Theoretical prediction of turbulent skin friction on geometrically complex surfaces

Yulia Peet, Pierre Sagaut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


This article can be considered as an extension of the paper of Fukagata [Phys. Fluids 14, L73 (2002)] which derived an analytical expression for the constituent contributions to skin friction in a turbulent channel, pipe, and plane boundary layer flows. In this paper, we extend the theoretical analysis of Fukagata (formerly limited to canonical cases with two-dimensional mean flow) to a fully three-dimensional situation allowing complex wall shapes. We start our analysis by considering arbitrarily shaped surfaces and then formulate a restriction on a surface shape for which the current analysis is valid. A theoretical formula for skin friction coefficient is thus given for streamwise and spanwise homogeneous surfaces of any shape, as well as some more complex configurations, including spanwise-periodic wavy patterns. The theoretical analysis is validated using the results of large eddy simulations of a turbulent flow over straight and wavy riblets with triangular and knife-blade cross-sections. Decomposition of skin friction into different constituent contributions allows us to analyze the influence of different dynamical effects on a skin friction modification by riblet-covered surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105105
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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