The influences of drag-reducing surfactant additives on the characteristics of a turbulent flow over a planar sudden expansion with expansion ration R = D/d = 3 and aspect ratio A = w/h = 30 were experimentally investigated by a 2D-2C (two dimensional-two component) particle image velocimetry (PIV) system. The 2D-2C velocity fields in the streamwise-wall-normal planes (x-y planes) at three spanwise locations are measured for the flows of water and 50ppm aqueous solution of CTAC/NaSal (CTAC: cetyltrimethyl ammonium chloride; NaSal: sodium salicylate) under the Reynolds number of 1.85 × 104. From the streamline in the x-y plane, it is observed that the reattachment lengths of the vortices in CTAC/NaSal solution are longer. Then the mean streamwise velocity fields and the apparent flow rate at three spanwise locations show that the flow fields in the other two x-y planes are practically symmetrical about the x-y centreplane in CTAC/NaSal solution, as compared with that in water flow. Finally, it is perceived that the Reynolds shear stress for three spanwise locations in CTAC/NaSal solution are obviously decreased.

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