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Heat transfer predictions using advanced two-equation turbulence models

ANSYS CFX Validation Report


Development and application
of a zonal DES turbulence
model for CFX-5
CFX-VAL17/0703
Development and application of a zonal DES model for CFX-5
CFX Ltd. CFX-VAL17/0703
Development and application of a zonal DES turbulence model for CFX-5
F. R. Menter, M. Kuntz, ANSYS CFX
Abstract
This report describes the implementation of a zonal DES model in CFX-5, including the
formulation, numerical treatment and a detailed discussion of the results obtained when the
DES model is applied to three testcases: flow over a cylinder, a cube in channel flow, and
the Ahmed car body.
Table of Contents
1 Introduction....................................................................................................................... 1
2 Turbulence models ............................................................................................................ 3
2.1 SST model ................................................................................................................ 3
2.2 SST-DES formulation Strelets et al. ........................................................................ 4
2.3 SST-DES formulation CFX ..................................................................................... 4
2.4 Numerical treatment of DES model ......................................................................... 6
3 Testcases ........................................................................................................................... 8
3.1 Circular cylinder....................................................................................................... 8
3.2 Cube in channel flow.............................................................................................. 10
3.3 The Ahmed car body.............................................................................................. 15
4 Grid induced separation - revisited ................................................................................. 29
5 Conclusions ..................................................................................................................... 30
6 Notes ............................................................................................................................... 31
6.1 Acknowledgment ................................................................................................... 31
6.2 References .............................................................................................................. 31
Appendix 1: SST-DES-CFX model set-up in CFX-5........................................................ 32

Development and application of a zonal DES model for CFX-5
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1 Introduction
Turbulence model development for aerodynamic applications has for many years
concentrated on improving the capabilities of CFD methods for separation prediction. The
industrial motivation came from the overwhelming importance of flow separation and stall
for aerodynamic flows around wings and aircraft configurations. The accurate prediction of
the stall characteristics was and is one of the main reasons for the development and use of
CFD methods based on the Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations.
Validation studies of turbulence models in the 1980s have clearly shown that most
turbulence models were not capable of predicting the development of turbulent boundary
layers under adverse pressure gradient conditions. Based on that observation, new models
were developed specifically to meet this challenge, resulting in a series of models capable
of capturing boundary layer separation in good agreement with experimental data (Johnson
and King, 1984, Menter, 1993, Spalart and Allmaras, 1994).
From experience with the SST turbulence model (Menter, 1993), the present authors
would argue that the capability of the model with respect to the prediction of the onset of
separation is within the accuracy of the available experimental data and that no systematic
deviation between the simulations and the data is observed. Based on the experimental
evidence (which is admittedly limited for three-dimensional flows), there is currently little
need for model improvements for that kind of flows. Of course, this does not imply that
aerodynamic flows can be predicted within experimental uncertainty levels, as these flows
involve other effects, which pose additional challenges to the turbulence model. The main
areas of concern are the behavior of the flow downstream of the separation line, including
the flow recovery after re-attachment (Johnson et al., 1994), the proper simulation of vortex
flows and questions related to laminar-turbulent transition. In particular, the flow
development downstream of separation is of major importance from an aerodynamic
standpoint and can have a significant effect on the characteristics of aerodynamic bodies.
This is particularly true for ground vehicles, as they generally exhibit significant regions of
separated flows, even at design conditions.
From a modeling standpoint, it has been observed for a long time that RANS turbulence
models underpredict the level of the turbulent stresses in the detached shear layer emanating
from the separation line (Johnson et al., 1994). This in turn seems to be one of the main
reasons for the incorrect flow recovery predicted by the models downstream of
reattachment. The issue is sometimes masked by the tendency of models to under-predict
the onset and therefore the strength of the separation, which in turn results in an acceptable
agreement in the recovery region. However, the improvement is only the result of a
cancellation of errors, as one cannot trade separation prediction capabilities against
improved velocity profiles in the recovery region. The delayed recovery of the boundary
layer downstream of the reattachment line can lead to a premature separation under a
second adverse pressure gradient. This is a scenario which can, for example, be found on
wings with a double shock structure as argued by Johnson et al. (1994). If the boundary
layer recovery after the first shock is not reproduced properly, the predicted boundary layer
behavior at the second shock is not reliable, even if the turbulence model is in principle able
to predict the separation onset for undisturbed flows. A second and even more disturbing
uncertainty resulting from the incorrect prediction of the detached shear-layer concerns the
flow topology downstream of the separation line. Current turbulence models cannot reliably
answer the question of whether the flow is forming a closed separation bubble, or a fully
stalled flow regime. This question is of major importance for the prediction of the
aerodynamic characteristics of automobiles, which almost always exhibit regions of
separated flow. The topology of these regions has a strong influence on the drag and more
pronouncedly on the lift of the car.
In an attempt to improve the predictive capabilities of turbulence models in highly
separated regions, Spalart (1997) proposed a hybrid approach, which combines features of
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classical RANS formulations with elements of Large Eddy Simulations (LES) methods. The
concept has been termed Detached Eddy Simulation (DES) and is based on the idea of
covering the boundary layer by a RANS model and of switching the model to a LES mode
in detached regions. Ideally, DES would predict the separation line from the underlying
RANS model, but capture the unsteady dynamics of the separated shear layer by resolution
of the developing turbulent structures. Compared to classical LES methods, DES saves
orders of magnitude of computing power for high Reynolds number flows, due to the
moderate costs of the RANS model in the boundary layer region, but still offers some of the
advantages of an LES method in separated regions.
There are two main concerns with the current DES formulation. The first is how quickly
the unsteady turbulent structures develop after the model has switched from the RANS to
the LES mode. This is of significance for the prediction of separated shear layers, as a
delayed onset of resolved turbulent structures would aggravate the underprediction of the
turbulent stresses due to a reduction of the unresolved turbulence level by the DES
formulation.
The second concern is with the switching mechanism employed by the current DES
methods. In order to prevent the activation of the DES limiter in attached boundary layers,
it is typically required to ensure a lower limit on the local surface grid resolution. If this
condition is violated, the integrity of the RANS model is severely compromised resulting in
most cases in grid induced separation. This issue will be addressed in the section on
turbulence model formulation. For an alternative of a hybrid turbulence model without an
explicit grid dependency see Menter et al. (2003).
In a first step, the flow around a circular cylinder and the flow over a cube mounted in a
channel will be computed. These tests serve the evaluation of both the numerical and the
model performance of the current SST-DES implementation.
In a second step, the capabilities and limitations of advanced aerodynamic RANS and
DES turbulence models for automotive applications will be evaluated and discussed.
Alternatives to the current RANS/DES switch will be discussed. The models will be applied
to the flow around a simplified generic car shape, known as the Ahmed car body (Ahmed
and Ramm, 1984, Linehart et al. 2000). The RANS simulations have been presented at the
ERCOFTAC workshop on Refined Turbulence Modelling (Durand et al, 2002) in a
comparison study of different CFD methods for specific testcases. A detailed report of the
RANS simulations presented at the ERCOFTAC workshop is available from the authors
upon request.
All simulations have been computed with the commercial CFD method CFX-5 of
ANSYS. The current release version CFX-5.6 includes the SST-DES-CFX model as
described in the present report but in -mode only.
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2 Turbulence models
RANS simulations have been carried out with the standard k- model (Launder and
Spalding, 1974) with wall functions, the SST model (Menter 1993) with automatic wall
treatment and the SSG (Speziale et al, 1991) Reynolds stress model. In addition, the SST-
DES model proposed by Strelets (2001) has been modified and applied to overcome some
of its deficiencies in the RANS regions.
All RANS model have been used in their standard formulation, but the SST-DES model
has been enhanced to reduce the explicit grid dependency in the RANS region.
2.1 SST model
The SST model is formulated as follows:

