Roughness effects in turbulent forced convection

Research paper by M. MacDonald, N. Hutchins, D. Chung

Indexed on: 20 Dec '18Published on: 25 Feb '19Published in: Journal of fluid mechanics


We conducted direct numerical simulations of turbulent flow over three-dimensional sinusoidal roughness in a channel. A passive scalar is present in the flow with Prandtl number $Pr=0.7$ , to study heat transfer by forced convection over this rough surface. The minimal-span channel is used to circumvent the high cost of simulating high-Reynolds-number flows, which enables a range of rough surfaces to be efficiently simulated. The near-wall temperature profile in the minimal-span channel agrees well with that of the conventional full-span channel, indicating that it can be readily used for heat-transfer studies at a much reduced cost compared to conventional direct numerical simulation. As the roughness Reynolds number, $k^{+}$ , is increased, the Hama roughness function, $\unicode[STIX]{x0394}U^{+}$ , increases in the transitionally rough regime before tending towards the fully rough asymptote of $\unicode[STIX]{x1D705}_{m}^{-1}\log (k^{+})+C$ , where $C$ is a constant that depends on the particular roughness geometry and $\unicode[STIX]{x1D705}_{m}\approx 0.4$ is the von Kármán constant. In this fully rough regime, the skin-friction coefficient is constant with bulk Reynolds number, $Re_{b}$ . Meanwhile, the temperature difference between smooth- and rough-wall flows, $\unicode[STIX]{x0394}\unicode[STIX]{x1D6E9}^{+}$ , appears to tend towards a constant value, $\unicode[STIX]{x0394}\unicode[STIX]{x1D6E9}_{FR}^{+}$ . This corresponds to the Stanton number (the temperature analogue of the skin-friction coefficient) monotonically decreasing with $Re_{b}$ in the fully rough regime. Using shifted logarithmic velocity and temperature profiles, the heat-transfer law as described by the Stanton number in the fully rough regime can be derived once both the equivalent sand-grain roughness $k_{s}/k$ and the temperature difference $\unicode[STIX]{x0394}\unicode[STIX]{x1D6E9}_{FR}^{+}$ are known. In meteorology, this corresponds to the ratio of momentum and heat-transfer roughness lengths, $z_{0m}/z_{0h}$ , being linearly proportional to the inner-normalised momentum roughness length, $z_{0m}^{+}$ , where the constant of proportionality is related to $\unicode[STIX]{x0394}\unicode[STIX]{x1D6E9}_{FR}^{+}$ . While Reynolds analogy, or similarity between momentum and heat transfer, breaks down for the bulk skin-friction and heat-transfer coefficients, similar distribution patterns between the heat flux and viscous component of the wall shear stress are observed. Instantaneous visualisations of the temperature field show a thin thermal diffusive sublayer following the roughness geometry in the fully rough regime, resembling the viscous sublayer of a contorted smooth wall.