On the identification of well-behaved turbulent boundary layers Articles uri icon

publication date

  • July 2017

start page

  • 109

end page

  • 138


  • 822

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-1120

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-7645


  • This paper introduces a new method based on the diagnostic plot (Alfredsson et al., Phys. Fluids, vol. 23, 2011, 041702) to assess the convergence towards a well-behaved zero-pressure-gradient (ZPG) turbulent boundary layer (TBL). The most popular and well-understood methods to assess the convergence towards a well-behaved state rely on empirical skin-friction curves (requiring accurate skin-friction measurements), shape-factor curves (requiring full velocity profile measurements with an accurate wall position determination) or wake-parameter curves (requiring both of the previous quantities). On the other hand, the proposed diagnostic-plot method only needs measurements of mean and fluctuating velocities in the outer region of the boundary layer at arbitrary wall-normal positions. To test the method, six tripping configurations, including optimal set-ups as well as both under-and overtripped cases, are used to quantify the convergence of ZPG TBLs towards well-behaved conditions in the Reynolds-number range covered by recent high-fidelity direct numerical simulation data up to a Reynolds number based on the momentum thickness and free-stream velocity Re-theta of approximately 4000 (corresponding to 2.5 m from the leading edge) in a wind-tunnel experiment. Additionally, recent high-Reynolds-number data sets have been employed to validate the method. The results show that weak tripping configurations lead to deviations in the mean flow and the velocity fluctuations within the logarithmic region with respect to optimally tripped boundary layers. On the other hand, a strong trip leads to a more energized outer region, manifested in the emergence of an outer peak in the velocity-fluctuation profile and in a more prominent wake region. While established criteria based on skin-friction and shape-factor correlations yield generally equivalent results with the diagnostic-plot method in terms of convergence towards a well-behaved state,


  • Aeronautics


  • turbulent boundary layers; turbulent flows