On the mean structure of sharp-fin-induced shock wave/turbulent boundary layer interactions over a cylindrical surface

J. D. Pickles, B. R. Mettu, P. K. Subbareddy, V. Narayanaswamy

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17 Scopus citations


Interactions between an oblique shock wave generated by a sharp fin placed on a cylindrical surface and the incoming boundary layer are investigated to unravel the mean features of the resulting shock/boundary layer interaction (SBLI) unit. This fin-on-cylinder SBLI unit has several unique features caused by the three-dimensional (3-D) relief offered by the cylindrical surface that noticeably alter the shock structure. Complementary experimental and computational studies are made to delineate both the surface and off-body flow features of the fin-on-cylinder SBLI unit and to obtain a detailed understanding of the mechanisms that dictate the mean flow and wall pressure features of the SBLI unit. Results show that the fin-on-cylinder SBLI exhibits substantial deviation from quasi-conical symmetry that is observed in planar fin SBLI. Furthermore, the separated flow growth rate appears to decrease with downstream distance and the separation size is consistently smaller than the planar fin SBLI with the same inflow and fin configurations. The causes for the observed diminution of the separated flow and its downstream growth rate were investigated in the light of changes caused by the cylinder curvature on the inviscid as well as separation shock. It was found that the inviscid shock gets progressively weakened in the region close to the triple point with downstream distance due to the 3-D relief effect from cylinder curvature. This weakening of the inviscid shock feeds into the separation shock, which is also independently impacted by the 3-D relief, to result in the observed modifications in the fin-on-cylinder SBLI unit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-246
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Apr 25 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This investigation has been provided by the Army Research Office under grant W911NF-16-1-0072.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Cambridge University Press.


  • shock waves
  • turbulent boundary layers
  • wave-turbulence interactions


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