A method to determine wall shear stress from mean profiles in turbulent boundary layers

Praveen Kumar, Krishnan Mahesh

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The direct measurement of wall shear stress in turbulent boundary layers (TBL) is challenging, therefore, requiring it to be indirectly determined from mean profile measurements. Most popular methods assume the mean streamwise velocity to satisfy either a logarithmic law in the inner layer or a composite velocity profile with many tuned constants for the entire TBL, both of which require reliable data from the inner layer. The presence of roughness and pressure gradient brings additional complications where most existing methods either fail or require significant modification. A novel method is proposed to determine the wall shear stress in zero pressure gradient TBL from measured mean profiles, without requiring near-wall data. The method is based on the stress model of Kumar and Mahesh (Phys Rev Fluids 6:024603, 2021), who developed accurate models for mean stress and wall-normal velocity in zero pressure gradient TBL. The proposed method requires a single point measurement of mean streamwise velocity and mean shear stress in the outer layer, preferably between 20 and 50 % of the TBL, and an estimate of boundary layer thickness and shape factor. The method can handle wall roughness without modification and is shown to predict friction velocities to within 3 % over a range of Reynolds number for both smooth and rough wall zero pressure gradient TBL. In order to include the pressure gradients effects, the work of Kumar and Mahesh (Phys Rev Fluids 6:024603, 2021) is revisited to derive a novel model for both mean stress and wall-normal velocity in pressure gradient TBL, which is then used to formulate a method to obtain the wall shear stress from the profile data. Overall, the proposed method is shown to be robust and accurate for a variety of pressure gradient TBL. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is supported by the United States Office of Naval Research (ONR) under ONR Grant N00014-20-1-2717 with Dr. Peter Chang as technical monitor. The authors thank Prof. J. Klewicki for providing the experimental data published in Morrill-Winter et al. ().

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


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