( )
( ) ( )
(

+ =

i
t k
i
k i
i
x
k

x
k ' P k U
x t
k

~


( )
( )
( ) ( )
i i
w
i
t
i
i
i
x

x
k

F
x

x
S U
x t

+
(

+ =

1
1 2
2 1
2 2

,
where the blending function F
1
is defined by:

(
(

|
|
.
|

\
|
=
4
2
2
2
1
4 500
max min tanh
y CD
k
,
y

,
'y
k
F
k



with

|
|
.
|

\
|

=
10
2
10 ,
1
2 max
i i
kw
x x
k
CD


and y is the distance to the nearest wall.
F
1
is equal to zero away from the surface (k- model), and switches over to 1 inside the
boundary layer (k- model).
The turbulent eddy viscosity is defined as follows:

( )
2 1
1
, max F S a
k a
t

=
where S is an invariant measure of the strain rate and F
2
is a second blending function
defined by:
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(
(

(
(

|
|
.
|

\
|
=
2
2
2
500 2
max tanh
y

,
'y
k
F .
A production limiter is used in the SST model to prevent the build-up of turbulence in
stagnation regions:
( ) k P P
x
U
x
U
x
U
P
k k
i
j
j
i
j
i
t k
*
10 , min
~
=
|
|
.
|

\
|

= .
All constants are computed by a blend from the corresponding constants of the k- and
the k- model via ( ) F F + = 1
2 1
etc. The constants for this model are: =0.09,

1
=5/9,
1
=3/40,
k1
=0.5,
1
=0.5,
2
=0.44,
2
=0.0828,
k2
=1,
2
=0.856.
Turbulence models based on the -equation provide an analytical expression for in
the viscous sub-layer. This allows for a near-wall formulation, which gradually and
automatically switches from wall-functions to a low-Re near wall formulations, as the grid
is refined in wall normal direction. In the current simulations, low-Re grids are used.
2.2 SST-DES formulation Strelets et al.
The idea behind the DES model of Strelets (2001) is to switch from the SST-RANS
model to an LES model in regions where the turbulent length, L
t
, predicted by the RANS
model is larger than the local grid spacing. In this case, the length scale used in the
computation of the dissipation rate in the equation for the turbulent kinetic energy is
replaced by the local grid spacing, .



