A numerical investigation of the effects of the spanwise length on the 3-D wake of a circular cylinder

Labbé, D.F.L. and Wilson, P.A. (2007) A numerical investigation of the effects of the spanwise length on the 3-D wake of a circular cylinder Journal of Fluids and Structures, 23, (8), pp. 1168-1188. (doi:10.1016/j.jfluidstructs.2007.05.005).


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The numerical prediction of vortex-induced vibrations has been the focus of numerous investigations to date using tools such as computational fluid dynamics. In particular, the flow around a circular cylinder has raised much attention as it is present in critical engineering problems such as marine cables or risers. Limitations due to the computational cost imposed by the solution of a large number of equations have resulted in the study of mostly 2-D flows with only a few exceptions. The discrepancies found between experimental data and 2-D numerical simulations suggested that 3-D instabilities occurred in the wake of the cylinder that affect substantially the characteristics of the flow. The few 3-D numerical solutions available in the literature confirmed such a hypothesis. In the present investigation the effect of the spanwise extension of the solution domain on the 3-D wake of a circular cylinder is investigated for various Reynolds numbers between 40 and 1000. By assessing the minimum spanwise extension required to predict accurately the flow around a circular cylinder, the infinitely long cylinder is reduced to a finite length cylinder, thus making numerical solution an effective way of investigating flows around circular cylinders. Results are presented for three different spanwise extensions, namely ?D/2, ?D and 2?D. The analysis of the force coefficients obtained for the various Reynolds numbers together with a visualization of the three-dimensionalities in the wake of the cylinder allowed for a comparison between the effects of the three spanwise extensions. Furthermore, by showing the different modes of vortex shedding present in the wake and by analysing the streamwise components of the vorticity, it was possible to estimate the spanwise wavelengths at the various Reynolds numbers and to demonstrate that a finite spanwise extension is sufficient to accurately predict the flow past an infinitely long circular cylinder

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/j.jfluidstructs.2007.05.005
ISSNs: 0889-9746 (print)
Keywords: circular cylinder, three-dimensional wake, numerical, simulation
Organisations: Fluid Structure Interactions Group
ePrint ID: 49306
Date :
Date Event
5 January 2005Submitted
1 November 2007Published
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2007
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2017 18:18
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/49306

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