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A direct numerical simulation of laminar and turbulent flow over riblet-mounted surfaces

  • Douglas C. Chu and George Em Karniadakis

Abstract

The flow in a channel with its lower wall mounted with streamwise riblets is simulated using a highly efficient spectral element-Fourier method. The range of Reynolds numbers investigated is 500 to 3500, which corresponds to laminar, transitional, and turbulent flow states. A complete study is presented for V-groove riblets; the effect of rounded riblets is also investigated. Our results suggest that in the laminar regime there is no drag reduction, while in the transitional and turbulent regimes drag reduction exists (approximately 6 % at Reynolds number 3500) for the riblet-mounted wall in comparison with the smooth wall of the channel. For the first time, we present detailed turbulent statistics (turbulence intensities, Reynolds shear stresses, skewness and flatness) as well as a temporal analysis using a numerical analog of the VITA technique. The flow structure over the riblet-mounted wall is also analysed in some detail and compared with the corresponding flow over the smooth wall in an attempt to identify the physical mechanisms that cause drag reduction. The accuracy of the computation is established by comparing flow quantities corresponding to the smooth wall with previous direct numerical simulation results as well as with experimental results; on the riblet-mounted wall comparison is made with available experimental results. The agreement is very good for both cases. The current computation is the first direct numerical simulation of turbulence in a complex geometry domain.

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A direct numerical simulation of laminar and turbulent flow over riblet-mounted surfaces

  • Douglas C. Chu and George Em Karniadakis

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