Transition to turbulence in starting pipe flows

Toshiro Maruyama, Yoshiei Kato, Tokuro Mizushina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


An experimental investigation was performed to study the transition to turbulence in pipe flow started impulsively with a supercritical Reynolds number. The results show that a turbulent-non-turbulent interface propagates downstream by consuming the non-turbulent region where laminar boundary-layer flow is developing with time. For the startup of a completely quieted fluid, the propagation velocity is equal to the maximum velocity of the steady-state turbulent flow. For restarting the fluid flow after a brief shutoff, however, the propagation velocity is larger than the maximum velocity, and the difference increases with shorter quieting times. In the process of interface propagation, a wave of very low frequency appears ahead of the interface centring around the radial position where the smallest change in velocity is observed at the instant of propagation. A study of the mechanism of interface propagation shows that the final break of the above-mentioned wave continuously triggers downstream propagation of the turbulent-flow region. In addition, random jumping of the interface in turbulence-decaying flow is concluded to be the main cause for the increase in propagation velocity for short quieting times.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-353
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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