Journal article

Experimental investigation on the aerodynamic loads and wake flow features of a low aspect-ratio circular cylinder

An experimental investigation on the flow features of the wake generated from a circular cylinder with finite height and placed vertically on a plane is presented. Through force measurements the mean drag coefficient is found to be roughly invariant by varying Reynolds number in a range between 6×104 and 11×104. As for the fluctuating forces, a dominant spectral component is clearly detected for the signals of the cross-flow force. A spectral contribution with roughly the same Strouhal number is detected from velocity signals acquired, through hot-wire anemometry, in proximity to the lateral wake boundary; its energy is found to decrease by moving the probe away from the wake and upwards. Simultaneous velocity measurements showed that these fluctuations can confidently be ascribed to an alternate vortex shedding. Subsequently, dynamic measurements of the pressure field over the lateral surface and the free-end of the model were carried out, which highlight that the spectral component connected to vortex shedding is found over the lateral surface, with maximum energy at an azimuthal position just before the separation of the shear layers. The fluctuating energy connected to vortex shedding decreases by moving towards regions immersed in the separated wake, and with increasing vertical coordinate; as a matter of fact, above about half model height an evident energy peak cannot be detected anymore. This feature highlights that a regular alternate vortex shedding occurs only for the lower half-span of the model and that the remaining part is dominated by the upwash generated by the flow passing over the free-end. From the spectral analysis of the pressure measurements carried out over the model free-end no evidence of the presence of the spectral component connected to the alternate vortex shedding is found, as expected. However, a significant fluctuating energy is observed at lower dominating frequencies.

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