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Modulation of turbulence in forced convection by temperature-dependent viscosity

  • Francesco Zonta (a1), Cristian Marchioli (a1) and Alfredo Soldati (a1)


In this work, we run a numerical experiment to study the behaviour of incompressible Newtonian fluids with anisotropic temperature-dependent viscosity in forced convection turbulence. We present a systematic analysis of variable-viscosity effects, isolated from gravity, with relevance for aerospace cooling/heating applications. We performed an extensive campaign based on pseudo-spectral direct numerical simulations of turbulent water channel flow in the Reynolds number parameter space. We considered constant temperature boundary conditions and different temperature gradients between the channel walls. Results indicate that average and turbulent fields undergo significant variations. Compared with isothermal flow with constant viscosity, we observe that turbulence is promoted in the cold side of the channel, characterized by viscosity locally higher than the mean: in the range of the examined Reynolds numbers and in absence of gravity, higher values of viscosity determine an increase of turbulent kinetic energy, whereas a decrease of turbulent kinetic energy is determined at the hot wall. Examining in detail the turbulent kinetic energy budget, we find that turbulence modifications are associated with changes in the rate at which energy is produced and dissipated near the walls: specifically, at the hot wall (respectively cold wall) production decreases (respectively increases) while dissipation increases (respectively decreases).


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Also at Department of Fluid Mechanics, CISM, 33100, Udine, Italy.



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Modulation of turbulence in forced convection by temperature-dependent viscosity

  • Francesco Zonta (a1), Cristian Marchioli (a1) and Alfredo Soldati (a1)


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