The response of a mixing layer formed between parallel streams to a concomitant excitation at two frequences

Ming De Zhou*, I. Wygnanski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Simultaneous excitation of a turbulent mixing layer by two frequencies, a fundamental and a subharmonic, was investigated experimentally. Plane perturbations were introduced to the flow at its origin by a small oscillating flap. The results describe two experiments that differ mainly in the amplitudes of the imposed perturbations and both are compared to the data acquired while the mixing layer was forced at a single frequency. Conventional statistical quantities such as: mean velocity profiles, widths of the flow, turbulent intensities, spectra, phase-locked velocity and vorticity fields, as well as streaklines were computed. The rate of spread of the flow under concomitant excitation at the two frequencies was much greater than under a single frequency, although it remained dominated by two-dimensional eddies. The Reynolds stresses and turbulence production are associated with the deformation and orientation of the large coherent vortices. When the major axis of the coherent vortices starts leaning forward on the high-speed side of the flow, the production of turbulent energy changes sign (i.e. becomes negative) and this results in the flow thinning in the direction of streaming. It also indicates that energy is extracted from the turbulence to the mean motion. Resonance phenomena play an important role in the evolution of the flow. A vorticity budget showed that the change in mean vorticity was mainly caused by the nonlinear interaction between coherent vorticities. Nevertheless, the locally dominant frequency scales the mean growth rate, the inclination and distortion of the mean velocity profiles as well as the phase-locked vorticity contours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-168
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - 25 Aug 2001


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