A viscous vortex model for predicting the drag reduction of riblet surfaces

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jats:pThis paper introduces a viscous vortex model for predicting the optimal drag reduction of riblet surfaces, eliminating the need for expensive direct numerical simulations (DNSs) or experiments. The footprint of a typical quasi-streamwise vortex, in terms of the spanwise and wall-normal velocities, is extracted from smooth-wall DNS flow fields in close proximity to the surface. The extracted velocities are then averaged and used as boundary conditions in a Stokes-flow problem, wherein riblets with various cross-sectional shapes are embedded. Here, the same smooth-wall-based boundary conditions can be used for riblets, as we observe from the DNSs that the quasi-streamwise vortices remain unmodified apart from an offset. In particular, the position of these vortices remain unpinned above small riblets. The present approach is compared with the protrusion-height model of Luchini jats:italicet al.</jats:italic> (jats:italicJ. Fluid Mech.</jats:italic>, vol. 228, 1991, pp. 87–109), which is also based on a Stokes calculation, but represents the vortex with only a uniform spanwise velocity boundary condition. The key novelty of the present model is the introduction of a wall-normal velocity component into the boundary condition, thus inducing transpiration at the riblet crests, which becomes relevant as the riblet size increases. Consequently, the present model allows for the drag-reduction prediction of riblets up to the optimal size. The present approach does not rely on the scale separation formally required by homogenisation techniques, which are only applicable for vanishingly small riblets.</jats:p>

4012 Fluid Mechanics and Thermal Engineering, 40 Engineering
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Journal of Fluid Mechanics
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Cambridge University Press (CUP)

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