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Transition induced by linear and nonlinear perturbation growth in flow past a compressor blade

Mao, Xuerui; Zaki, T.A.; Sherwin, S.J.; Blackburn, H.M.


Xuerui Mao

T.A. Zaki

S.J. Sherwin

H.M. Blackburn


Flow past a NACA 65 blade at chord-based Reynolds number 138;500 is studied using stability analysis, generalised (spatially weighted) transient growth analysis and direct numerical simulations (DNS). The mechanisms of transition on various sections of the blade observed in previous work (Zaki et al. 2010) are examined, with a focus on the pressure side around the leading edge. In this region, the linearly most energetic perturbation has spanwise wavenumber 40? (five boundary layer thicknesses) and is tilted against the mean shear to take advantage of the Orr mechanism. In a DNS, the nonlinear development of this optimal perturbation induces ? structures, which are further stretched to hairpin vortices before breaking down to turbulence. At higher spanwise wavenumber, e.g. 120?, a free-stream optimal perturbation is obtained upstream of the leading edge, in the form of streamwise vortices. During its nonlinear evolution, this optimal perturbation tilts the mean shear and generates spanwise periodic high and low-speed streaks. Then through a nonlinear lift-up mechanism, the low-speed streaks are lifted above the high speed ones. This layout of streaks generates a mean shear with two in inflectional points, and activates secondary instabilities, namely inner and outer instabilities previously reported in the literature.


Mao, X., Zaki, T., Sherwin, S., & Blackburn, H. (2017). Transition induced by linear and nonlinear perturbation growth in flow past a compressor blade. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 820,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 27, 2017
Publication Date Jun 10, 2017
Deposit Date Apr 11, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 10, 2017
Journal Journal of Fluid Mechanics
Print ISSN 0022-1120
Electronic ISSN 1469-7645
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 820
Keywords Boundary layer receptivity; Transition to turbulence
Public URL
Publisher URL


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