Research in Engineering and Aviation

Analyzing the Influence of Compressibility on the Rapid Pressure-Strain Rate Correlation in Turbulent Shear Flows

May 2007

Author(s): Thacker, W.D., Sarkar, S., and Gatski, T.B.

Journal: Theoretical and Computational  Fluid Dynamics, Vol. 21, pp. 171-199 (2007). DOI: 10.1007/s00162-007-0043-4


The influence of compressibility on the rapid pressure–strain rate tensor is investigated using the Green’s function for the wave equation governing pressure fluctuations in compressible homogeneous shear flow. The solution for the Green’s function is obtained as a combination of parabolic cylinder functions; it is oscillatory with monotonically increasing frequency and decreasing amplitude at large times, and anisotropic in wave-vector space. The Green’s function depends explicitly on the turbulent Mach number M t , given by the root mean square turbulent velocity fluctuations divided by the speed of sound, and the gradient Mach number M g , which is the mean shear rate times the transverse integral scale of the turbulence divided by the speed of sound. Assuming a form for the temporal decorrelation of velocity fluctuations brought about by the turbulence, the rapid pressure–strain rate tensor is expressed exactly in terms of the energy (or Reynolds stress) spectrum tensor and the time integral of the Green’s function times a decaying exponential. A model for the energy spectrum tensor linear in Reynolds stress anisotropies and in mean shear is assumed for closure. The expression for the rapid pressure–strain correlation is evaluated using parameters applicable to a mixing layer and a boundary layer. It is found that for the same range of M t there is a large reduction of the pressure–strain correlation in the mixing layer but not in the boundary layer. Implications for compressible turbulence modeling are also explored.