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The University of Southampton

Research project: Physics and control of turbulent wall-flows

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Wall-turbulence is found in abundance in engineering systems and the natural environment.  We aim to understand the physical processes involved in momentum and scalar transport in wall-bounded flows.

Wall-bounded flow is responsible for drag on surfaces and dispersion of scalars and pollutants in a variety of practical applications.  The goal of this project is to utilize the physical understanding and devise new control strategies to mitigate the detrimental effects of these processes.  We also aim to develop models that can be used to predict the behaviour of wall-bounded flows.  We utilise our varied flow facilities (wind tunnels and flumes) to carry out these studies.  We develop novel flow diagnostic methods and apply them to obtain previously inaccessible data that can shed new insights on to the physics of these flows.

We explore the structure and physical mechanisms of wall-bounded turbulence subjected to different initial and boundary conditions.  These different conditions are relevant to different engineering applications.  Our current studies include:

  • Flows over rough walls - this includes small, intermediate and large surface perturbation ranging from riblets to urban-type elements
  • Boundary layers subject to freestream turbulence.  The freestream turbulence is generated by a variety of methods including active grids, fractal grids and the classical grids
  • Effects of pressure gradient - both favourable and adverse leading to boundary layer separation
  • A combination of all three above mentioned conditions

We aim to use the information obtained from the above cases to develop new prediction models as well as active/passive control strategies aimed at enhancing or mitigating (depending on the application) the impact of wall-turbulence.

The project is related to:

Related research groups

Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanic (AFM)
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