One of the key factors in simulating realistic wall-bounded flows at high Reynolds numbers is the selection of an appropriate turbulence model for the steady Reynolds Averaged Navier–Stokes equations (RANS) equations. In this investigation, the performance of several turbulence models was explored for the simulation of steady, compressible, turbulent flow on complex geometries (concave and convex surface curvatures) and unstructured grids. The turbulence models considered were the Spalart–Allmaras model, the Wilcox k
model and the Menter shear stress transport (SST) model. The FLITE3D flow solver was employed, which utilizes a stabilized finite volume method with discontinuity capturing. A numerical benchmarking of the different models was performed for classical Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) cases, such as supersonic flow over an isothermal flat plate, transonic flow over the RAE2822 airfoil, the ONERA M6 wing and a generic F15 aircraft configuration. Validation was performed by means of available experimental data from the literature as well as high spatial/temporal resolution Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS). For attached or mildly separated flows, the performance of all turbulence models was consistent. However, the contrary was observed in separated flows with recirculation zones. Particularly, the Menter SST model showed the best compromise between accurately describing the physics of the flow and numerical stability.
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