Effect of Pressure Gradient on the Development of Görtler Vortices

Leandro Marochio Fernandes, Marcio Teixeira de Mendonça


Boundary layers over concave surfaces may become unstable due to centrifugal instability that manifests itself as stationary streamwise counter-rotating vortices. The centrifugal instability mechanism in boundary layers has been extensively studied and there is a large number of publications addressing different aspects of this problem. The results on the effect of pressure gradient show that favorable pressure gradients are stabilizing and adverse pressure gradient enhances the instability. The objective of the present investigation is to complement those works, looking particularly at the effect of pressure gradient on the stability diagram and on the determination of the spanwise wave number corresponding to the fastest growth. This study is based on the classical linear stability theory, where the parallel boundary layer approximation is assumed. Therefore, results are valid for Görtler numbers above 7, the lower limit where local mode linear stability analysis was identified in the literature as valid. For the base flow given by the Falkner-Skan solution, the linear stability equations are solved by a shooting method where the eigenvalues are the Görtler number, the spanwise wavenumber, and the growth rate. The results show stabilization due to the favorable pressure gradient as the constant amplification rate curves are displaced to higher Görtler numbers, with the opposite effect for adverse pressure gradient. Results previously unavailable in the literature identifying the fastest growing mode spanwise wavelength for a range of Falkner-Skan acceleration parameters are presented.


Götler vortices; Boundary layer; Pressure gradient; Linear stability analysis; Centrifugal instability

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