Large-eddy simulation (LES) is conducted to study the transition process of a separated boundary layer on a flat plate with an elliptical leading edge. A streamwise pressure distribution is imposed and the free stream turbulence intensity is 3% to mimic the suction surface of a low-pressure turbine (LPT) blade. A dynamic sub-grid scale model is employed in the study and the current LES results compare well with available experimental data and previous LES results. The transition process has been analysed with a particular focus on primary instabilities at work. Streaky structures further upstream of the separation, known as the Klebanoff Streaks, have been observed. Typical two-dimensional Kelvin-Helmholtz (K-H) rolls are distorted in the separated region. When Klebanoff streaks passing over a full-span K-H roll, portion of the two-dimensional roll merges with the Klebanoff streaks and develop into chaotic three-dimensional structures, whereas the remaining undisrupted two-dimensional K-H rolls develop into Λ-vortex indicating that despite the disturbances before separation, the K-H instability may still be the main instability at work.
Papers presented to the 12th International Conference on Heat Transfer, Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics, Costa de Sol, Spain on 11-13 July 2016.