Some effects of bluntness on boundary-layer transition and heat transfer at supersonic speeds

W. E. Moeckel
Jan 1957

Large downstream movements of transition observed when the leading edge of a hollow cylinder or a flat plate is slightly blunted are explained in terms of the reduction in Reynolds number at the outer edge of the boundary layer due to the detached shock wave. The magnitude of this reduction is computed for cones and wedges for Mach numbers to 20. Concurrent changes in outer-edge Mach number and temperature occur in the direction that would increase the stability of the laminar boundary layer. The hypothesis is made that transition Reynolds number is substantially unchanged when a sharp leading edge or tip is blunted. This hypothesis leads to the conclusion that the downstream movement of transition is inversely proportional to the ratio of surface Reynolds number with blunted tip or leading edge to surface Reynolds number with sharp tip or leading edge. The conclusion is in good agreement with the hollow-cylinder result at Mach 3.1.

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