Measurements in the Transition Vortex Flow Regime of Mixed Convection Above a Horizontal Heated Plate

[+] Author and Article Information
S. S. Moharreri, B. F. Armaly, T. S. Chen

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Missouri—Rolla, Rolla, MO 65401

J. Heat Transfer 110(2), 358-365 (May 01, 1988) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3250492 History: Received July 22, 1986; Online October 20, 2009


Experimental results covering the transition vortex flow regime of mixed convection over a heated, horizontal flat plate are presented. A criterion for the onset of vortex instability as a function of critical Reynolds and Grashof numbers was established with the aid of a flow visualization technique. The three-dimensional nature of this flow regime was documented through both velocity and temperature measurements using laser-Doppler and hot/cold-wire anemometers, respectively. A higher buoyancy force, through a higher plate temperature or a larger downstream distance, and/or a lower free-stream velocity, intensifies the strength of the vortices. Velocity and temperature profiles through vortex peaks and valleys are reported to quantify the behavior of these vortices. It has been found from these measurements that the two-dimensional laminar mixed convection flow changes into a transitional three-dimensional vortex flow in a relatively short distance from the leading edge of the plate. The vortex three-dimensional flow continues to intensify as the buoyancy force increases and then develops into a two-dimensional fully turbulent flow at the end of the transition regime. These findings place an upper limit on the applicability of the two-dimensional, laminar boundary layer flow analysis for mixed convection over a heated horizontal flat plate.

Copyright © 1988 by ASME
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