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Turbulent flow around a bluff rectangular plate

CFD Lab in SG2218 2016

Stefan Wallin
Department of Mechanics, KTH

We have learned in the lectures that standard eddyviscosity RANS models (EVM) have
some limitations and that different improvement and corrections are available. In this lab we
will look at the interaction between stagnation and separated flow by CFD computations of
the turbulent flow around the bluff plate shown below. One of the problems with std EVM is
excessive production of turbulence in stagnation regions seen in the example computation
below. High turbulence levels are convected into the separated region resulting in a severe
underprediction of the separation length. Your task is to confirm this deficit of std EVMs and
to demonstrate the improvements available.

Figure 1. Experimental setup (top) and computational results (streamlines and turbulence
kinetic energy) using one std EVM (bottom) (ref: N. Djilali and I. S. Gartshore (1991),
Turbulent Flow Around a Bluff Rectangular Plate, Part I: Experimental Investigation, JFE,
Vol. 113, pp. 5159.)

The case is geometrically very simple and defined in Figure 1. The experiment is made in a
lowspeed wind tunnel and incompressible flow can be assumed (Mach number less than
0.2). The Reynolds number based on the plate thickness

and incoming velocity


50 000


is the kinematic viscosity. The incoming isotropic turbulence level can be prescribed


1% and the turbulence length scale

. These are defined as


/2 and are the rms of the streamwise

fluctuations, turbulence kinetic energy and dissipation rate respectively. Isotropic turbulence
2 /3. Figure 2 shows the experimental skin friction and

implies that

pressure coefficients defined as



is the wall skin friction and


are the freestream density and

pressure respectively. The experimental data are available in text files. The experimentally
observed reattachment point is


Figure 2. Experimental skin friction and pressure coefficients.

The computational mesh is provided and consists of about 26 000 nodes and elements
(shown in Figure 3). Symmetry is utilised so only the half geometry is meshed. The thickness
of the nearwall cells are about 80m resulting in

1. The plate thickness

0.1m, the

height of the domain is 1m, the upstream and downstream extents are 1m and 2m
The following boundary conditions apply:

inlet: Velocity inlet. Set inlet velocity and turbulence levels.

outlet: Pressure outlet. Set pressure.

upper: Symmetry. Prescribing symmetry will approximately act as a windtunnel wall.

sym: Symmetry. This is the boundary upstream of the plate where symmetry applies.

frontwall: Wall. This is the upstream vertical part of the plate.

upperwall: Wall. This is the upper wall of the plate.

Use air at std. atmosphere conditions (


1.225kg/m ,

1.7894 10 kg/ms,

101325Pa). Set the incoming velocity and turbulence quantities to match

the experimental case definition.

Figure 3. Computational domain and mesh. Right figure is a zoom in on the corner.

You must complete all assignments specified below and present the results in the lab report.
1. Matching the experimental setup.
a. What is the inlet velocity ( ) and turbulence quantities ( and ) used for
matching the experimental case definition.
b. What is the corresponding Mach number.
2. Turbulence model results.
a. For each turbulence model result, plot the velocity magnitude, stream lines,
turbulence kinetic energy ( ) and production of turbulence kinetic energy (
similar to the plots in Figure 1. Use the same colour scale for all plots for easy
b. Make one diagram with

with experimental data as symbols (as in Figure 2)

and each model as a line with different line styles or colours. Export the
pressure ( ) from the computations to e.g. matlab, compute

according to

the definition and plot. Note that the absolute pressure is irrelevant for the
incompressible assumption and that
c. Make one diagram with

0 is default in Fluent.

with experimental data as symbols (as in Figure 2)

and each model as a line with different line styles or colours. Export the skin
friction (

) from the computations to e.g. matlab, compute

according to

the definition and plot. Use the same line styles and colours as for

d. Make one diagram with turbulence kinetic energy ( ) along the symmetry
line upstream of the plate. Use the same line styles and colours as for

3. Discussion and analysis

Compare the different results and try to explain the different sizes of the separation
bubble by the turbulence levels in the stagnation region. Why do the different models
show such large differences in the stagnation region?

