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Fundamental studies of the wake structure for surface-mounted finite-height cylinders and prisms



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Surface-mounted finite-height circular cylinders and square prisms can be found in many industrial and engineering applications. The local flow fields around these bluff bodies are not yet well understood due to lack of experimental and numerical data close to the cylinder and prism. The aim of this thesis was therefore to gain an improved physical description of the flow field above the free end surface and around the cylinders and prisms. In the present experimental study, the particle image velocimetry (PIV) technique was used to measure the flow field very close to these bluff bodies in the test section of a low-speed wind tunnel. Four finite circular cylinders and square prisms of aspect ratios AR = 9, 7, 5 and 3 were tested at a Reynolds number of ReD = 4.2×104. At the location of the cylinder or prism, the boundary layer thickness relative to the cylinder diameter or prism width (D) was δ/D = 1.6. PIV velocity field measurements in the near-wake region were made in a vertical plane parallel to the mean flow direction on the flow centreline (the symmetry plane), within 2D upstream and 5D downstream of the cylinder or prism. Additional PIV measurements were carried out in three orthogonal x-z, x-y, and y-z planes above the free end surface of the models. In the near-wake region of the finite circular cylinders, the large recirculation zone contained a vortex immediately behind and below the free end; this vortex was found for all four aspect ratios. A second vortex was found behind the cylinder near the cylinder-wall junction; this vortex was not observed for the cylinder of AR = 3, indicating a distinct wake structure for this cylinder. Similar to the circular cylinder case, in the near-wake region of the square prisms, a vortex was observed immediately behind and below the free end in the recirculation zone. The size and strength of this vortex increased as the aspect ratio of the prism decreased. Also, a second vortex was found near the prism-wall junction downstream of the prisms of AR = 9 and 7, while this vortex was not observed for the prisms of AR = 5 and 3. The PIV results in the near-wake regions of the circular cylinders and square prisms show that the effect of the bluff body shape (circular or square cross-section) is evident in the maximum length of the mean recirculation zone. A considerable difference was seen between the maximum length of the mean recirculation zones of the circular cylinder and square prism of AR = 9, while the shape of the bluff body does not considerably affect the length of the recirculation zones for the bodies of AR = 7, 5, and 3. The present PIV results also provided insight into the separated flow above the free ends, including the effects of AR and body shape. Above the free end of the cylinders, flow separation from the leading edge led to the formation of a mean recirculation zone on the free-end surface. The point of reattachment of the flow onto the free-end surface moved towards the trailing edge as the cylinder aspect ratio was decreased. Large regions of elevated turbulence intensity and Reynolds shear stress were found above the free end. For the finite circular cylinders, the flow pattern above the free end was similar in all three x-z planes for all aspect ratios, consisting of a cross-stream vortex at approximately x/D = 0. According to the PIV results in the x-y planes, one of the main characteristics of the flow over the free end surface of the circular cylinders was a pair of focal points at x/D ≈ 0 and near the edge of the free end. As the cylinder aspect ratio increased, the size and strength of these vortices decreased. Also, the centers of the vortices moved downstream as the aspect ratio increased. For the finite square prism, the large, separated, recirculating flow region extended into the near wake. For the square prism of AR = 3, considerable difference was seen in the free-end flow pattern compared to the more slender prisms of AR = 9, 7 and 5. In particular, a cross-stream vortex formed due to interaction between the separated flow from the leading edge of the prism and the reverse flow over the trailing edge of the free end. This vortex was seen in all three planes at different cross-stream locations for AR = 3 but only in the symmetry plane for AR = 9. Hence, the present PIV results in the x-z planes revealed the effect of the near-wake flow on the flow above the prism free end. The results also showed a considerable effect of the aspect ratio on the mean velocity field as well as the Reynolds stress fields. The results in the x-y planes showed different flow patterns for the prism of AR = 3 including wall-normal vortices close to the free end at the sides of the prism as well as two saddle points close to the corners of the trailing edge and one node downstream of the trailing edge, while for AR = 9, no vortices and node were observed. Two streamwise vortices with opposite sign of rotation were seen in the y-z plane at x/D = 0.2 for all aspect ratios. The present results illustrate in-plane vorticities originating from the vertices of the leading edge of the prism for all aspect ratios.



Near wake, Bluff body, PIV, Experimental Fluid Mechanics



Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


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