## Abstract

A clear and consistent framework for the analysis of the outer region of adverse-pressure-gradient turbulent boundary layers is established in this paper based on basic principles and theory, and the help of six adverse-pressure-gradient turbulent boundary layer databases and a zero-pressure-gradient one. Outer velocity and length scales for the mean velocity defect and the Reynolds stresses are discussed first. The conditions of validity of four velocity scales are determined in terms of the shape factor, since one scale is restricted to small velocity-defect boundary layers (the friction velocity ), one to large-defect ones (the pressure-gradient velocity ), while the two others are proper scales for all velocity-defect conditions (the Zagarola-Smits velocity and the mixing-layer-Type velocity ). The turbulent boundary layer equations are then used to bring out, in a consistent manner and without assuming any self-similar behaviour, a set of non-dimensional parameters characterizing the outer region of turbulent boundary layers with arbitrary pressure gradients. In terms of a generic outer length scale and velocity scale , these non-dimensional parameters are the pressure-gradient parameter , the Reynolds number and the inertial parameter , where and are respectively the streamwise and wall-normal components of mean velocity at the boundary layer edge. These parameters have a clear physical meaning: They are ratios of the order of magnitude of forces, with the Reynolds shear stress gradient (apparent turbulent force) as the reference force-inertial to apparent turbulent forces for , pressure to apparent turbulent forces for and apparent turbulent to viscous forces for . We discuss at length their significance and determine under what conditions they retain their meaning depending on the outer velocity scale that is considered. The seven boundary layer databases are analysed and compared using the established framework. An astonishing and impressive result is obtained: by choosing , the streamwise evolution of the three ratios of forces in the outer region can be accurately followed with , and in all these flows-not just the order of magnitude of these ratios. This cannot be achieved with and , and only imperfectly with . Consequently, , and can be used to follow-in a global sense-the streamwise evolution of the streamwise mean momentum balance in the outer region.

Original language | English |
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Pages (from-to) | 5-35 |

Number of pages | 31 |

Journal | Journal of Fluid Mechanics |

Volume | 844 |

DOIs | |

Publication status | Published - 10 Jun 2018 |

### Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:© 2018 Cambridge University Press.

## Keywords

- turbulent boundary layers
- turbulent flows