Investigations of Boundary Layer Transition in an Adverse Pressure Gradient

[+] Author and Article Information
J. P. Gostelow, A. R. Blunden

University of Technology, Sydney, Sydney, Australia

J. Turbomach 111(4), 366-374 (Oct 01, 1989) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3262281 History: Received September 18, 1987; Online November 09, 2009


Boundary layer transition was measured on a flat plate for four different turbulence levels. A range of adverse pressure gradients was imposed for one of these. The zero pressure gradient results were in agreement with accepted data for transition inception, length, and turbulent spot formation rate. They were also well represented by Narasimha’s universal intermittency distribution. A surprisingly strong similarity was also exhibited by intermittency distributions under adverse pressure gradients. Dimensionless velocity profiles were reasonable for the zero pressure gradient cases but difficulties with skin-friction prediction were experienced under adverse pressure gradient conditions. For this moderate turbulence level the transition inception Reynolds number remained reasonably constant with pressure gradient. Transition lengths, however, were greatly reduced by the imposition of even a weak adverse pressure gradient. This was associated with a strong increase in turbulent spot formation rate.

Copyright © 1989 by ASME
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