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Turbulent Flow Between Two Parallel Plates

Consider a turbulent flow field between two parallel plates as shown in the figure.

U(2h)=0

Y h

U(0)=0

The Reynolds Equation for the mean turbulent motion is given by

∂U i 1 ∂P ∂ 2U i ∂ u ′i u ′j
Uj =− +ν − (1)
∂x j ρ ∂x i ∂x j ∂x j ∂x j

Mean Flow Equations

Let
U = (U(y), 0,0) (2)

Equation (1) leads to

1 ∂P d d2U
x-comp: 0=− − u ′v ′ + ν 2 (3)
ρ ∂x dy dy

1 ∂P d 2
y-comp: 0=− − v′ (4)
ρ ∂y dy

Integrating Equation (4), we find

P P ∂P dP0
+ v ′ 2 = 0 , or = . (5)
ρ ρ ∂x dx

Equation (3) now becomes

1 dP0 d d2U
0=− − u ′v ′ + ν 2 . (6)
ρ dx dy dy

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dU τ0 2
Integrating (6) and noting that ν = = u * , we find
dy y= 0
ρ

y dP0 dU
− u ′v′ + ν
2
− − u* = 0 . (7)
ρ dx dy

At the centerline y = h , equation (7) implies

h dP0 2
− = u* . (8)
ρ dx

dP0
Eliminating between (7) and (8), the result is
dx

dU 2 y
− u ′v ′ + ν = u * 1 −  (9)
dy  h

y
Introducing the dimensionless variable η = , equation (9) may be restated as
h

u ′v′ 1 d
− + (U + ) = 1 − η , (10)
u *2 R * dη

where

U u *h
U+ = and R *
= . (11)
u* ν

yu *
Alternatively introducing y + = , equation (9) becomes
ν

u ′v′ dU + 1
− 2
+ +
= 1 − * y+ . (12)
u* dy R

For high Reynolds number flows as R * → ∞ , equations (10) and (12) imply

u ′v′
− = 1− η (as R * → ∞ , η ~ 1 (core region)) (13)
*2
u

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u ′v′ dU +
− + =1 (as R * → ∞ , y + ~ 1 (surface layer)) (14)
u *2 dy +

Law of the Wall

We expect the solution to (14) to be given as

 U + = f ( y+ ) 
 
Law of the Wall: − u ′v′ = g( y + ) , (15)
 u *2 
 

with boundary conditions f (0) = 0 and g(0) = 0 , and the shapes of f (y + ) and g( y + ) are
to be found experimentally.

Velocity Defect Law

In the core region, the turbulent stresses are given by (13) and the mean velocity
is given as

U − U0
Velocity Defect Law: = F(η) (16)
u*

The velocity gradients from (15) and (16) may be found, i.e.

2
dU u * df
= (17)
dy ν dy +

and

dU u * dF
= . (18)
dy h dη

Inertial Sublayer

From equations (17) and (18) in the limit of η << 1 and y + >> 1 , we find

2
dU u * df u * dF
= = (as η → 0 , y + → ∞ ) (19)
dy ν dy + h dη

y
Multiplying (19) by , the result is
u*

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df (y + )
+ dF(η) 1
y +
=η = = const. (20)
dy dη κ

Solving, we find

1
F(η) = ln η + c1 for η << 1 (21)
κ

and

1
f (y + ) = ln y + + c 2 for y + >> 1 (22)
κ

In the inertial sublayer from (13) or (14), we conclude that

u ′v ′
− 2
= 1. (23)
u*

Logarithmic Friction Law

The velocity defect law and the law of the wall in the inertial sublayer are given
as

U − U0 1
= ln η + c1 , (24)
u* κ

U 1
= ln y + + c 2 . (25)
u* κ

Subtracting, we find

U0 1 u *h
= ln R * + c 2 − c1 (R = *
) (26)
u *
κ ν

with c1 and c 2 known, equation (26) is the statement of the logarithmic friction law.

Pipe Flow

The law of the wall and the velocity defect law are also valid for turbulent pipe
flows. Equations (9) - (26) can be written for pipe flows with the following minor
changes:

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y u * r0
η= and R =
*
. (27)
r0 ν

Here, r0 is the radius of the pipe and y is the distance from the wall. For pipe flows,
κ = 0.4 and equations (24) - (26) become

U
U+ = *
= 2.5 ln y + + 5 , is valid for up to η ≈ 0.25
U
(28)

U − U0
= 2.5 ln η − 1 (29)
u*

U0
*
= 2 .5 R * + 6 (30)
u

Wake Function

The wake function is defined as

Law of the Wake: W (η) = 1 − 2.5 ln η + F(η) , (31)

where F(η) is the velocity defect law. Experiment shows that

1 1 
W (η) = sin π(η − ) + 1 . (32)
2 2 

Viscous Sublayer

In the viscous sublayer, the Reynolds stress is negligible. Equation (14) then
becomes

dU +
= 1. (33)
dy +

or

U+ = y+ (34)

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Kolmogorov Scale

∂U u *
In the inertial sublayer − u ′v ′ ≈ u * and
2
≈ . The turbulent production then
∂y κy
is given as

3
∂U u *
Pr oduction = − u ′v′ = . (35)
∂y κy

Experiment shows that in the inertial sublayer, production is equal to dissipation:

3
u*
ε= (36)
κy

Kolmogorov scale η is given by

1
 ν3 4
η =   (37)
 ε 

Let

+ ηu *
η = , (37)
ν

then

1
 4
 4 
 u* ν3 
1

η+ =   or η + = ( κy + ) 4 (38)
*3
ν4 u 
 κy 
 

The turbulent macroscale near the wall is given as

Λ = κy (39)

or

Λu *
Λ+ = = κy + (40)
ν

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Table of variation of the scales near a wall
+
y +
1
+ 4
Λ+ = κy +
η = ( κy )
5 1.2 2
12 1.5 4
40 2 16
200 3 80
1000 4.5 400

Λ+
1000
Viscous
Sublayer
10
η+

0.1
y+
1 5 100 1000

Schematic variations of the macroscale and Kolmogorov scale in


turbulent near wall flows

1
From the table and the schematics diagram, it is observed that for y + ≤ = 2.5 ,
κ
Λ+ < η + and a turbulent flow cannot exist.

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