A comparative study of turbulence models in a transient channel flow

S. Gorji, M. Seddighi, C. Ariyaratne, A. E. Vardy, T. O'Donoghue, D. Pokrajac, S. He (Lead / Corresponding author)

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The performance of a number of low-Reynolds number turbulence models is evaluated against direct numerical simulations (DNS). All models are applied to an unsteady flow comprising a ramp-type excursion of flow rate inside a closed channel. The flow rate is increased linearly with time from an initial Reynolds number of 9308 (based on hydraulic diameter and bulk velocity) to a final Reynolds number of 29,650. The acceleration rate is varied to cover low, intermediate and high accelerations. It is shown that among the models investigated, the k-ε models of Launder and Sharma (1974) and Chang et al. (1995) [28] and the γ-Reθ transition model of Langtry and Menter (2009) [38] capture well the key flow features of these unsteady turbulent flows. For the cases of low and intermediate acceleration rates, these three models yield predictions of wall shear stress that agree well with the corresponding DNS data. For the case of high acceleration, the γ-Reθ model of Langtry and Menter (2009) [38] and the k-ε model of Launder and Sharma (1974) yield reasonable predictions of wall shear stress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-123
Number of pages13
JournalComputers & Fluids
Early online date1 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2014


  • Acceleration
  • Channel flow
  • Turbulence models
  • Turbulent flow
  • Unsteady
  • Wall shear stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Engineering


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