Reynolds Number Effects in Wall-Bounded Turbulent Flows

[+] Author and Article Information
Mohamed Gad-el-Hak

University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556-5637

Promode R. Bandyopadhyay

Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport, RI 02841-5047

Appl. Mech. Rev 47(8), 307-365 (Aug 01, 1994) (59 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3111083 History: Online April 29, 2009


This paper reviews the state of the art of Reynolds number effects in wall-bounded shear-flow turbulence, with particular emphasis on the canonical zero-pressure-gradient boundary layer and two-dimensional channel flow problems. The Reynolds numbers encountered in many practical situations are typically orders of magnitude higher than those studied computationally or even experimentally. High-Reynolds number research facilities are expensive to build and operate and the few existing are heavily scheduled with mostly developmental work. For wind tunnels, additional complications due to compressibility effects are introduced at high speeds. Full computational simulation of high-Reynolds number flows is beyond the reach of current capabilities. Understanding of turbulence and modeling will continue to play vital roles in the computation of high-Reynolds number practical flows using the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations. Since the existing knowledge base, accumulated mostly through physical as well as numerical experiments, is skewed towards the low Reynolds numbers, the key question in such high-Reynolds number modeling as well as in devising novel flow control strategies is: what are the Reynolds number effects on the mean and statistical turbulence quantities and on the organized motions? Since the mean flow review of Coles (1962), the coherent structures, in low-Reynolds number wall-bounded flows, have been reviewed several times. However, the Reynolds number effects on the higher-order statistical turbulence quantities and on the coherent structures have not been reviewed thus far, and there are some unresolved aspects of the effects on even the mean flow at very high Reynolds numbers. Furthermore, a considerable volume of experimental and full-simulation data have been accumulated since 1962. The present article aims at further assimilation of those data, pointing to obvious gaps in the present state of knowledge and highlighting the misunderstood as well as the ill-understood aspects of Reynolds number effects.

Copyright © 1994 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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