Numerical Modeling of the Turbulent Supersonic Flow over a Backward Facing Step

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

2004 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition


American Society of Mechanical Engineers

First page number:


Last page number:



The flow over a backward facing step is a classic problem in applied aerodynamics. Among many other applications, backward facing steps are often used for ignition and stabilization of the flame in a scramjet engine. In this study, the steady two-dimensional viscous supersonic turbulent flow over a backward facing step was calculated using FLUENT. The one-equation Spalart and Allmaras turbulence model was employed for the turbulent flow simulation. The free stream Mach number was 2. The simulated flow field is in good qualitative agreement with flow visualizations, pressure and temperature measurements and theoretical predictions. The boundary layer ahead of the step turns through the right angle over the corner. Then a separation occurs below the corner on the step wall. The numerical results indicate that the separation point is positioned on the step face, below the corner. The overexpansion at the corner is balanced by a lip-shock. This phenomenon was observed in experimental measurements, in flow visualizations and is also obtained in the present numerical calculation.


Aerodynamics; Computer simulation; Foundry coatings; Supersonic flow; Turbulence; Viscous flow


Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics | Mechanical Engineering




Use Find in Your Library, contact the author, or interlibrary loan to garner a copy of the item. Publisher policy does not allow archiving the final published version. If a post-print (author's peer-reviewed manuscript) is allowed and available, or publisher policy changes, the item will be deposited.

UNLV article access

Search your library