Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 51, Issue 5, pp 1261–1281

Comparison of turbulent channel and pipe flows with varying Reynolds number

  • H. C. H. Ng
  • J. P. Monty
  • N. Hutchins
  • M. S. Chong
  • I. Marusic
Research Article


Single normal hot-wire measurements of the streamwise component of velocity were taken in fully developed turbulent channel and pipe flows for matched friction Reynolds numbers ranging from 1,000 ≤ Reτ ≤ 3,000. A total of 27 velocity profile measurements were taken with a systematic variation in the inner-scaled hot-wire sensor length l+ and the hot-wire length-to-diameter ratio (l/d). It was observed that for constant l+ = 22 and \(l/d \gtrsim 200\), the near-wall peak in turbulence intensity rises with Reynolds number in both channels and pipes. This is in contrast to Hultmark et al. in J Fluid Mech 649:103–113, (2010), who report no growth in the near-wall peak turbulence intensity for pipe flow with l+ = 20. Further, it was found that channel and pipe flows have very similar streamwise velocity statistics and energy spectra over this range of Reynolds numbers, with the only difference observed in the outer region of the mean velocity profile. Measurements where l+ and l/d were systematically varied reveal that l+ effects are akin to spatial filtering and that increasing sensor size will lead to attenuation of an increasingly large range of small scales. In contrast, when l/d was insufficient, the measured energy is attenuated over a very broad range of scales. These findings are in agreement with similar studies in boundary layer flows and highlight the need to carefully consider sensor and anemometry parameters when comparing flows across different geometries and when drawing conclusions regarding the Reynolds number dependency of measured turbulence statistics. With an emphasis on accuracy, measurement resolution and wall proximity, these measurements are taken at comparable Reynolds numbers to currently available DNS data sets of turbulent channel/pipe flows and are intended to serve as a database for comparison between physical and numerical experiments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. C. H. Ng
    • 1
  • J. P. Monty
    • 1
  • N. Hutchins
    • 1
  • M. S. Chong
    • 1
  • I. Marusic
    • 1
  1. 1.Department Mechanical EngineeringThe University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

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