Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering


Dianne DeTurris


A new parametric model for the growth rate of turbulent mixing layers is proposed. A database of experimental and numerical mixing layer studies was extracted from the literature to support this effort. The domain of the model was limited to planar, spatial, nonreacting, free shear layers that were not affected by artificial mixing enhancement techniques. The model is split into two parts which were each tuned to optimally fit the database; equations for an incompressible growth rate were derived from the error function velocity profile, and a function for a compressibility factor was generalized from existing theory on the convective Mach number. The compressible model is supported by a detailed evaluation of the currently accepted models and practices, including error analysis of the convective Mach number derivation and a critical analysis of Slessor’s re-normalization technique which affected his 1998 compressibility parameter. Analysis of the database suggested that a distinction should be made between thickness definitions that are based on the velocity profile and those based on the density profile. Additionally, the accumulation of different normalization approaches throughout the literature was shown to have introduced non-physical variance in the trends. Resolution of this issue through a consistent normalization process has greatly improved the normality and scatter of the data and the goodness-of-fit of the models, resulting in R2 = 0.9856 for the incompressible model and R2 = 0.9004 for the compressible model.