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Reduced Rough-Surface Parameterization for Use With the Discrete-Element Model

[+] Author Affiliations
Stephen T. McClain, Jason M. Brown

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

Paper No. GT2007-27588, pp. 517-532; 16 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2007: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 4: Turbo Expo 2007, Parts A and B
  • Montreal, Canada, May 14–17, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4793-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3796-3
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


The discrete-element model for flows over rough surfaces was recently modified to predict drag and heat transfer for flow over randomly-rough surfaces. However, the current form of the discrete-element model requires a blockage fraction and a roughness-element diameter distribution as a function of height to predict the drag and heat transfer of flow over a randomly-rough surface. The requirement for a roughness element-diameter distribution at each height from the reference elevation has hindered the usefulness of the discrete-element model and inhibited its incorporation into a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) solver. To incorporate the discrete-element model into a CFD solver and to enable the discrete-element model to become a more useful engineering tool, the randomly-rough surface characterization must be simplified. Methods for determining characteristic diameters for drag and heat transfer using complete three-dimensional surface measurements are presented. Drag and heat transfer predictions made using the model simplifications are compared to predictions made using the complete surface characterization and to experimental measurements for two randomly-rough surfaces. Methods to use statistical surface information, as opposed to the complete three-dimensional surface measurements, to evaluate the characteristic dimensions of the roughness are also explored.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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