Transition Length Prediction for Flows With Rapidly Changing Pressure Gradients

[+] Author and Article Information
W. J. Solomon, G. J. Walker

Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

J. P. Gostelow

School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Technology, Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

J. Turbomach 118(4), 744-751 (Oct 01, 1996) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2840930 History: Received February 27, 1995; Online January 29, 2008


A new method for calculating intermittency in transitional boundary layers with changing pressure gradients is proposed and tested against standard turbomachinery flow cases. It is based on recent experimental studies, which show the local pressure gradient parameter to have a significant effect on turbulent spot spreading angles and propagation velocities (and hence transition length). This can be very important for some turbomachinery flows. On a turbine blade suction surface, for example, it is possible for transition to start in a region of favorable pressure gradient and finish in a region of adverse pressure gradient. Calculation methods that estimate the transition length from the local pressure gradient parameter at the start of transition will seriously overestimate the transition length under these conditions. Conventional methods based on correlations of zero pressure gradient transition data are similarly inaccurate. The new calculation method continuously adjusts the spot growth parameters in response to changes in the local pressure gradient through transition using correlations based on data given in the companion paper by Gostelow et al. (1996). Recent Experimental Correlations of Gostelow et al. (1994a) are used to estimate the turbulent spot generation rate at the start of transition. The method has been incorporated in a linear combination integral computation and tested with good results on cases that report both the intermittency and surface pressure distribution data. It has resulted in a much reduced sensitivity to errors in predicting the start of the transition zone, and can be recommended for engineering use in calculating boundary layer development on axial turbomachine blades.

Copyright © 1996 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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