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Vortex reconnection in the late transition in channel flow

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 August 2016

Yaomin Zhao
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory for Turbulence and Complex Systems, College of Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Yue Yang
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory for Turbulence and Complex Systems, College of Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China Center for Applied Physics and Technology, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
Shiyi Chen
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory for Turbulence and Complex Systems, College of Engineering, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China Center for Applied Physics and Technology, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China Department of Mechanics and Aerospace Engineering, South University of Science and Technology of China, Shenzhen 518055, China
Corresponding
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Abstract

Vortex reconnection, as the topological change of vortex lines or surfaces, is a critical process in transitional flows, but is challenging to accurately characterize, particularly in shear flows. We apply the vortex-surface field (VSF), whose isosurface is the vortex surface consisting of vortex lines, to study vortex reconnection in the Klebanoff-type temporal transition in channel flow. The VSF evolution can capture the reconnection of the hairpin-like vortical structures evolving from the initial vortex sheets in opposite halves of the channel. The incipient vortex reconnection is characterized by the vanishing minimum distance between a pair of vortex surfaces and the reduction of vorticity flux through the region enclosed by the wall and the VSF isoline of the channel half-height on the spanwise symmetric plane. We find that the surge of the wall-friction coefficient begins at the identified reconnection time. From the Biot–Savart law, the rapid reconnection of vortex lines can induce a velocity opposed to the mean flow, which partially blocks the flow near the central region and generally accelerates the near-wall fluid motion in the flow with constant mass flux. Therefore, the vortex reconnection appears to play an important role in the sudden increase of wall friction in transitional channel flows.

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Rapids
Copyright
© 2016 Cambridge University Press 

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