Experimental study of the rotating-disk boundary-layer flow

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: Rotating-disk flow has been investigated not only as a simple model of cross flow instability to compare with swept-wing flow but also for industrial flow applications with rotating configurations. However the exact nature of laminar-turbulent transi- tion on the rotating-disk flow is still major problem and further research is required for it to be fully understood, in particular, the laminar-turbulent transition process with absolute instability. In addition the studies of the rotating-disk turbulent boundary- layer flow are inadequate to understand the physics of three-dimensional turbulent boundary-layer flow.In present thesis, a rotating-rotating disk boundary-layer flow has been inves- tigated experimentally using hot-wire anemometry. A glass disk with a flat surface has been prepared to archieve low disturbance rotating-disk environment. Azimuthal velocity measurements using a hot-wire probe have been taken for various conditions. To get a better insight into the laminar-turbulent transition region, a new way to describe the process is proposed using the probability density function (PDF) map of azimuthal fluctuation velocity.The effect of the edge of the disk on the laminar-turbulent transition process has been investigated. The disturbance growth of azimuthal fluctuation velocity as a function of Reynolds number has a similar trend irrespective of the various edge conditions.The behaviour of secondary instability and turbulent breakdown has been in- vestigated. It has been found that the kinked azimuthal velocity associated with secondary instability just before turbulent breakdown became less apparent at a cer- tain wall normal heights. Furthermore the turbulent breakdown of the stationary mode seems not to be triggered by its amplitude, however, depend on the appearance of the travelling secondary instability.Finally, the turbulent boundary layer on a rotating disk has been investigated. An azimuthal friction velocity has been directly measured from the azimuthal velocity profile in the viscous sub-layer. The turbulent statistics normalized by the inner and outer sclaes are presented.