The present study aims at analysing the Boussinesq constitutive relation validity in a corner separation flow of a compressor cascade. The Boussinesq constitutive relation is commonly used in Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulations for turbomachinery design. It assumes an alignment between the Reynolds stress tensor and the zero-trace mean strain-rate tensor. An indicator that measures the alignment between these tensors is used to test the validity of this assumption in a high fidelity large-eddy simulation. Eddy-viscosities are also computed using the LES database and compared.

A large-eddy simulation (LES) of a LMFA-NACA65 compressor cascade, in which a corner separation is present, is considered as reference. With LES, both the Reynolds stress tensor and the mean strain-rate tensor are known, which allows the construction of the indicator and the eddy-viscosities. Two constitutive relations are evaluated. The first one is the Boussinesq constitutive relation, while the second one is the quadratic constitutive relation (QCR), expected to render more anisotropy, thus to present a better alignment between the tensors.

The Boussinesq constitutive relation is rarely valid, but the QCR tends to improve the alignment. The improvement is mainly present at the inlet, upstream of the corner separation. At the outlet, the correction is milder. The eddy-viscosity built with the LES results are of the same order of magnitude as those built as the ratio of the turbulent kinetic energy k and the turbulence specific dissipation rate ω. They also show that the main impact of the QCR is to rotate the mean strain-rate tensor in order to realign it with the Reynolds stress tensor, without dilating it.

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