Polymer drag reduction with surface roughness in flat-plate turbulent boundary layer flow

H. L. Petrie, S. Deutsch, T. A. Brungart, A. A. Fontaine

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Experimental results from a study of surface roughness effects on polymer drag reduction in a zero-pressure gradient flat-plate turbulent boundary layer are presented. Both slot-injected polymer and homogeneous polymer ocean cases were considered over a range of flow conditions and surface roughness. Balance measurements of skin friction drag reduction are presented. Drag reductions over 60% were measured for both the injected and homogeneous polymer cases even with fully rough surfaces. As the roughness increased, higher polymer concentration was required to achieve a given level of drag reduction for the homogeneous case. With polymer injection, increasing surface roughness caused the drag reduction to decrease to low levels more quickly when the polymer expenditure was decreased or the freestream velocity was increased. However, the percent drag reductions on the rough surfaces with polymer injection were often substantially larger than on the smooth surface. Remarkably, in some cases, the skin friction drag force on a rough surface with polymer injection was less than the drag force observed on a smooth surface at comparable conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-23
Number of pages16
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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