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Large-Eddy Simulation of the Flat-Plate Turbulent Boundary Layer at High Reynolds Numbers


Inoue, Michio (2012) Large-Eddy Simulation of the Flat-Plate Turbulent Boundary Layer at High Reynolds Numbers. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/PXTM-W616.


The near-wall, subgrid-scale (SGS) model [Chung and Pullin, "Large-eddy simulation and wall-modeling of turbulent channel flow", J. Fluid Mech. 631, 281--309 (2009)] is used to perform large-eddy simulations (LES) of the incompressible developing, smooth-wall, flat-plate turbulent boundary layer. In this model, the stretched-vortex, SGS closure is utilized in conjunction with a tailored, near-wall model designed to incorporate anisotropic vorticity scales in the presence of the wall. The composite SGS-wall model is presently incorporated into a computer code suitable for the LES of developing flat-plate boundary layers. This is then used to study several aspects of zero- and adverse-pressure gradient turbulent boundary layers.

First, LES of the zero-pressure gradient turbulent boundary layer are performed at Reynolds numbers Reθ based on the free-stream velocity and the momentum thickness in the range Reθ = 103 - 1012. Results include the inverse skin friction coefficient, √2/Cf, velocity profiles, the shape factor H, the Karman "constant", and the Coles wake factor as functions of Reθ. Comparisons with some direct numerical simulation (DNS) and experiment are made, including turbulent intensity data from atmospheric-layer measurements at Reθ = O(106. At extremely large Reθ, the empirical Coles-Fernholz relation for skin-friction coefficient provides a reasonable representation of the LES predictions. While the present LES methodology cannot of itself probe the structure of the near-wall region, the present results show turbulence intensities that scale on the wall-friction velocity and on the Clauser length scale over almost all of the outer boundary layer. It is argued that the LES is suggestive of the asymptotic, infinite Reynolds-number limit for the smooth-wall turbulent boundary layer and different ways in which this limit can be approached are discussed. The maximum Reθ of the present simulations appears to be limited by machine precision and it is speculated, but not demonstrated, that even larger Reθ could be achieved with quad- or higher-precision arithmetic.

Second, the time series velocity signals obtained from LES within the logarithmic region of the zero-pressure gradient turbulent boundary layer are used in combination with an empirical, predictive inner--outer wall model [Marusic et al., "Predictive model for wall-bounded turbulent flow", Science 329, 193 (2010)] to calculate the statistics of the fluctuating streamwise velocity in the inner region of the zero-pressure gradient turbulent boundary layer. Results, including spectra and moments up to fourth order, are compared with equivalent predictions using experimental time series, as well as with direct experimental measurements at Reynolds numbers Reτ based on the friction velocity and the boundary layer thickness, Reτ =7,300, 13,600 and 19,000. LES combined with the wall model are then used to extend the inner-layer predictions to Reynolds numbers Reτ =62,000, 100,000 and 200,000 that lie within a gap in log(Reτ) space between laboratory measurements and surface-layer, atmospheric experiments. The present results support a log-like increase in the near-wall peak of the streamwise turbulence intensities with Reτ and also provide a means of extending LES results at large Reynolds numbers to the near-wall region of wall-bounded turbulent flows.

Finally, we apply the wall model to LES of a turbulent boundary layer subject to an adverse pressure gradient. Computed statistics are found to be consistent with recent experiments and some Reynolds number similarity is observed over a range of two orders of magnitude.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Turbulent boundary layers, subgrid scale modeling
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Minor Option:Applied And Computational Mathematics
Awards:William F. Ballhaus Prize, 2012
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Pullin, Dale Ian
Thesis Committee:
  • McKeon, Beverley J. (chair)
  • Colonius, Tim
  • Leonard, Anthony
  • Pullin, Dale Ian
Defense Date:27 April 2012
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:05222012-183141047
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7065
Deposited By: Michio Inoue
Deposited On:30 May 2012 19:03
Last Modified:25 Oct 2023 22:42

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