On the use of synthetic inflow turbulence for scale-resolving simulations of wetted and cavitating flows

M. Klapwijk, T. Lloyd, G. Vaz, T. van Terwisga

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The Delft Twist 11 Hydrofoil is a common test case for investigating the interaction between turbulence and cavitation modelling in computational fluid dynamics. Despite repeated investigations, results reported for the lift and drag coefficient are accompanied by significant uncertainties, both in experimental and numerical studies. When using scale-resolving approaches, it is known that turbulent fluctuations must be inserted into the domain in order to prevent the flow from remaining laminar around the body of interest, although this has been overlooked until now for the present test case. This work investigates the errors occurring when a laminar inflow is applied for mildly separated or attached flows, by employing the partially averaged Navier–Stokes equations with varying values for the ratio of modelled-to-total turbulence kinetic energy, and with varying grid densities. It is shown that depending on the grid resolution laminar leading edge separation can occur. When turbulent fluctuations are added to the inflow, the leading edge separation is suppressed completely, and the turbulent separation zone near the trailing edge reduces in size. The inflow turbulence has a large effect on the skin friction, which increases with increasing turbulence intensity to a limit determined by the grid resolution. In cavitating conditions the integral quantities are dominated by the shedding sheet cavity. The turbulence intensity has little effect on the pressure distribution, leading to a largely unaffected sheet cavitation, although the shedding behaviour is affected. It is shown that, especially in wetted flow conditions, with scale-resolving methods inflow turbulence is necessary to match the experimental flow field.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108860
Number of pages23
JournalOcean Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Cavitation
  • Delft Twist 11 Hydrofoil
  • PANS
  • Synthetic inflow turbulence
  • Validation
  • Verification


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