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Title: The influence of superhydrophobic surfaces on near-wall turbulence
Author: Fairhall, Christopher Terry
ISNI:       0000 0004 7651 4817
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2019
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Superhydrophobic surfaces are able to entrap gas pockets in-between surface roughness elements when submerged in water. These entrapped gas pockets give these surfaces the potential to reduce drag due to the overlying flow being able to locally slip over the gas pockets, resulting in a mean slip at the surface. This thesis investigates the different effects that slip and the texturing of the surface have on turbulence over superhydrophobic surfaces. It is shown that, after filtering out the texture-induced flow, the background, overlying turbulence experiences the surface as a homogeneous slip boundary condition. For texture sizes, expressed in wall units, up to $L^+ \lesssim 20$ the only effect of the surface texture on the overlying flow is through this surface slip. The direct effect of slip does not modify the dynamics of the overlying turbulence, which remains canonical and smooth-wall-like. In these cases the flow is governed by the difference between two virtual origins, the virtual origin of the mean flow and the virtual origin experienced by the overlying turbulence. Streamwise slip deepens the virtual origin of the mean flow, while spanwise slip acts to deepen the virtual origin perceived by the overlying turbulence. The drag reduction is then proportional to the difference between the two virtual origins, reminiscent of drag reduction using riblets. The validity of slip-length models to represent textured superhydrophobic surfaces can resultantly be extended up to $L^+ \lesssim 20$. However, for $L^+ \gtrsim 25$ a non-linear interaction with the texture-coherent flow alters the dynamics of the background turbulence, with a reduction in coherence of large streamwise lengthscales. This non-linear interaction causes an increase in Reynolds stress up to $y^+ \lesssim 25$, and decreases the obtained drag reduction compared to that predicted from homogeneous slip-length models.
Supervisor: Garcia-Mayoral, Ricardo Sponsor: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: wall-bounded turbulence ; drag reduction ; superhydrophobic surfaces