Simulating Turbulent Air Flow Past a Hemispherical Body

M.R. Meas*, J.F. Bruwer, M. L. Combrinck, T.M. Harms

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The flow of air past a smooth surface-mounted hemisphere is investigated numerically using six common RANS turbulence models and seeking steady flow solutions. Where possible, the turbulence models are applied using standard wall functions, resolving the viscous sublayer, and the enhanced wall treatment option in ANSYS Fluent. Results of the simulations are compared against measurements taken in a wind tunnel experiment. The comparison shows that enhanced wall treatment and resolving the boundary layer on a low Reynolds number mesh yields superior accuracy compared to standard wall functions or resolving the boundary layer on a high Reynolds number mesh, for all the turbulence models considered. The RNG 𝒌 − 𝜺 model with enhanced wall treatment applied is found to yield the most accurate prediction of the static pressure distribution across the surface of the hemisphere model. Conversely, the Reynolds Stress model and the standard 𝒌 − 𝝎 model are found to give the least accurate predictions, irrespective of the near- wall modelling approach applied. It is found that good agreement with the experimental data for this case of flows h of the near-wall modelling techniques if a well-suited turbulence model is used.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10
Pages (from-to)89-95
Number of pages7
JournalR&D Journal of the South African Institution of Mechanical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2021


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