*
2 / 3 2 / 3
*
); max(
k
L L C for
C
k
L
k
k
t i t DES
DES t
= = <

= =

The practical reason for choosing the maximum edge length in the DES formulation is
that the model should return the RANS formulation in attached boundary layers. The
maximum edge length is therefore the safest estimate to ensure that demand.
The DES modification of Strelets can be formulated as a multiplier to the destruction
term in the k-equation:

|
|
.
|

\
|

= = 1 , max
* *
DES
t
DES DES
C
L
F with F k k

with C
DES
equal to 0.61, as the limiter should only be active in the k- model region. The
numerical formulation is also switched between an upwind biased and a central difference
scheme in the RANS and DES regions respectively.
2.3 SST-DES formulation CFX
The main practical problem with the DES formulation (both for the Spalart Allmaras
and the SST-DES model) is that there is no mechanism for preventing the limiter from
becoming active in the attached portion of the boundary layer. This will happen in regions
where the local surface grid spacing is less than the boundary layer thickness c
S
> with
c of the order of one. This is not a situation unlikely to occur, especially when unstructured
Development and application of a zonal DES model for CFX-5
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grids are used in the simulation. In the case where the limiter is activated in the boundary
layer, the result will in most cases be grid induced separation. In other words, the separation
onset and therefore the flow topology can be altered by the grid provided by the user.
Figure 1 shows an example of a grid-induced separation based on the grid spacing shown
by the grid lines. It can be argued that the grid induced separation could be avoided by a
larger grid spacing in the lateral direction, but that implies that the flow direction is known
at the grid generation stage, which is not the case in most complex three-dimensional
simulations. Furthermore, unstructured prism/tetrahedron based grids are typically isotropic
on the surface, eliminating this option. It should also be noted that a grid-spacing in the
lateral direction (spanwise for a wing) which is solidly on the safe side of the DES limiter
would prevent the DES mode in the region downstream of separation and thereby limit the
effectiveness of the DES model to produce unsteady structures in the separating shear layer.

Figure 1: Regions of negative U-velocity for NACA4412 simulation for SST model
(left) and SST-DES model by Strelets (right) separation point indicated by arrow
One way of alleviating the grid induced separation problem is to shield the boundary
layer from the DES limiter, thereby avoiding/reducing the problem. As the SST model is
based on a zonal formulation, differentiating between the boundary layer and the rest of the
flowfield, the blending functions of the model can also be used to formulate a zonal DES
limiter. The blending functions are shown in Figure 2. The following modification is
therefore proposed for the SST-DES model:
( )
2 1
, , 0 ; 1 , 1 max F F F with F
C
L
F
SST SST
DES
t
CFX DES
=
|
|
.
|

\
|

.
F
SST
=0 recovers the Strelets et al. model. F
1
and F
2
are the two blending functions of the
SST model shown in Figure 2. F
2
shields more of the boundary layer and is therefore the
preferred default. It should however be noted that even F
2
does not completely eliminate the
problem, but reduces it by an order of magnitude, c
S
> where c is now of the order of
0.1.
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Figure 2: Blending functions for the SST model
Figure 3 shows the same simulation as for the standard SST-DES formulation computed
with the SST-CFX-F
2
model. The influence of the DES limiter is avoided and the DES
model does not affect the separation point. It can be seen that even a more severe grid
refinement does not lead to separation (right picture). However, refinement of the surface
grid below 1 . 0 =
S
should be avoided.

Figure 3: Regions of negative U-velocity for NACA4412 simulation for SST-DES-
CFX-F2 model separation point indicated by arrow. Right locally refined
2.4 Numerical treatment of DES model
It was pointed out by Strelets (2001) that a different numerical treatment should be
employed in the RANS and in the detached flow regions of the domain. Strelets proposed a
switch between a second order upwind-biased scheme for the RANS region and a second
order central difference scheme for the DES region. This is necessary to avoid excessive
numerical diffusion in the DES regions resulting from an upwind biased scheme. In CFX,
the numerical formulation of Strelets is used with a small modification.
The switch in CFX is performed between the second order upwind scheme (NAC
numerical advection correction) and the central difference scheme (CDS) in the following
way:
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CDS flux NAC flux ip
F F + =
2 1
) 1 (

where
ip

is a correction to the first order upwind scheme of the integration point variable.
The variables
1
and
2
have been introduced as an additional degree of freedom (e.g.

2
=0.95 would result in a 95% CDS +5%upwind scheme). Otherwise, the present
implementation is carried out according to the model of Strelets (2001). In order to stay
consistent with the DES limiter, the only modification made to the F
flux
function is to
include the SST zonal formulation also in the numerical switch:

( )
SST Strelets flux CFX flux
F F F , max

=
.
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3 Testcases
3.1 Circular cylinder
The flow around a cylinder is a popular case to test LES or hybrid models. The current
set-up is based on the experiment of Warschauer and Leene (1971) with a Reynolds number
of Re=1.2x10
6
. A hexahedral grid with 1.4m nodes was generated using ICEM-CFD Hexa,
see Figure 4. The spanwise extent of the domain was 2 diameters, which is certainly the
lowest limit acceptable for turbulence resolving models. A second order backward Euler
time integration was applied. The time step for the simulations was t=10
-4
[s].

