Length Scale of Free Stream Turbulence and Its Impact on Bypass Transition in a Boundary Layer


Institute of Fluid-Flow Machinery IMP PAN, Gdańsk, Poland


An experimental investigation was carried out to study the turbulent flow over a flat plate in a subsonic wind tunnel. The enhanced level of turbulence was generated by five wicker grids with square meshes, and different parameters (diameter of the grid rod d = 0.3 to 3 mm and the grid mesh size M = 1 to 30 mm). The velocity of the flow was measured by means of a 1D hot-wire probe, suitable for measurements in a boundary layer. The main aim of the investigation was to explore the influence of the free stream turbulence length scale on the onset of laminar-turbulent bypass transition in a boundary layer on a flat plate. For this purpose, several transition correlations were presented, including intensity and length scales of turbulence, both at the leading edge of a plate and at the onset of transition. The paper ends with an attempt to create a correlation, which takes into account a simultaneous impact of turbulence intensity and turbulence scale on the boundary layer transition. To assess the isotropy of turbulence, the skewness factor of the flow velocity distribution was determined. Also several longitudinal scales of turbulence were determined and compared (integral scale, dissipation scale, Taylor microscale and Kolmogorov scale) for different grids and different velocities of the mean flow U = 4, 6, 10, 15, 20 m/s.