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The Effect of Sweep-Angle Variation on the Turbulence Structure in a Separated, Three-Dimensional Flow

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A three-dimensional separated flow behind a swept, backward-facing step is investigated by means of DNS for Re H  = C H/ν = 3000 with the purpose to identify changes in the statistical turbulence structure due to a variation of the sweep angle α from 0° up to 60°. With increasing sweep angle, the near-wall turbulence structure inside the separation bubble and downstream of reattachment changes due to the presence of an edge-parallel mean flow component W. Turbulence production due to the spanwise shear ∂W/∂y at the wall becomes significant and competes with the processes caused by impingement of the separated shear-layer. Changes due to a sweep angle variation can be interpreted in terms of two competing velocity scales which control the global budget of turbulent kinetic energy: the step-normal component U  = C cosα throughout the separated flow region and the velocity difference C across the entire shear-layer downstream of reattachment. As a consequence, the significance of history effects for the development into a two-dimensional boundary layer decreases with increasing sweep angle. For α ≥50°, near-wall streaks tend to form inside the separated flow region.

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Received 7 November 2000 and accepted 9 July 2002 Published online 3 December 2002


ID="*" Part of this work was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft within Sfb 557. Computer time was provided by the Konrad-Zuse Zentrum (ZIB), Berlin.

Communicated by R.D. Moser

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Kaltenbach, HJ. The Effect of Sweep-Angle Variation on the Turbulence Structure in a Separated, Three-Dimensional Flow. Theoret Comput Fluid Dynamics 16, 187–210 (2003).

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