Purdue University Graduate School
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posted on 2019-01-17, 14:36 authored by Jorge Saavedra GarciaJorge Saavedra Garcia
The dynamic performance of the momentum and thermal boundary layer linked to the acoustic response dictate the efficiency of heat exchangers and the operational limits of fluid machinery. The specific time required by the boundary layer to establish or adapt to the free stream variations is vital to optimize flow control strategies as well as the thermal management of fluid systems. The proper understanding of the wall fluxes, separated flow regions and free stream response to transient conditions becomes the fulcrum of the further improvement of fluid machinery performance and endurance. Throughout this dissertation the establishment sequence and the main parameters dictating the acoustic response and the boundary layer settlement are quantified together with their implication on the wall fluxes and boundary layer detachment.

Unsteady Reynolds Average Navier Stokes evaluations, Large Eddy Simulations, Direct Numerical Simulations and wind tunnel experiments are exploited to analyze the transient behavior of attached and detached flow aerodynamics. The core of the research is built upon URANS simulations allowing the realization of multiple detailed parametric analyses. Thanks to its reduced computational cost, hundreds of transient flow evaluations are carried out, enabling the determination of the establishment sequence, the main flow features and relevant non-dimensional numbers. The URANS methodology is verified against experimental and analytic results on the flow conditions of the study. The Large Eddy Simulations and Direct Numerical Simulations allow further characterization of the near wall flow region behavior with much higher resolution while providing an additional source of verification for the coarser numerical tools. An experimental campaign on a novel full visual access linear wind tunnel explores the impact of mean flow sudden accelerations on the boundary layer detachment and reattachment phenomena over an ad-hoc wall mounted hump. The wind tunnel is designed based on the premises of: full visual access, spatial and temporal stability of total and static pressure together with the total temperature and fast flow settlement, minimizing the start-up phase duration of the wind tunnel. A wall mounted hump that mimics the behavior of the aft portion of a low pressure turbine is inserted in the wind tunnel guaranteeing a 2D flow separation phenomena. After steady state test article characterization series of sudden flow discharge experiments reveal the impact of mean flow transients on the boundary layer detachment inception. Finally, taking advantage of the knowledge on transient flow performance, optimum flow control mechanisms to abate boundary layer detachment are proposed. The recommended control approach effectively prevents the boundary layer separation while minimizing the energy requirement.


Air Force Office of Scientifi c Research FA9550-16-1-0120


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Mechanical Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Guillermo Paniagua

Additional Committee Member 2

Jonathan Poggie

Additional Committee Member 3

Amy Marconnet

Additional Committee Member 4

Sally Bane

Additional Committee Member 5

John Clark