The effects of streamwise acceleration on a two-dimensional heated boundary layer undergoing natural laminar-turbulent transition were investigated with detailed measurements of momentum and thermal transport phenomena. Tests were conducted over a heated flat wall with zero pressure-gradient and three levels of streamwise acceleration: 0.07, 0.16, and 0.25 × 10−6. Free-stream turbulence intensities were maintained at approximately 0.5% for the baseline case and 0.4% for the accelerating cases. A miniature three-wire probe was used to measure mean velocity and temperature profiles, Reynolds stresses, and Reynolds heat fluxes. Transition onset and end were inferred from Stanton numbers and skin-friction coefficients.
The results indicate that mild acceleration delays transition onset and increases transition length both in terms of distance, x1 and Reynolds number based on x. Transition onset and length are relatively insensitive to acceleration in terms of momentum thickness Reynolds number. This is supported by the boundary layer thickness and integral parameters which indicate that a favorable pressure gradient suppresses boundary layer growth and development in the transition region. Heat transfer rates and temperature profiles in the late-transition and early-turbulent regions lag behind the development of wall shear stress and velocity profiles. This lag increases as K increases, indicating that the evolution of the heat transport is slower than that of the momentum transport. Comparison of the evolution of RMS temperature fluctuations to the evolution of Reynolds normal stresses indicates a similar lag in the RMS temperature fluctuations.