Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Aeronautics

Professor of Computational Fluid Mechanics



+44 (0)20 7594 5052s.sherwin Website




313BCity and Guilds BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Xu, H and Lombard, J and Sherwin, S},
doi = {10.1017/jfm.2017.113},
journal = {Journal of Fluid Mechanics},
pages = {138--170},
title = {Influence of localised smooth steps on the instability of a boundary layer},
url = {},
volume = {817},
year = {2017}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - We consider a smooth, spanwise-uniform forward facing step de ned by the Gauss error function of height 4-30% and four times the width of the local boundary layer thickness δ_99. The boundary layer flow over a smooth forward-facing stepped plate is studied with particular emphasis on stabilisation and destabilisation of the two-dimensional Tollmien-Schlichting (TS) waves and subsequently on three-dimensional disturbances at transition. The interaction between TS waves at a range of frequencies and a base flow over a single or two forward facing smooth steps is conducted by linear analysis. The results indicate thatfor a TS wave with a frequency F 2 [140; 160] (F=! =U21 106 where ! and U1 denote the perturbation angle frequency and freestream velocity magnitude, respectively), the amplitude of the TS wave is attenuated in the unstable regime of the neutral stability curve corresponding to a at plate boundary layer. Furthermore, it is observed thattwo smooth forward facing steps lead to a more acute reduction of the amplitude of the TS wave. When the height of a step is increased to more than 20% of the local boundary layer thickness for a xed width parameter, the TS wave is amplified and thereby a destabilisation e ect is introduced. Therefore, stabilisation or destabilisation effect of a smooth step is typically dependent on its shape parameters. To validate the results of the linear stability analysis, where a TS wave is damped by the forward facingsmooth steps direct numerical simulation (DNS) is performed. The results of the DNS correlate favorably with the linear analysis and show that for the investigated frequency of the TS wave, the K-type transition process is altered whereas the onset of the H-type transition is delayed. The results of the DNS suggest that for the perturbation with the non-dimensional frequency parameter F = 150 and in the absence of other externalperturbations, two forward facing smooth steps of height 5% and 12% of the boundary lay
AU - Xu,H
AU - Lombard,J
AU - Sherwin,S
DO - 10.1017/jfm.2017.113
EP - 170
PY - 2017///
SN - 1469-7645
SP - 138
TI - Influence of localised smooth steps on the instability of a boundary layer
T2 - Journal of Fluid Mechanics
UR -
UR -
UR -
VL - 817
ER -