A brief review of the state of knowledge of the structure of turbulent boundary layers will be presented. Several numerical experiments will then be described that attempt to isolate different mechanisms of turbulent flows near solid boundaries. These computations are novel in the sense that the numerical boundary conditions can not be realized in the laboratory experiments, but they can be insightful by allowing detailed study of the effects of isolated physical parameters. It is shown that the effect of mean shear alone can be attributed to the formation of different vortical structures observed in turbulent boundary layers. A numerical simulation with an idealized permeable wall condition helps elucidate the viscous effects created by the wall. Improved near wall turbulence models are derived based on the results of these simulations.
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