On near-wall turbulence-generating events in a turbulent boundary layer on a riblet surface
The boundary layer over a drag reducing riblet surface is investigated using hot-wire anemometry and flow visualisation. The concept of a ’riblet sublayer’ is introduced, and a definition is proposed in terms of a region of reduced turbulence energy production formed near the wall by the addition of riblets. The hot wire records are examined using a modified form of quadrant analysis, and results obtained over plain and riblet surfaces are compared. Close to the wall, the addition of riblets produces a marked reduction in the occurrence of ’ejection’ (2nd quadrant) events. A corresponding increase in the incidence of ’sweep’ (4th quadrant) events is accompanied by the development of a strong tendency toward a preferred event duration, and a preferred interval between events. These changes diminish rapidly with distance from the surface, becoming almost undetectable beyond y + = 40. They are discussed in the light of flow visualisation results, and interpreted in terms of mechanisms associated with the interaction between the riblets and the inner boundary layer flow structures. A conceptual model of the flow mechanisms in the riblet sublayer is proposed.
Key wordsTurbulent boundary layer drag reduction riblets.
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