The effect of contraction on a homogeneous turbulent shear flow

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A homogeneous turbulent shear flow in its asymptotic stage of development was subjected to an additional (longitudinal) strain by passing the flow through gradual contraction in the direction perpendicular to that of the mean shear. Two contractions, of area ratio 1.4 and 2.6, were used. Mean velocity and turbulent stress (both normal and shear) distributions were measured at several streamwise locations in the contraction region. The mean velocity distributions agree quite well with calculations based on the (inviscid) Bernoulli equation. Until at least half-way down the contraction with the larger area ratio, the rapid-distortion calculations considering only the streamwise acceleration were found to be reasonably successful in predicting the turbulent intensities. For the smaller-area-ratio contraction, corrections for the ‘natural development’ of the shear flow become important nearly everywhere. Similar calculations considering the shear as the only straining mechanism are generally less successful, although the shear strain rate is at least as rapid as, or even more so than, the longitudinal one. The pressure-rate-of-strain covariance terms estimated from the approximate component energy balance were used to test the adequacy of three models with varying degrees of complexity. Although none of these models appears general enough, their performance is generally adequate for the lower-area-ratio contraction; perhaps not surprisingly, the more complex the model the better its performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-213
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - May 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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