Structure of wall-bounded flows at transcritical conditions

Peter C. Ma, Xiang I.A. Yang, Matthias Ihme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


At transcritical conditions, the transition of a fluid from a liquidlike state to a gaslike state occurs continuously, which is associated with significant changes in fluid properties. Therefore, boiling in its conventional sense does not exist and the phase transition at transcritical conditions is known as "pseudoboiling." In this work, direct numerical simulations (DNS) of a channel flow at transcritical conditions are conducted in which the bottom and top walls are kept at temperatures below and above the pseudoboiling temperature, respectively. Over this temperature range, the density changes by a factor of 18 between both walls. Using the DNS data, the usefulness of the semilocal scaling and the Townsend attached-eddy hypothesis are examined in the context of flows at transcritical conditions - both models have received much empirical support from previous studies. It is found that while the semilocal scaling works reasonably well near the bottom cooled wall, where the fluid density changes only moderately, the same scaling has only limited success near the top wall. In addition, it is shown that the streamwise velocity structure function follows a logarithmic scaling and the streamwise energy spectrum exhibits an inverse wave-number scaling, thus providing support to the attached-eddy model at transcritical conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number034609
JournalPhysical Review Fluids
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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