Experimental measurements of a self-similar adverse pressure gradient turbulent boundary layer

C. Atkinson, A-J. Buchner, A. Sekimoto, V. Kitsios, J. Soria

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The structure and dynamics of adverse pressure gradient turbulent boundary layers (APG-TBL) have a significant role in the efficiency and performance of a range of transportation and energy generation platforms. This is particularly true in regions of strong adverse streamwise pressure gradient, such as near the trailing edges of wings and turbine blades, where separation of the boundary layer can significantly reduce performance with the potential for catastrophic consequences. The optimal design of such systems remains suboptimal due to a lack of fundamental understanding of how the pressure gradient influences the complex structure of the turbulent boundary layer, as illustrated by our inability to adequately scale the statistical flow quantities with varying pressure gradient. To enable an investigation of both the spatially and temporally coherent structure of APG-TBLs, a series of high-speed particle image velocimetry measurements were performed in a large water tunnel with a flexible and fully adjustable roof in order to allow for the adjustment of streamwise pressure gradient. Results show a significant departure from the more widely studied zero pressure gradient flow as a significant proportion of the turbulent activity moves out to a position roughly one displacement thickness above the wall, forming an outer turbulent fluctuation peak. The results show good agreement with DNS of a self-similar APG-TBL.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference (AFMC)
PublisherAustralasian Fluid Mechanics Society
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781740523776
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventAustralasian Fluid Mechanics Conference 2016 - The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
Duration: 5 Dec 20168 Dec 2016
Conference number: 20th


ConferenceAustralasian Fluid Mechanics Conference 2016
Abbreviated titleAFMC 2016

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