Time-resolved thermal boundary-layer structure in a pulsatile reversing channel flow

S. P. Kearney, A. M. Jacobi, R. P. Lucht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, the results of an experimental study of the time-resolved structure of a thermal boundary layer in a pulsating channel flow are presented. The developing laminar regime is investigated. Two techniques were used for time-resolved temperature measurements: A nonintrusive, pure-rotational CARS method and cold-wire anemometry. Results are presented for differing degrees of flow reversal, and the data show that the primary impact of reversed flow is an increase in the instantaneous thermal boundary-layer thickness and a period of decreased instantaneous Nusselt number. For the developing laminar parameter space spanned by the experiments, time-averaged heat-transfer enhancements as high as a factor of two relative to steady flow are observed for nonreversing and partially reversed pulsating flows. It is concluded that reversal is not necessarily a requirement for enhancement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-664
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Heat Transfer
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Boundary layer
  • Convection
  • Enhancement
  • Heat transfer
  • Periodic
  • Pulsating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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