, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 137-147

A film-based wall shear stress sensor for wall-bounded turbulent flows

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Abstract

In wall-bounded turbulent flows, determination of wall shear stress is an important task. The main objective of the present work is to develop a sensor which is capable of measuring surface shear stress over an extended region applicable to wall-bounded turbulent flows. This sensor, as a direct method for measuring wall shear stress, consists of mounting a thin flexible film on the solid surface. The sensor is made of a homogeneous, isotropic, and incompressible material. The geometry and mechanical properties of the film are measured, and particles with the nominal size of 11 μm in diameter are embedded on the film’s surface to act as markers. An optical technique is used to measure the film deformation caused by the flow. The film has typically deflection of less than 2% of the material thickness under maximum loading. The sensor sensitivity can be adjusted by changing the thickness of the layer or the shear modulus of the film’s material. The paper reports the sensor fabrication, static and dynamic calibration procedure, and its application to a fully developed turbulent channel flow at Reynolds numbers in the range of 90,000–130,000 based on the bulk velocity and channel full height. The results are compared to alternative wall shear stress measurement methods.