Figure 4: Grid for cylinder flow
Figure 5 shows the numerical switch for the present simulation. Only the wake region
behind the cylinder is computed with the CDS scheme, whereas the remaining part of the
domain is covered by the second order upwind method NAC. Note that the inlet is covered
by the RANS part of the model. For this reason, only regular RANS boundary conditions
have been applied for the SST-DES-CFX model. The blending function F
2
was used in the
zonal DES formulation.
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Figure 5: Numerical switching function for cylinder flow. Blue - CDS; Red NAC
Figure 6 depicts the turbulent structures behind the cylinder. The isosurface shows a
constant value of the turbulent structures
( ) ( )
i j j i
x U x U /
produced by the model. The
color on the isosurface shows the ratio of the eddy viscosity to the molecular viscosity.
Closer inspection of the solution shows that the attached turbulent boundary layer is
covered in a RANS modus, whereas the model generates three-dimensional structures in the
separated region very quickly. The simulation has been run for about 2000 time steps. The
numerical procedure has proven to be stable, as long as a time step of t= ] [ 10
4
s

was not
exceeded. This is a result of the CDS method used in the DES portion of the domain.
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Figure 6: Turbulent structures behind cylinder
3.2 Cube in channel flow
The next testcase is the flow around a cube mounted in a channel, as shown in Figure 7.
This experiment has been investigated numerous times with a variety of RANS, DES and
LES models (ERCOFTAC, 1997).
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Figure 7: Geometry for cube in channel flow
The current test conditions are for a Reynolds number of 40,000 based on the cube
height and the bulk inflow velocity. One interesting feature of this flow is that the inlet
conditions are fully developed channel flow. This poses problems for the standard DES
model formulations, as the entire domain would have to be covered by the LES part of the
DES formulation. This also implies the specification of unsteady inflow conditions and
eliminates the advantage of the DES approach vs. LES for this flow. The reason for the
domination of the LES region in standard DES formulations is shown in Figure 8, which
shows the DES switching function of Strelets applied to a steady state RANS solution.
Almost the entire domain is covered by the LES region, due to the small grid size required
for this flow in the axial and spanwise direction. The turbulent length scale of the fully
developed inlet profiles is much larger than the grid spacing for this internal flow, leading
to a domination of the LES portion of the DES formulation.
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Figure 8: DES Blending function of standard DES formulation for steady state RANS
solution. Blue - LES region; Red - RANS region
This is different for the SST-DES-CFX modification, as can be seen in Figure 9 and
Figure 10, showing the blending between the LES and RANS regions when using the
different blending functions of the SST zonal formulation.

Figure 9: DES Blending function of the SST-DES-F1 formulation for steady state
RANS solution. Blue - LES region; Red - RANS region
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Figure 10: DES Blending function of the SST-DES-CFX-F2 formulation for steady
state RANS solution. Blue - LES region; Red - RANS region

Figure 11: DES Blending function of the SST-DES-CFX-F2 formulation for SST-DES
solution. Blue - LES region; Red - RANS region
For this internal flow, the zonal DES formulation gives a difference in quality, as now
most of the domain is covered by the RANS part, including the inflow and the entire
domain upstream of the cube. The DES limiter will therefore only be activated downstream
of the cube. Note that the above figures have been produced based on a steady state RANS
solution from the SST model. Figure 11 shows the same quantity, but during an unsteady
simulation. In this case, the LES region is extended and covers the entire domain
downstream of the cube, where significant turbulent structures are produced by the obstacle.
The isosurface in Figure 12 shows a constant value of the turbulent structures
( ) ( )
i j j i
x U x U /
produced by the model. The color on the isosurface shows the ratio of the
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eddy viscosity to the molecular viscosity. Additionally velocity vectors are plotted on the
ground.

Figure 12: Turbulent structures for cube flow
Figure 13 shows a comparison of the velocity profiles in the middle plane computed
with the SST RANS model and the SST-DES-CFX model using the RANS-DES blending
function
1
F F
SST
= . The advantages of the DES model are obviously especially in the flow
recovery region after the obstacle.
A situation like the one for the cube is of significant engineering interest. It happens
frequently that smaller obstacles are embedded in a channel or pipe flow (cooling ribs). In
these cases it might be advantageous to be able to cover most of the domain with the RANS
model, and to resolve only the turbulent structures downstream of the obstacle.
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Figure 13: Velocity profiles at middle plane computed with SST RANS and SST-DES-
CFX model
3.3 The Ahmed car body
Flow physics
The geometry of the Ahmed car body is shown in Figure 14. It consists of a box with
rounded edges and a slanted back. The angle of the slant is adjustable and is the main
variable model-parameter in the experimental investigations. Two sets of experiments have
been carried out for this geometry (Ahmed et al. 1984, Lienhart et al. 2000).The present
comparison is mainly based on the data of Lienhart et al. (2000). In this experiment, the
Reynolds number with respect to the length of the car was Re
L
=2.6x10
6
. The slant angle
was varied between 0 and 40. The emphasis of the experimental investigations was on the
flow structure in the slant region and downstream of the body.
R=100
222
389
1044
288

Figure 14: Ahmed car geometry
It was observed that a change in the slant angle resulted in a significant change in the
drag coefficient, as shown in Figure 15 taken from Lienhart et al. (2000). An increase in the
slant angle from zero to around 30 results in a gradual increase in the drag coefficient with
a significant shift in the contributions from the different surfaces. While the viscous drag
forces show little sensitivity to the slant angle, there is a distinct increase in the drag portion
coming from the slant surface combined with a decrease in the contribution from the back
Length=1044[mm]
Width=388 [mm]
Height=288 [mm]
Slant=222 [mm]
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surface. At a critical slant angle of around 30, the drag coefficient drops significantly,
mainly due to a reduction in the contribution coming from the slant. At higher slant angles,
the drag coefficient stays virtually constant. The change in drag coefficient is due to a
change in the flow topology in the aft region of the car body (Lienhart et al. 2000).

