Wakes are present in many engineering flows. These flows include internal flows such as mixing chambers and turbomachinery as well as external flows like flow over high-lift or multi-element airfoils. Many times these wakes are exposed to flow conditions such as adverse pressure gradients and streamline curvature that alter the mean flow and turbulent structure of the wake. The ability to understand how pressure gradients and streamline curvature affects the structure of the wake is essential to predicting how the wake will affect the performance of the application in which it is found. The effects of pressure gradients and curvature of low-speed wakes has been extensively documented. As the transonic flow regime is becoming of more interest as gas speeds in turbomachinery increase this work fills a void in the body of wake knowledge pertaining to curved wakes in high speed flows. An under-resolved direct numerical simulation of transonic wake flow being shed by a cambered airfoil in the presence of adverse pressure gradients and streamline curvature is therefore presented here. It was observed that the turbulence characteristics arising from the cambered airfoil that generates the wake dominate the evolution of the wake for different distances downstream depending on the component of the Reynolds stresses that is being considered. These characteristics dissipated the most quickly in the shear stresses and endured the longest in the tangential normal stresses. Previous work in low-speed wakes has indicated that curvature creates new production terms that translate into asymmetry in the profiles of the wake. Curvature was observed to have limited influence on the evolution of the streamwise normal stresses and an extensive impact on the tangential normal stresses. The transport of the Reynolds shear stresses indicate that the asymmetry in this stress is caused indeed by curvature but through turbulent diffusion and not production. The k-ε turbulence model overpredicted the effect of curvature on the turbulence stresses in the wake. This led to accelerated wake decay and spread compared to the UDNS data.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





direct numerical simulation, curvature, wakes, cfd, pressure gradients