Open channel turbulent boundary layers and wall jets on rough surfaces
Tachie, Mark Francis
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For many industrial and environmental flows, the momentum and convective heat transfer rates at the surface are determined by the turbulence structure in the near-wall region. Although many flows of practical interest occur on rough surfaces, our understanding and ability to predict rough wall turbulent flows lags far behind the corresponding technology for smooth surfaces. This provides reasonable grounds for additional refined rough wall measurements with the expectation of improving our physical understanding of practically relevant turbulent flows. This thesis reports an experimental investigation of wall roughness effects on the characteristics of turbulent boundary layers and wall jets. The measurements are obtained for smooth wall and three different roughness elements using a laser-Doppler anemometer. An insightful presentation of the results requires that the correct scaling laws must be used. In the case of the turbulent boundary layer, the appropriateness of the log law proposed by Millikan (1938) to model the overlap region of the mean flow and the power laws proposed by Barenblatt (1993) and George and Castillo (1997) is compared. The boundary layer results show that the theory proposed by George and Castillo (1997) has important advantages over the log law in modeling the mean velocity profiles as well as predicting the wall shear stress. The results also show that wall roughness increases the turbulence fluctuations and transport terms, which suggests that rough wall turbulence models must explicitly account for roughness effects in order to predict the mixing characteristics accurately. This promises to provide significant challenges to rough wall turbulence models. The wall jet results show that wall roughness increases the inner layer thickness but the jet half-width does not show any important sensitivity to surface roughness. The spread rates for the jet half-width are higher than the values obtained in earlier measurements. This may be attributed to the high background turbulence levels in the present flow. It is also observed that the streamwise evolution of the mean flow is nearly independent of initial conditions when scaled using the exit kinematic momentum.