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  • Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Volume 512
  • August 2004, pp. 85-94

Large-scale secondary structures in duct flow

  • B. GALLETTI (a1) and A. BOTTARO (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 July 2004

The spatial growth of small perturbations developing on a fully developed base flow in a duct with two inhomogeneous cross-flow directions is examined. For a laminar mean flow it is shown that optimally configured vortices at an upstream cross-section induce large transient amplification of a disturbance energy norm downstream. Such a linear growth is a likely initial stage of transition in ducts for which the cross-section is square or of moderate aspect ratio, asymptotically stable according to conventional eigen-analyis. With the increase of the cross-sectional aspect ratio the transient growth results of the plane channel flow case are approached. The optimization methodology is then employed to study the transient amplification of large-scale secondary structures developing in a square duct for which the unidirectional base motion has a turbulent-like profile. Under the hypothesis that fine-scale turbulence does not affect the growth of large-scale secondary flows, it is shown that cross-stream vortices are sustained by the mean flow and grow maximally over a streamwise distance of several thousand viscous units of length.

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Journal of Fluid Mechanics
  • ISSN: 0022-1120
  • EISSN: 1469-7645
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-fluid-mechanics
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