Effects of free-stream turbulence intensity on a boundary layer recovering from concave curvature effects

M. D. Kestoras, T. W. Simon

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Experiments are conducted on a flat recovery wall downstream of sustained concave curvature in the presence of high free-stream turbulence (TI ∼ 8%). This flow simulates some of the features of the flow on the latter parts of the pressure surface of a gas turbine airfoil. The combined effects of concave curvature and TI, both present in the flow over a turbine airfoil, have so far been little studied. Computation of such flows with standard turbulence closure models has not been particularly successful. This experiment attempts to characterize the turbulence characteristics of this flow. In the present study, a turbulent boundary layer grows from the leading edge of a concave wall, then passes onto a downstream flat wall. Results show that turbulence intensities increase profoundly in the outer region of the boundary layer over the recovery wall. Near-wall turbulent eddies appear to lift off the recovery wall and a “stabilized” region forms near the wall. In contrast to a low-free-stream turbulence intensity flow, turbulent eddies penetrate the outer parts of the “stabilized” region where sharp velocity and temperature gradients exist. These eddies can more readily transfer momentum and heat. As a result, skin friction coefficients and Stanton numbers on the recovery wall are 20 and 10 percent, respectively, above their values in the low-free-stream turbulence intensity case. Stanton numbers do not undershoot flat-wall expectations at the same ReA2 values as seen in the low-TI case. Remarkably, the velocity distribution in the core of the flow over the recovery wall exhibits a negative gradient normal to the wall under high-free-stream turbulence intensity conditions. This velocity distribution appears to be the result of two effects: (1) cross transport of kinetic energy by boundary work in the upstream curved flow and (2) readjustment of static pressure profiles in response to the removal of concave curvature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-247
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Turbomachinery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1995


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