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Published June 2009 | Published
Conference Paper Open

Forces on a Sphere in the Presence of Static and Dynamic Roughness Elements


Though the effect of distributed roughness on flow over a sphere has been examined in detail, there have been few observations as to the effect of an isolated roughness element on the forces induced on a sphere that is in uniform flow. In this experimental study, we examine how the forces are altered due to both a stationary and dynamic three-dimensional roughness element in the Reynolds number range of 5 x 104 to 5 x 105. It is found that even a small change to the geometry of the sphere, by adding a cylindrical roughness element with a width and height of 1% the sphere diameter, dramatically alters the drag and lateral forces over a wide range of Reynolds numbers. Of particular interest is that the mean of the lateral force magnitude can be increased by a factor of about seven, compared with a stationary stud, by moving the isolated roughness at a constant angular velocity about the sphere. These results can be applied to tripping a laminar boundary layer, steering a bluff body, and increasing the mixing of two fluids, using a minimal amount of energy input. This research is a first step towards understanding the interaction between time dependent surface motion and the subsequent alteration of the location of the boundary layer separation line and wake development.

Additional Information

© 2009 by AK Norman and BJ McKeon. Support from the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0747672 (Program Manager William W. Schultz) is gratefully acknowledged.

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Published - AIAA-2009-3704-805.pdf


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October 20, 2023