Air Entrainment in the Turbulent Ship Hull Boundary Layer
Washuta, Nathan John
Duncan, James H
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Turbulent fluctuations in the vicinity of the water free surface along a flat, vertically oriented surface-piercing plate are studied experimentally using a laboratory-scale experiment. In this experiment, a meter-wide stainless steel belt travels horizontally in a loop around two rollers with vertically oriented axes, which are separated by 7.5 meters. This belt device is mounted inside a large water tank with the water level set just below the top edge of the belt. The belt, rollers, and supporting frame are contained within a sheet metal box to keep the device dry except for one 6-meter-long straight test section between rollers. The belt is launched from rest with an acceleration of up to 3-g in order to quickly reach steady state velocity. This creates a temporally evolving boundary layer analogous to the spatially evolving boundary layer created along a flat-sided ship moving at the same velocity, with a length equivalent to the length of belt that has passed the measurement region since the belt motion began. Surface profile measurements in planes normal to the belt surface are conducted using cinematic Laser Induced Fluorescence and quantitative surface profiles are extracted at each instant in time. Using these measurements, free surface fluctuations are examined and the propagation behavior of these free surface ripples is studied. It is found that free surface fluctuations are generated in a region close to the belt surface, where sub-surface velocity fluctuations influence the behavior of these free surface features. These rapidly-changing surface features close to the belt appear to lead to the generation of freely-propagating waves far from the belt, outside the influence of the boundary layer. Sub-surface PIV measurements are performed in order to study the modification of the boundary layer flow field due to the effects of the water free surface. Cinematic planar PIV measurements are performed in horizontal planes parallel to the free surface by imaging the flow from underneath the tank, providing streamwise and wall-normal velocity fields. Additional planar PIV experiments are performed in vertical planes parallel to the belt surface in order to study the bahvior of streamwise and vertical velocity fields. It is found that the boundary layer grows rapidly near the free surface, leading to an overall thicker boundary layer close to the surface. This rapid boundary layer growth appears to be linked to a process of free surface bursting, the sudden onset of free surface fluctuations. Cinematic white light movies are recorded from beneath the water surface in order to determine the onset location of air entrainment. In addition, qualitative observations of these processes are made in order to determine the mechanisms leading to air entrainment present in this flow.