Figure 15: Forces on different parts of the Ahmed car body (Ahmed et al. 1984)
Figure 16 shows a sketch of the flow topologies identified by Lienhart et al at for 25
and 35 of slant angle. One of the main differences is that the flow at 25 shows a
separation bubble at the onset of the slant, whereas the 35 case is fully stalled over the
entire slant. Figure 17 shows the experimentally obtained surface oil flow pictures for the
two cases. The 25 case exhibits a closed separation zone covering about half of the slant in
the center plane, whereas the 35 case exhibits a fully stalled region (wall streamlines
moving upstream).


Figure 16: Flow topology in the aft region of Ahmed car body (left: 25 slant, right:
35 slant) Courtesy Lienhart
Slant part
Back part
Front part
Viscous drag
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Figure 17: Surface oil flow pictures of Ahmed car body (left 25 slant, right: 35
slant) - Courtesy Lienhart
A possible interpretation of the flow dependence on the slant angle is as follows: the
initial increase in the slant angle results in a change of the direction of the free flow (similar
to the effect of a flap on an airfoil). The change in flow direction requires an opposing force
on the body, resulting in an increase of lift. An increase of lift in turn results in an increase
of the induced drag and a strengthening of the trailing vortices (tip vortices). The effect of
the induced drag results in an increased drag on the slant, as shown in Figure 2. At a critical
slant angle, the flow over the slant can no longer follow the contour, resulting in a fully
stalled flow with no reattachment on the slant. At this point, the induced lift breaks down
and the drag comes mainly from the base drag of both the slant and the back surface. Note
that the flow topology has to be identical for 0 and 90. The present interpretation is
consistent with the significantly reduced vortex strength between the 25 and the 35 case
measured in the experiments.
This flow poses a severe challenge to RANS turbulence models, as it requires models
which are capable of correctly predicting separation and reattachment at the lower slant
angles in order to capture the correct flow topology. Otherwise, the overall flow
characteristics will be missed resulting in an incorrect prediction of drag and more severely
of lift.
Quality assurance
Simulations for the two experimental cases with 25 and 35 slant angle have been
computed. In order to ensure the quality of the numerical results, the simulations have been
performed according to the Best Practice Procedures of CFX. The purpose of these
procedures is the elimination of uncertainties resulting from numerical errors and/or from
application uncertainties. Both testcases have been computed on three different grids in
order to demonstrate the influence of the grids on the results. All in all, sensitivity studies
have been performed concerning the influence of the following parameters:
grid resolution,
iteration level (convergence criterion),
influence of inlet and far field boundary conditions, and
influence of discretisation scheme.
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The grids described in Table 1 and Figure 18 have been used in the RANS simulations
(covering half of the body with a symmetry plane). It was ensured that all results presented
in the resulting paper show only a small change between the medium and the fine grid (in
fact there was no substantial change even for the coarser grid). The details of the quality
assurance procedure are beyond the page restrictions of this report, but the more detailed
report can be obtained from the authors.
Table 1: Information on grid refinement studies and overall grid quality
35 slant angle Coarse Medium Fine
Nodes
Elements (body)
650 000
6 700
1 250 000
13 400
2 500 000
20 000
Average y+ on the body (Max) 0.79 (3.6) 0.76 (3.7) 0.75 (3.6)
Min 28.5 28.5 28.5
Min grid
angle()
Average 74.3 76.1 76.1
Max 20 747 18 269 15 024
Max (body) 10 256 4 059 2774
Average 252 170 120
Edge length
ratio
Average (body) 1828 1421 1122


Figure 18: Grids for RANS simulations
RANS simulations 35 slant angle
For the 35 case, the agreement between the numerical simulations and the experimental
data was good, considering the fully stalled character of the flow. This was also concluded
Development and application of a zonal DES model for CFX-5
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from other RANS simulations presented at the ERCOFTAC workshop. All models
investigated produced the correct, fully separated flow structure and were in good
agreement with the experimental velocity profiles.
Figure 19 shows a comparison of the velocity profiles in the symmetry plane of the car
body for the three RANS models. A similar agreement was also observed for the off-
symmetry planes and is not reproduced here. However, despite the good agreement in the
velocity profiles, the turbulent stresses, particularly at the slant onset, are severely in error.
As can be seen from Figure 20, the turbulent kinetic energy is underpredicted by a factor of
three in this region (and so is the turbulent shear stress) in the shear layer emanating from
the roof. What makes the 35 an easy case in terms of the velocity field is that the
differences in the turbulent stresses do not have consequences in terms of the flow
topology. For this high angle, the pressure gradient imposed on the boundary layer is strong
enough to ensure that all models predict a separated and fully stalled flow, despite the
otherwise known strong differences of the models in separation prediction.

