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Design and Characteristics of New Test Facility for Flat Plate Boundary Layer Research

Authors: N. Patten, T. M. Young, P. Griffin


Preliminary results for a new flat plate test facility are presented here in the form of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), flow visualisation, pressure measurements and thermal anemometry. The results from the CFD and flow visualisation show the effectiveness of the plate design, with the trailing edge flap anchoring the stagnation point on the working surface and reducing the extent of the leading edge separation. The flow visualization technique demonstrates the two-dimensionality of the flow in the location where the thermal anemometry measurements are obtained. Measurements of the boundary layer mean velocity profiles compare favourably with the Blasius solution, thereby allowing for comparison of future measurements with the wealth of data available on zero pressure gradient Blasius flows. Results for the skin friction, boundary layer thickness, frictional velocity and wall shear stress are shown to agree well with the Blasius theory, with a maximum experimental deviation from theory of 5%. Two turbulence generating grids have been designed and characterized and it is shown that the turbulence decay downstream of both grids agrees with established correlations. It is also demonstrated that there is little dependence of turbulence on the freestream velocity.

Keywords: Thermal Anemometry, CFD, Flow Visualisation, Turbulence Grids

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