Laboratory generation of zero-mean-flow homogeneous isotropic turbulence: Non-grid approaches

Arefe Ghazi Nezami, Margaret Byron, Blair A. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Over the years, many facilities have been developed to study turbulent flow in the laboratory. Homogeneous isotropic turbulence (HIT) with zero mean flow provides a unique environment for investigating fundamental aspects and specific applications of turbulent flow. We provide an extensive overview of laboratory facilities that generate incompressible zero-mean-flow HIT using different types of actuators and configurations. Reviewed facilities cover a variety of geometries and sizes, as well as forcing style (e.g. symmetric versus asymmetric and unsteady versus steady). We divide facilities into four categories, highlighting links between their geometries and the statistics of the flows they generate. We then compare published data to uncover similarities and differences among various turbulence-generation mechanisms. We also compare the decay of turbulence in zero-mean-flow facilities with that observed in wind and water tunnels, and we analyse the connections between flow characteristics and physical aspects of the facilities. Our results emphasize the importance of considering facility geometry and size together with the strength and type of actuators when studying zero-mean-flow HIT. Overall, we provide insight into how to optimally design and build laboratory facilities that generate zero-mean-flow HIT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE42
StatePublished - Dec 21 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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

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