Flow in additively manufactured super-rough channels

Samuel Altland, Xiaowei Zhu, Stephen McClain, Robert Kunz, Xiang Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Metal additive manufacturing has enabled geometrically complex internal cooling channels for turbine and heat exchanger applications, but the process gives rise to large-scale roughness whose size is comparable to the channel height (which is 500 m). These super-rough channels pose previously unseen challenges for experimental measurements, data interpretation and roughness modelling. First, it is not clear if measurements at a particular streamwise and spanwise location still provide accurate representation of the mean (time- and plane-averaged) flow. Second, we do not know if the logarithmic layer survives. Third, it is unknown how well previously developed rough-wall models work for these large-scale roughnesses. To answer the above practical questions, we conduct direct numerical simulations of flow in additively manufactured super-rough channels. Three rough surfaces are considered, all of which are obtained from computed tomography scans of additively manufactured surfaces. The roughness' trough to peak sizes are 0.1, 0.3 and 0.8, respectively, where is the intended half-channel height. Each rough surface is placed opposite a smooth wall and the other two rough surfaces, leading to six rough-wall channel configurations. Two Reynolds numbers are considered, namely and. We show first that measurements at one streamwise and spanwise location are insufficient due to strong mean flow inhomogeneity across the entire channel, second that the logarithmic law of the wall survives despite the mean flow inhomogeneity and third that the established roughness sheltering model remains accurate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE19
StatePublished - Jul 29 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes
  • Biomedical Engineering


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