Leading-edge bluntness effects on hypersonic three-dimensional flows over a compression ramp

Shibin Cao, Jiaao Hao, Igor Klioutchnikov, Herbert Olivier, Karl Alexander Heufer, Chih Yung Wen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Hypersonic flows over a compression ramp with different leading-edge radii are numerically investigated. Flow separation occurs on the cold-wall compression ramp with a free-stream Mach number of 7.7 and a unit Reynolds number of m. By performing direct numerical simulations (DNS), it is shown that the separation bubble enlarges when the leading-edge radius is increased from zero up to a critical value. Beyond the critical radius, the separation bubble conversely shrinks as the radius is further increased. Global stability analysis (GSA) is employed to investigate the three-dimensional instability of the two-dimensional base flows. It is found that the inherent instability in the flow field also exhibits a reversal trend, that is, the flow system firstly becomes more unstable and then tends to be more stable with increasing leading-edge radius. The growth rate and spanwise wavelength of the unstable modes identified by GSA are verified by DNS. Accompanying the occurrence of three-dimensionality, streamwise heat-flux streaks are formed on the ramp surface downstream of reattachment. The present study demonstrates that a proper blunting of the leading edge can suppress flow separation, reduce aerodynamic heating and stabilise the flow system for a hypersonic compression-ramp flow.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA27
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2021


  • absolute/convective instability
  • boundary-layer separation
  • shock waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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