Figure 19: Velocity profiles computed with different turbulence models for the 35
case
Development and application of a zonal DES model for CFX-5
20 CFX Ltd. CFX-VAL17/0703 20

Figure 20: Profiles for the turbulent kinetic energy for the 35 case
RANS simulations 25 slant angle
For the 25 case, the agreement between the numerical simulations and the experimental
data was much less satisfying than for the higher slant angle and severe differences between
the solutions have been observed. It was also found that this case was very sensitive to
numerical details a first order upwind simulation with the SST model resulted in an
attached flow, whereas a second order solution produced a separated flow. This might
explain some of the discrepancies observed in the first ERCOFTAC workshop, where two
CFD codes using the SST model produced different solutions.
Figure 21 shows a comparison of the velocity profiles in the symmetry plane. For this
case, the models produce very different results. The k- and the SSG model give a fully
attached flow, whereas the SST model results in a stalled flow. Both solutions are not in
agreement with the data, which show a separation and subsequent reattachment along the
slant.
Development and application of a zonal DES model for CFX-5
CFX-VAL17/0703 CFX Ltd. 21

Figure 21: Velocity profiles computed with different turbulence models for the 25
case
For this case, the differences in the turbulent stresses are even more pronounced than in
the 35 case, as can be seen in the turbulent kinetic energy shown in
Figure 22, which is now underpredicted by an order of magnitude by the SST model.
The k- and the SSG model do not predict an increased level of turbulence at all, as they fail
in capturing the flow separation. Shear layer experimental data suggest, however, that there
is an excessive level of turbulence in the experimental data, which seems to be a result of a
large-scale unsteady behaviour of the flow. Spalart (2003) argues that the observed level of
turbulence could be obtained by a repeated switch in the flow topology from attached to
separated and back. The large level of the experimental turbulence intensity in the spanwise
direction suggests that this motion should be accompanied by a strong lateral movement.
None of these effects is apparently predicted by any of the RANS models.
Development and application of a zonal DES model for CFX-5
22 CFX Ltd. CFX-VAL17/0703 22

Figure 22: Profiles for the turbulent kinetic energy for the 25 case
From the standpoint of the steady state flow topology, it appears that the k- model is in
closer agreement with the experimental data than the SST model. For the 25 slant, the
experiments show a topology associated with high lift and strong trailing vortices. The
confined separation bubble does not alter the overall flow topology. RANS models, which
predict no separation, are therefore in closer agreement with the experiments. However, this
does not imply that the k- model is a superior turbulence model for this type of flow. The
agreement in flow topology is a result of the failure of the model to predict the separation
and not of its ability to accurately predict reattachment. The ability of a turbulence model to
predict the onset of separation is still the first priority for aerodynamic flow simulations and
cannot be traded against other model characteristics.
DES simulations 25 slant angle
The 25 testcase is a good candidate for the evaluation of the improvement achieved by
the DES formulation in the separated flow region. The goal is the resolution of the unsteady
features of the shear layer separating from the edge of the slant. The vortex-shedding and
break-up is expected to be the main mechanism for increasing the turbulent energy in the
separated shear layer, thereby forcing a reattachment of the flow. However, as the high
levels of turbulence in the measurements cannot be explained by classical shear layer
physics, the next question is whether the large-scale unsteadiness observed in the
experiments can be triggered by the turbulent structures emanating from the slant.
The DES simulations require a significantly refined grid in the slant region, particularly
in the spanwise direction, to activate the DES limiter. In order to keep the total number of
nodes at an acceptable level, two steps of local grid refinements have been introduced, as
shown in Figure 23. The total number of nodes is 1,783,000, and the number of spanwise
cells is 70 on the slant. Of course, the entire body is now computed without a symmetry
assumption. The time step for the simulation is t=10
-4
[s], which corresponds to 250 time
Development and application of a zonal DES model for CFX-5
CFX-VAL17/0703 CFX Ltd. 23
steps for one passage of the car at freestream velocity. Turbulent structures appeared after
several hundred time-steps, but it turned out that a large number of steps was required to
ensure proper statistical behaviour of the solution.


Figure 23: Grids with local refinement for DES simulations
Figure 24 shows the time history of the forces acting on the body in the three space
dimensions. It can be seen that the forces are non-periodic and even after ~7000 time steps
do not follow a regular pattern. Nevertheless, the unsteady structures in the separating shear
layer have changed the flow topology as can be seen in Figure 25, showing the wall-shear
stress vectors on the slant for the SST and the SST-DES-CFX-F
1
formulation. Instead of the
fully separated flow topology, with low lift and weak trailing vortices, the DES topology is
closer to the experiments with a confined separation zone, increased lift and strong trailing
vortices. Note that the level of fluctuations in the lift forces is more than 50% of the mean
lift.

Development and application of a zonal DES model for CFX-5
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Figure 24: Time history of forces on Ahmed car body

Figure 25: Flow structure on the slant for SST (left) and SST-DES-CFX-F1 (right)
More details can be seen in Figure 26 - Figure 28, showing the velocity profiles in three
different planes (the half width of the body is 194 mm). At the symmetry plane, the
advantage of the DES simulation is not very pronounced, but in the off-symmetry planes,
the change in flow topology and the improvement in the predicted results is apparent.
Figure 29 shows the turbulent kinetic energy also in the symmetry plane. It is now
composed of the non-resolved energy coming from the turbulence model and the time
averaged fluctuating contributions (time averaging over 1100 time steps). Clearly, the DES
simulation does not reproduce the high levels of unsteadiness observed in the experiment,
although vortex-shedding in the separating shear layer is observed, as shown in Figure 30
and Figure 31.
Development and application of a zonal DES model for CFX-5
CFX-VAL17/0703 CFX Ltd. 25

Figure 26: Comparison of velocity profiles for SST and SST-DES-CFX-F1
simulation in the symmetry plane for the 25 case

Figure 27: Comparison of velocity profiles at Y=100[mm] for SST and SST-DES-CFX-
F1 model for the 25 case
Development and application of a zonal DES model for CFX-5
26 CFX Ltd. CFX-VAL17/0703 26

