Wall shear stress and velocity in a turbulent axisymmetric boundary layer

Anthony Wietrzak, Richard M Lueptow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Instantaneous streamwise fluctuations of the wall shear stress have been measured using a hot-element probe in a thick axisymmetric turbulent boundary layer on a cylinder aligned parallel to the flow. The measurements were made at a momentum-thickness Reynolds number R0 — 3050 and a ratio of boundary-layer thickness to cylinder radius of S/a = 5.7. The ratio of the r.m.s. of the fluctuation to the mean value of the wall shear stress, rrms/f, is about 0.32, a value slightly lower than that for recent measurements for flow over a flat plate. The probability density function of the wall shear stress is similar to that for planar wall-bounded flows within experimental error. The power spectral density of the wall shear stress shows that a cylindrical boundary layer contains less energy at lower frequencies and more energy at higher frequencies than other wall-bounded flows. Analysis of simultaneous measurements of the streamwise wall shear stress and the streamwise velocity using VITA and peak detection suggests that transverse curvature has little effect on the near-wall burst-sweep cycle compared to planar wall-bounded flows. The angle of inclination of the structures is similar to that measured for large-scale structures in planar wall-bounded flows. However, measurements of the cross-correlation between the shear stress and the velocity suggest the existence of smaller structures yawed to the axis of the cylinder. The coherence between shear stress and velocity shows a low frequency associated with the inclined structures and a higher frequency associated with the yawed structures. The yawed structures could have an arrowhead or half-arrowhead shape and may be associated with fluid from the outer flow washing over the cylinder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-218
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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