Applied Scientific Research

, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 311–326 | Cite as

Turbulent drag reduction by spanwise wall oscillations

  • Arturo Baron
  • Maurizio Quadrio


In the present work a technique is numerically investigated, which is aimed at reducing the friction drag in turbulent boundary layers and channel flows. A cyclic spanwise oscillation of the wall with a proper frequency and amplitude is imposed, allowing a reduction of the turbulent drag of up to 40%. The present work is based on the numerical simulation of the Navier-Stokes equations in the simple geometry of a plane channel flow. The frequency of the oscillations is kept fixed at the most efficient value determined in previous studies, while the choice of the best value for the amplitude of the oscillations is evaluated not only in terms of friction reduction, but also by taking into consideration the overall energy balance and the power spent for the motion of the wall. The analysis of turbulence statistics allows to shed some light on the way oscillations interact with wall turbulence, as illustrated by visual inspection of some instantaneous flow fields. Finally, a simple explanation is proposed for this interaction, which leads to a rough estimate of the most efficient value for the frequency of the oscillations.

Key words

turbulence turbulent drag reduction 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arturo Baron
    • 1
  • Maurizio Quadrio
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Ingegneria AerospazialePolitecnico di MilanoMilanoItaly

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