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Acoustic Streaming in Compressible Turbulent Boundary Layers

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posted on 05.12.2019, 11:33 by Iman Rahbari
The growing need to improve the power density of compact thermal systems necessitates developing new techniques to modulate the convective heat transfer efficiently. In the present research, acoustic streaming is evaluated as a potential technology to achieve this objective. Numerical simulations using the linearized and fully non-linear Navier-Stokes equations are employed to characterize the physics underlying this process. The linearized Navier-Stokes equations accurately replicate the low-frequency flow unsteadiness, which is used to find the optimal control parameters. Local and global stability analysis tools were developed to identify the modes with a global and positive heat transfer effect.

High-fidelity numerical simulations are performed to evaluate the effect of the excitation at selected frequencies, directed by the linear stability analysis, on the heat and momentum transport in the flow. Results indicate that, under favorable conditions, superimposing an acoustic wave, traveling along with the flow, can resonate within the domain and lead to a significant heat transfer enhancement with minimal skin friction losses. Two main flow configurations are considered; at the fixed Reynolds number Reb=3000, in the supersonic case, 10.1% heat transfer enhancement is achieved by an 8.4% skin friction increase; however, in the subsonic case, 10% enhancement in heat transfer only caused a 5.3% increase to the skin friction. The deviation between these two quantities suggests a violation of the Reynolds analogy. This study is extended to include a larger Reynolds number, namely Reb=6000 at Mb=0.75 and a similar response is observed. The effect of excitation amplitude and frequency on the resonance, limit-cycle oscillations, heat transfer, and skin friction are also investigated here.

Applying acoustic waves normal to the flow in the spanwise direction disrupts the near-wall turbulent structures that are primarily responsible for heat and momentum transport near the solid boundary. Direct numerical simulations were employed to investigate this technique in a supersonic channel flow at Mb=1.5 and Reb=3000. The external excitation is applied through a periodic body force in the spanwise direction, mimicking loudspeakers placed on both walls that are operating with a 180o phase shift. By keeping the product of forcing amplitude Af and pulsation period (T) constant, spanwise velocity perturbations are generated with a similar amplitude at different frequencies. Under this condition, spanwise pulsations at T=20 and T=10 show up to 8% reduction in Nusselt number as well as the skin friction coefficient. Excitation at higher or lower frequencies fails to achieve such high level of modulations in heat and momentum transport processes near the walls.

In configurations involving a spatially-developing boundary layer, a computational setup that includes laminar, transitional, and turbulent regions inside the domain is considered and the impact of acoustic excitation on this flow configuration has been characterized. Large-eddy simulations with dynamic Smagorinsky sub-grid scale modeling has been implemented, due to the excessive computational cost of DNS calculations at high-Reynolds numbers. The optimal excitation frequency that resembles the mode chosen for the fully-developed case has been identified via global stability analysis. Fully non-linear simulations of the spatially-developing boundary layer subjected to the excitation at this frequency reveal an interaction between the pulsations and the perturbations originated from the tripping which creates a re-laminarization zone traveling downstream. Such technique can locally enhance or reduce the heat transfer along the walls.


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy


Mechanical Engineering

Campus location

West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Guillermo Paniagua

Additional Committee Member 2

J. Stuart Bolton

Additional Committee Member 3

Gregory Blaisdell

Additional Committee Member 4

Eusebio Valero Sanchez

Additional Committee Member 5

Beni Cukurel