A comparison of hydrodynamic and thermal properties of artificially generated against realistic rough surfaces

Jiasheng Yang, Juan Velandia, Stephan Bansmer, Alexander Stroh, Pourya Forooghi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The mathematical roughness generation approaches enjoy outstanding flexibility in delivering desired roughness geometries to perform systematic research. However, whether an mathematically (artificially) generated roughness can be considered an adequate surrogate of a realistic surface in terms of its influence on the flow remains nonetheless an open question. Motivated by this, the present study discusses the possibility of reproducing flow properties over realistic roughness with artificial roughness. To this end, six types of artificial rough surfaces are generated through imitation of the realistic height probability density function (PDF) and the roughness power spectrum (PS) preserving the stochastic nature of the roughness structure. The flow properties of the artificial surfaces are assessed using direct numerical simulations (DNS) in a fully-developed turbulent channel flow at Re τ=500−2000. An excellent match in terms of global flow properties, mean velocity and temperature profiles, Reynolds stresses as well as equivalent sand grain sizes is found compared to their original counterpart with exception of a strongly anisotropic sample (surface anisotropy ratio SAR≈1.7). Additionally, some artificial surfaces are generated by matching only the PS, and it was shown that only at adequately low effective slopes this can lead to similar flow properties. Overall, the results suggest that artificial roughness generated using the employed method by mimicking realistic PDF and PS can be applied as a full-fledged surrogate for realistic roughness under the premise of surface isotropy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109093
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • Direct numerical simulation
  • Ice accretion
  • Roughness


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