Scaling and modelling of turbulence in variable property channel flows

Rene Pecnik, Ashish Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
80 Downloads (Pure)


We derive an alternative formulation of the turbulent kinetic energy equation for flows with strong near-wall density and viscosity gradients. The derivation is based on a scaling transformation of the Navier-Stokes equations using semi-local quantities. A budget analysis of the semi-locally scaled turbulent kinetic energy equation shows that, for several variable property low-Mach-number channel flows, the 'leading-order effect' of variable density and viscosity on turbulence in wall bounded flows can effectively be characterized by the semi-local Reynolds number. Moreover, if a turbulence model is solved in its semi-locally scaled form, we show that an excellent agreement with direct numerical simulations is obtained for both low- and high-Mach-number flows, where conventional modelling approaches fail.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberR1
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • compressible boundary layers
  • turbulence modelling
  • turbulent boundary layers

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