Figure 28: Comparison of velocity profiles at Y=180[mm] for SST and SST-DES-
CFX-F1 model for the 25 case

Figure 29: DES turbulent kinetic energy profiles on symmetry plane for Ahmed car
for the 25 case
Development and application of a zonal DES model for CFX-5
CFX-VAL17/0703 CFX Ltd. 27
The unsteady simulations give a first indication of the underlying mechanism of the
large-scale unsteadiness of the flowfield. It is observed that the separation zone has a strong
lateral movement, which at some instances interacts with the side vortices, leading to a
vortex-breakdown. This is shown for a certain instant in time in Figure 30. The right side
vortex is unaffected by the separation, whereas on the left side of the body the separation
interacts with the vortex leading to a vortex-breakdown. The time value corresponds to a
maximum of the side force (compare Figure 24). While it is likely that this is the main
mechanism for the experimentally observed global unsteadiness, it is not (yet) of sufficient
strength to reproduce the experimental fluctuation level. It is not clear if this is a question of
an insufficient length of the time integration, or a shortcoming of the DES model.
For completeness, it should be noted that vortex-shedding is also observed at the back of
the car body, coming from the lower surface, as can be seen in Figure 31. The frequency of
this event is of the order of 50 Hz, whereas the vortex shedding from the slant is of the
order of 200 Hz.

Figure 30: Vortex structures on slant of Ahmed car body (25)
Development and application of a zonal DES model for CFX-5
28 CFX Ltd. CFX-VAL17/0703 28

Figure 31: Vortex structures behind the Ahmed car body
Development and application of a zonal DES model for CFX-5
CFX-VAL17/0703 CFX Ltd. 29
4 Grid induced separation - revisited
After the simulation of the Ahmed car body using DES, it is worthwhile revisiting the
issue of grid induced separation. The present application required a significant increase in
the lateral grid spacing (compared to RANS) in order to activate the DES limiter in the
separating shear layer emanating from the car roof. As the 2D vortices originating from the
separation are smaller than the boundary layer thickness and have to be resolved with
several grid nodes, it is also required to have a streamwise grid spacing lower than the
boundary layer thickness. If these grid resolution requirements were not satisfied in the
region close to the separation line, the onset of the DES limiter would be delayed to a
location significantly further downstream, thereby reducing the chances of capturing the
essential flow features. For the present application, the flow separation takes place at a
corner - it is therefore not of major consequences if the DES limiter is activated already in
the region upstream of the separation line, as the boundary layer there is not exposed to an
adverse pressure gradient. Grid induced separation is therefore not a problem for the present
geometry.
However, for a general car geometry, where the separation can be induced by an adverse
pressure gradient from a smooth surface, standard DES would face severe difficulties. One
choice is generating a fine grid, which would allow the activation of the DES formulation in
the separation zone, with the danger that the DES limiter will change the RANS part and
produce grid induced separation. The second choice is the use of a coarser grid and to
thereby delay the DES impact far downstream of the separation line and miss the physics of
the flow. As the separation line is not known during grid generation, it is difficult to
imagine how a suitable DES-grid could be generated for such a flow.
The use of the proposed zonal DES formulation, based on the SST model blending
functions, will at least reduce the risk of a grid induced separation occurrence, however, it
still has to be tested if the blending function will switch quickly enough from RANS to DES
to activate the DES mode for a pressure induced separation. Nevertheless, this approach is
preferred, as it reduces the influence of the user (grid) on the solution.
Development and application of a zonal DES model for CFX-5
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5 Conclusions
CFD simulations have been carried out for the generic Ahmed car body at 25 and 35
slant angles. It was observed that a variety of RANS models perform well for the 35
testcase, due to the strong adverse pressure gradient imposed by this geometry, leading to
fully stalled flow for all turbulence models. Despite the good agreement in the mean
velocity profiles, the models failed to predict the correct level of the turbulent stresses in the
separated shear layer, which were underestimated at least by about a factor of three.
Strong turbulence model differences were observed for the 25 case. The models based
on the -equation produced an attached flow over the entire slant, whereas the SST model
predicted a fully stalled flowfield. Both solutions are in disagreement with the experiment,
where the flow separates and reattaches at about 50% of the slant.
DES simulations based on a modified version of the SST-DES formulation resulted in a
significant improvement of the solution compared to the SST-RANS model. Instead of a
fully stalled flow, the time-averaged DES solution shows a confined separation zone and
strong trailing vortices, associated with the experimentally observed flow topology. The
DES solution also gives a first insight into the mechanism driving the strong unsteadiness of
the flow, as observed in the experiments. The most likely explanation is a strong lateral
movement of the separation zone which interacts with the side vortices, leading to periodic
vortex-breakdown. It could not be determined if the full unsteady effect could be obtained
by further continuation of the simulation, due to constraints in computing power.
Development and application of a zonal DES model for CFX-5
CFX-VAL17/0703 CFX Ltd. 31
6 Notes
6.1 Acknowledgment
This work was supported by research grants from the European Union under contracts
G4RD-CT2001-00613 (Flomania) and EVG1-2001-00026 (EXPRO).
6.2 References
[1] Ahmed S.R., Ramm G. and Faltin, G., 1984, Some salient features of the time-
averaged ground vehicle wake, SAE technical paper 840300.
[2] Durand, L., Kuntz, M. and Menter, F., 2002, Validation of CFX-5 for the Ahmed
Car Body, CFX Validation Report, CFX-Val 13/1002.
[3] Johnson, D.A. and King, L.S., 1984, A new turbulence closure model for boundary
layer flows with strong adverse pressure gradients and separation, AIAA Paper
1984-0175.
[4] Johnson, D.A., Menter, F.R., and Rumsey C.L., 1994, The status of turbulence
modeling for aerodynamics, AIAA Paper 1994-2226.
[5] Launder B.E. and Spalding D.B., 1974, The numerical simulation of turbulent flow,
Comp. Meth., in Appl. Mech. and Engng., 3, pp 269-289.
[6] Lienhart H., Stoots C. and Becker S., 2000, Flow and turbulence structures in the
wake of a simplified car model (Ahmed model) DGLR Fach Symp. der AG-Stab,
Stuttgart University.
[7] Menter, F.R., 1993, Zonal two-equation k- turbulence model for aerodynamic
flows, AIAA Paper 1993-2906.
[8] Menter, F. R. Kuntz, M. and Bender R., 2003, A scale-adaptive simulation model for
turbulent flow predictions, AIAA Paper 2003-0767.
[9] Menter, F.R., Kuntz, M., 2003, Adaptation of Eddy-Viscosity Turbulence Models to
Unsteady Separated Flow Behind Vehicles Proc. Conf. The Aerodynamics of Heavy
Vehicles: Trucks, Busses and Trains, Asilomar, Ca, 2002 (to be published by
Springer).
[10] Spalart, P.R. and Allmaras, S.R., 1994, A one-equation turbulence model for
aerodynamic flows, La Rech. Aerospatiale, V.1, pp.5-21.
[11] Spalart, P.R, Jou, W.-H., Strelets, M. and Allmaras, S.R., 1997, Comments on the
feasibility of LES for wings, and on a hybrid RANS/LES approach, 1st AFOSR Int.
Conf. On DNS/LES, Aug.4-8, 1997, Ruston, LA. In Advances in DNS/LES, C. Liu &
Z. Liu Eds., Greyden Press, Colombus, OH.
[12] Spalart, P.R., 2003, Private communication.
[13] Speziale C.G., Sarkar S. and Gatski T.B., 1991, Modeling the pressure-strain
correlation of turbulence, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, vol.227, pp245-272.
[14] Strelets, M., 2001, Detached eddy simulation of massively separated flows, AIAA
Paper 2001-0879.
Development and application of a zonal DES model for CFX-5
32 CFX Ltd. CFX-VAL17/0703 32
Appendix 1: SST-DES-CFX model set-up in CFX-5
The current release version CFX-5.6 includes the SST-DES-CFX model as described in
the present report. The model is still in -mode, because it is not tested extensively and it is
not supported by the GUI. This appendix includes the description of the model control via
the CCL control file. The following items are important:
selecting transient simulation,
choosing adequate time step size,
resolving transient motion of turbulent structures,
selecting three coefficient iterations per time step,
selecting second order time discretization,
switching on SST-DES turbulence model, and
setting expert parameters for individual control of the SST-DES function
SST
F .
SST
F
influences the turbulence destruction term and the numerical blending. It can be either
equal to the SST functions
1
F or
2
F (CFX formulation) or zero (Strelets formulation). In
CFX-5,
SST
F is computed dependent on the two constants
1 BF
C and
2 BF
C :

