Pseudophase change effects in turbulent channel flow under transcritical temperature conditions

Research paper by Kukjin Kim, Jean-Pierre Hickey, Carlo Scalo

Indexed on: 20 Nov '19Published on: 25 Jul '19Published in: Journal of fluid mechanics


We have performed direct numerical simulations of compressible turbulent channel flow using R-134a as a working fluid in transcritical temperature ranges ( $\unicode[STIX]{x0394}T=5$ , 10 and 20 K, where $\unicode[STIX]{x0394}T$ is top-to-bottom temperature difference) at supercritical pressure. At these conditions, a pseudophase change occurs at various wall-normal locations within the turbulent channel from $y_{pb}/h=-0.23$ ( $\unicode[STIX]{x0394}T=5$  K) to 0.89 ( $\unicode[STIX]{x0394}T=20$  K), where $h$ is the channel half-height and $y=0$ the centreplane position. Increase in $\unicode[STIX]{x0394}T$ also results in increasing wall-normal gradients in the semi-local friction Reynolds number. Classical, compressible scaling laws of the mean velocity profile are unable to fully collapse real fluid effects in this flow. The proximity to the pseudotransitioning layer inhibits turbulent velocity fluctuations, while locally enhancing the temperature and density fluctuation intensities. Probability distribution analysis reveals that the sheet of fluid undergoing pseudophase change is characterized by a dramatic reduction in the kurtosis of density fluctuations, hence becoming thinner as $\unicode[STIX]{x0394}T$ is increased. Instantaneous visualizations show dense fluid ejections from the pseudoliquid viscous sublayer, some reaching the channel core, causing positive values of density skewness in the respective buffer layer region (vice versa for the top wall) and an impoverishment of the turbulent flow structure population near pseudotransitioning conditions.