 8° ramp. The ramp and Model I exhibited a very similar behaviour: turbulence levels increased significantly, and there was a marked increase in structural parameters such as the stress ratio —u'v'/u'— and the length-and timescales of the turbulent motions. Model II behaved quite differently: although the turbulence levels increased, structural parameters were essentially unchanged. The similarities between the ramp and Model I results suggest that the perturbation in both cases is ‘ rapid ’ in that the perturbation can be described in terms of total strains rather than local strains. In contrast, the flow in Model II is sensitive to the local variations in the strain rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-362
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Feb 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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