2 2 1 1
F C F C F
BF BF SST
+ = .
Additionally, the maximum and the minimum value of the flux function
CFX flux
F

can be
fixed (e.g. setting a non-zero minimum value avoids having full CDS scheme). The
default values are:
1 BF
C : DES BLEND BF1 FACTOR [default = 0.0]
2 BF
C : DES BLEND BF2 FACTOR [default = 1.0]
) min(
CFX flux
F

: DES BLEND MIN LIMITER [default = 0.0]
) max(
CFX flux
F

: DES BLEND MAX LIMITER [default = 1.0]
It is recommended to use the default setting for SST-DES computations. This means
that the RANS-DES blending is dependent on the SST
2
F function. The function
CFX flux
F

can be visualized in CFX-Post as the variable Blending function for DES
model.

The DES related parts of an example CCL file are given below:
Development and application of a zonal DES model for CFX-5
CFX-VAL17/0703 CFX Ltd. 33
FLOW:
SIMULATION TYPE :
Option = Transient
TIME DURATION :
Timesteps = 1.E-4 [s]
Option = Total Time
Total Time = 100. [s]
END
INITIAL TIME :
Option = Automatic with Value
Time = 0.00 [s]
END
END
DOMAIN : domain
FLUID MODELS :
TURBULENCE MODEL :
Option = DES SST
END
END
END
SOLVER CONTROL :
CONVERGENCE CONTROL :
Maximum Number of Coefficient Loops = 3
END
ADVECTION SCHEME :
Option = Specified Blend Factor
Blend Factor = 1.0
END
TRANSIENT SCHEME :
Option = Second Order Backward Euler
END
END
EXPERT PARAMETERS :
des blend bf1 factor = 0.0
des blend bf2 factor = 1.0
des blend min limiter = 0.0
des blend max limiter = 1.0
END
END
Development and application of a zonal DES model for CFX-5
34 CFX Ltd. CFX-VAL17/0703 34
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