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in Fluid Mechanics

Professor

Engineering

Introduction

l Jet streams in the upper atmosphere

l Cumulus clouds

l Water currents below the surface of the ocean

l Wake of the earth in the solar wind

l Boundary layers on wings of an aircraft

l Combustion

l Flow of natural oil and gas in pipelines

l Used for mixing to accelerate chemical reaction rates in

liquids and gases

Introduction

l Laminar flow is usually an exception, not the rule,

happens only for small dimensions and fluids with

high viscosity (lubricating oil in bearings)

Nature of Turbulence

have randomly fluctuating components-irregular

in space and time. This makes it impossible to

describe turbulence deterministically, instead must

be described statistically

l Mixing-Turbulent flows mix or diffuse quantities

such as concentration, heat and momentum

rapidly. Not all random flows do this, like

contrails of a jet aircraft having a very nearly

constant diameter for long distances

Nature of Turbulence

characteristic of a turbulence is the dominance of

non-linear inertial interactions in the flow. These

require large Re. Flow is usually laminar up to

some Re at which the nonlinear effects combine

with viscous effects to cause instability and finally

turbulence

Nature of Turbulence

dimensional phenomeneon and essentially

rotational. Models assuming complete

irrotationality and or 1 or 2 dimensionality cannot

fully describe turbulence. In fact, they sometimes

give completely erroneous results, 3-D vortex

stretching is essential in turbulence

Nature of Turbulence

significant amounts of mechanical energy into

heat via viscous dissipation

l Continuum-Turbulence is a property of continuous

fluids. The smallest scales of turbulence are

usually much larger than the molecular length

scales. However, turbulence can also occur in

non-continuum fluids such as stellar and

interstellar gas

Nature of Turbulence

property. At large Reynolds numbers, it is the

geometry and the initial conditions that determine

the turbulence rather than the molecular

properties. Thus, any turbulent flow is different,

although there have been some common

characteristics in similar flows

Nature of Turbulence

powerful mathematical methods. This lack of

tools makes all theoretical approaches a trial and

error technique. Equations alone cannot solve

turbulence problems accurately, some

experimental verification is essential to validate

the mathematical or numerical methods.

Examples of Non-Turbulent Flows

flow is random, mixing is high, but flow is not

turbulent because Re is too low

l Randomly generated accoustic waves, surface

waves, and gravity waves, flow is random but

irrotational and low Re, also very weakly

dissipative

Methods Of Analysis

problems

l Impossible to make accurate quantitative

prediction without relying on empirical data

l Statistical approach leads to more unknown than

number of equations (3 equations with 10

unknowns, counting pressure), closure problem,

assumptions are made to provide adequate number

of equations (turbulence modeling)

Methods Of Analysis

enough understanding of the turbulence that we can make

reasonable assumptions to bridge the gap between the

equations and the actual flow

l There is a far better chance to come up with a reasonable

turbulence model than a theoretical solution

l The computers of the future might be so powerful that they

can resolve the smallest scale of turbulence (Kolmogorov

scale) for large regions of the turbulent flows using

Navier-Stokes equations

Methods Of Analysis

tools in the study of turbulence. It is possible to

describe some aspects of the turbulence structure

with a few independent variables or parameters.

With dimensional methods, relationships between

dependent and independent variables can be found

except for some numerical coefficients.

Origin of Turbulence

from instabilities at large Re

l For pipe flow, Re= 2,000 is the critical Re

l Boundary layer in zero pressure gradient becomes unstable

at U */ = 600, where * is the displacement thickness &

U is the free stream velocity

l Free shear flows (mixing layer flows) become unstable at

very low Re due to inviscid instability mechanism that

does not hold in pipe and boundary layer layer flows.

Early stages of transition can be seen in the smoke rising

from a cigarette

Origin of Turbulence

l Turbulence cannot sustain itself and depends on its

environment to obtain energy, a common source is shear in

the mean flow

l Turbulent flows are usually shear flows

l If turbulence arrives in an environment where there is no

shear, it decays, Re decreases and flow becomes laminar,

an example is grid turbulence

l Mathematically the transition region is poorly understood,

mostly the theory is linear valid for small disturbances, it

cannot deal with large fluctuations in turbulent region

l All of the theory of turbulent flow is asymptotic, fairly

accurate at very large Re, but inaccurate at Re where

turbulence cannot maintain itself

Catastrophic Model

is 2-D. This primary instability produces

secondary motion which are 3-D and becomes

unstable, a sequence of this nature generates

intense localized 3-D disturbances (turbulent spots

in the boundary layer) arriving at random

positions at random times. These spots grow

rapidly and merge with each other when they

become large and numerous to form a developed

turbulent flow

Diffusivity of Turbulence

transfer momentum, kinetic energy, heat, particles

and motion

l The rate of diffusion is several orders of

magnitude larger than the molecular diffusion

which happens in laminar flow

l Ratio of turbulent time scale to the molecular time

scale

Tt 1

Tm Re

Length Scales in Turbulent Flows

of the flow field and from below by the diffusive action of

molecular viscosity, this is why spectral analysis of

turbulent motion is important

l There are three length scales in turbulent flow, l viscous or

diffusive length scale responsible for the boundary layer

growth in the transverse direction, and L the convective

length scale (length of the flat plate), l usually much

smaller than L, and Kolmogorors length scale

corresponding to the smallest scales.

l 1

1/ 2

L Re

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insert it again.

Length Scales in Turbulent Flows

equal to the convective time scale

l L

u U

l Where l is the largest length scale of the

turbulence (largest energy containing eddies,

integral length scale), u is the magnitude of the

velocity fluctuations, U is the free stream velocity,

and L is the convective length scale

Length Scales in Turbulent Flows

small scale of motion by dissipating small-scale

energy to heat. Even at large Re, the viscous

effects are important and cannot be neglected

L.F. Richardson

Big whirls create little whirls which feed

on their velocities, little whirls make

lesser whirls and so on to viscosity

Length Scales in Turbulent Flows

to the smallest scales of motion = The rate

of dissipation at the smallest scales through

viscosity

1/4

3 .

Re = =1

Kolmogorov

microscales or inner

1/2

= Dissipation rate

scales

( )1/4

per unit mass ( K .E . / mass . sec)

Length Scales in Turbulent Flows

nearly inviscid for high Re number flows

l Viscosity does not disappear, however because the

larger scales breakdown to produce much smaller

scales of motion with smallest velocity and length

scales (, ), thus viscosity dominates the motion

on these scales and viscous dissipation occurs here

at a rate of , these are on the order of the smallest

scales and may be likened to internal boundary

layers

Length Scales in Turbulent Flows

U >> u >>

L >> l >>

towards understanding these scales and the

process of creating their associated motions

Length Scales in Turbulent Flows

u u 3

u . =

2

l l

Using this relationship, the u,l and vel, scales can be

related

Pipe Flow

UD

Re D = = 10 6

Rl3/4 U D

l

u 0.1U

ul

Rl = l 0.1 D

U=10 m/sec,

Rl = 10 4

Rl1/4 If D=10 cm,

u 10 4 D

=10

= 10-6 m2/sec

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