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Kelvin-Helmholtz-like instabilities in turbulent flows over complex surfaces

Garcia-Mayoral, R Kelvin-Helmholtz-like instabilities in turbulent flows over complex surfaces. In: ERCOFTAC Progress in Transition Modeling and Control Meeting, 2011-9-28 to 2011-9-30, Toledo, Spain. (Unpublished)

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Riblets are small surface protrusions aligned with the flow direction, which confer an anisotropic roughness to the surface [6]. We have recently reported that the transitional-roughness effect in riblets, which limits their performance, is due to a Kelvin–Helmholtz-like instability of the overlying mean flow [7]. According to our DNSs, the instability sets on as the Reynolds number based on the roughness size of the riblets increases, and coherent, elongated spanwise vortices begin to develop immediately above the riblet tips, causing the degradation of the drag-reduction effect. This is a very novel concept, since prior studies had proposed that the degradation was due to the interaction of riblets with the flow as independent units, either to the lodging of quasi-streamwise vortices in the surface grooves [2] or to the shedding of secondary streamwise vorticity at the riblet peaks [9]. We have proposed an approximate inviscid analysis for the instability, in which the presence of riblets is modelled through an average boundary condition for an overlying, spanwise-independent mean flow. This simplification lacks the accuracy of an exact analysis [4], but in turn applies to riblet surfaces in general. Our analysis succeeds in predicting the riblet size for the onset of the instability, while qualitatively reproducing the wavelengths and shapes of the spanwise structures observed in the DNSs. The analysis also connects the observations with the Kelvin–Helmholtz instability of mixing layers. The fundamental riblet length scale for the onset of the instability is a ‘penetration length,’ which reflects how easily the perturbation flow moves through the riblet grooves. This result is in excellent agreement with the available experimental evidence, and has enabled the identification of the key geometric parameters to delay the breakdown. Although the appearance of elongated spanwise vortices was unexpected in the case of riblets, similar phenomena had already been observed over other rough [3], porous [1] and permeable [11] surfaces, as well as over plant [5,14] and urban [12] canopies, both in the transitional and in the fully-rough regimes. However, the theoretical analyses that support the connection of these observations with the Kelvin–Helmholtz instability are somewhat scarce [7, 11, 13]. It has been recently proposed that Kelvin–Helmholtz-like instabilities are a dominant feature common to “obstructed” shear flows [8]. It is interesting that the instability does not require an inflection point to develop, as is often claimed in the literature. The Kelvin-Helmholtz rollers are rather triggered by the apparent wall-normal-transpiration ability of the flow at the plane immediately above the obstructing elements [7,11]. Although both conditions are generally complementary, if wall-normal transpiration is not present the spanwise vortices may not develop, even if an inflection point exists within the roughness [10]. REFERENCES [1] Breugem, W. P., Boersma, B. J. & Uittenbogaard, R. E. 2006 J. Fluid Mech. 562, 35–72. [2] Choi, H., Moin, P. & Kim, J. 1993 J. Fluid Mech. 255, 503–539. [3] Coceal, O., Dobre, A., Thomas, T. G. & Belcher, S. E. 2007 J. Fluid Mech. 589, 375–409. [4] Ehrenstein, U. 2009 Phys. Fluids 8, 3194–3196. [5] Finnigan, J. 2000 Ann. Rev. Fluid Mech. 32, 519–571. [6] Garcia-Mayoral, R. & Jimenez, J. 2011 Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 369, 1412–1427. [7] Garcia-Mayoral, R. & Jimenez, J. 2011 J. Fluid Mech. doi: 10.1017/jfm.2011.114. [8] Ghisalberti, M. 2009 J. Fluid Mech. 641, 51–61. [9] Goldstein, D. B. & Tuan, T. C. 1998 J. Fluid Mech. 363, 115–151. [10] Hahn, S., Je, J. & Choi, H. 2002 J. Fluid Mech. 450, 259–285. [11] Jimenez, J., Uhlman, M., Pinelli, A. & G., K. 2001 J. Fluid Mech. 442, 89–117. [12] Letzel, M. O., Krane, M. & Raasch, S. 2008 Atmos. Environ. 42, 8770–8784. [13] Py, C., de Langre, E. & Moulia, B. 2006 J. Fluid Mech. 568, 425–449. [14] Raupach, M. R., Finnigan, J. & Brunet, Y. 1996 Boundary-Layer Meteorol. 78, 351–382.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions: Div A > Fluid Mechanics
Depositing User: Cron Job
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2016 18:28
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2017 04:42