Turbulent flow around circular arcs

Jean-Baptiste R. G. Souppez, Patrick Bot, Ignazio Maria Viola

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The flow around a circular arc is governed by the effect of the sharp leading edge and the arc's curvature. There is a range of incidences where a leading-edge separation bubble (LESB) is formed on the convex side of the arc, and the reattached boundary layer separates further downstream. Akin to foils and cylinders, for increasing values of the Reynolds number, the boundary layer turns from laminar to turbulent resulting in a step change in the forces, here termed force crisis. This phenomenon is characterized experimentally for an arc with a camber-to-chord ratio of 0.22 and for a range of the Reynolds number from 53 530 to 218 000. Forces are measured both in a towing tank and in a water tunnel, and particle image velocimetry is undertaken in the water tunnel. In stark contrast to cylinders, where the force crisis is associated with the laminar-to-turbulent transition of the boundary layer, here, it is found to be associated with the suppressed relaminarization of the boundary layer. In fact, the LESB is always turbulent at the tested conditions, and relaminarization occurs up to a combination of critical angles of attack and critical Reynolds numbers. The critical angle of attack varies linearly with the Reynolds number. These results may contribute to the design of thin cambered wings, sails, and blades at a transitional Reynolds number such as the wings of micro aerial vehicles, swept wings in subsonic flight, turbomachinery blades, and the sails of autonomous sailing vessels.
Original languageEnglish
Article number015121
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2022 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Jean-Baptiste R. G. Souppez, Patrick Bot, and Ignazio Maria Viola , "Turbulent flow around circular arcs", Physics of Fluids 34, 015121 (2022) https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0075875 and may be found at https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/5.0075875


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