The zip file contain:

ANSYS Workbench setup (FluentLabSG2218.wbpj, FluentLabSG2218_files)

Fluent mesh file (BluntPlate.msh)

Publication of the experiment Djilali_Gartshore_JFE_1991Expr.pdf)

Experimental data (,

This file (CFDlab.pdf)

You can open and use the ANSYS workbench setup including the geometry and mesh. Most
settings are here predefined.
Alternatively, you can open the Fluent mesh directly in Fluent and do all settings yourself.
Or you can import the Fluent mesh to your favourite CFD solver (e.g. OpenFOAM) and do
the computations there. You dont need to use Fluent and you can replace some of the
turbulence models if they are missing in your CFD solver.
Available under All Programs > ANSYS > Workbench
Here you will see the setup of the test case. The Geometry and Mesh are already available.
And also the basic Setup of the case in Fluent. You are free to modify everything.

Doubleclick on Solution to open Fluent. (press Yes to any warning of changed upstream
You should see the following mesh when Fluent have started.

You now have the following menu on the left side

Most things are already setup, mostly with default values. In the following, the necessary
steps are explained
Under Tree > Setup > Models > Viscous, press Edit. Here you will choose the turbulence
model. The standard keps model is already chosen. Use enhanced wall treatment, which
will be able to handle any nearwall resolution. The mesh is too fine to use wall function BCs.
The different turbulence models you should test are:
1. Std keps: kepsilon + Standard + EnhancedWallTreatment.
2. Realizable keps: kepsilon + Realizable + EnhancedWallTreatment.
3. Std komega: komega + Standard (uncheck all options).
4. SST komega: komega + SST + ProductionLimiter.
5. RST komega: ReynoldsStress + StressBSL.
For each turbulence model you can either do a new initialization of the solution or continue
to run from the previous solution. You are also very welcome to try other models and model
options. The complete documentation is available under the small ? at the top right corner.
The turbulence models are documented at: Users Guide > Fluent > Theory Guide >
Under Tree > Setup > BoundaryConditions:
All boundary condition types are already set according to the setup earlier in this document.
The values on the inlet boundary must be set. Mark inlet and press Edit.

Here you should give VelocityMagnitude, TurbulentIntensity and TurbulentLength

Scale in order to match the Reynolds number and the setup.
Under Tree > Setup > ReferenceValues you will see

Here you need to set the reference values for the

normalized. The Area and Length should be


coefficients to be correctly

0.1m. The other data should be the same as

the inlet boundary condition. You can easily do that by choosing Computefrom > inlet.
Under Tree > Solution > Monitors, choose Residuals and press Edit.

We will avoid using any convergence criteria, so uncheck CheckConvergence for all
equation. You might need to scroll down to see and uncheck everything. Instead we will use
a certain number of iterations.
Under Tree > Solution > Monitors, you can also define to monitor the convergence of other
properties. It is recommended to monitor a typical global force and the

coefficient is

chosen to be plotted during the iteration to steady state.

Under Tree > Solution > SolutionInitialization, choose HybridInitialization and press
Initialize. This will compute the case with a coarse grid and simplified physics and numeric.
Takes a few seconds. After initialization you can plot the velocity field if you are interested
(see below for plotting).
Under Tree > Solution > RunCalculation, set NumberofIterations to 500 and press
Calculate. During iteration you can monitor the cd1 and the residuals. 500 iterations might
not be enough. You can press Calculate one more time if you want to do another 500
iterations. You can compare the solution after 500 and 1000 iterations to see if there are any
differences. If not, 500 iterations are sufficient. You should also look at the residuals, which
should monotonically decrease at least during the last 3400 iterations and the largest
residual should be smaller than 10 .
Under Tree > Results > Graphics, choose Contours and press SetUp. E.g. plot the positive
xvelocity using the following setting.

The image can be saved by using the camera symbol in the plotting window.
Under Tree > Results > Plots, choose XYPlot and press SetUp. E.g. plot the upperwall
skin friction using the following setting:

The thickness of the first nearwall cell in terms of

can be plotted by Turbulence > Wall

along the wall is plotted by Pressure > PressureCoefficient.
Turbulence quantities along the symmetry line upstream of the plate can be plotted by
choosing the sym surface and plot Turbulence > TurbulentKineticEnergy(k) or
There is an option WritetoFile that should be used for exporting the data to a text file. Edit
the text file to keep only the data table to import into matlab, python or excel for
normalization and plotting. The data is not necessary written in any particular order and you
might need to sort the data for increasing

in order to be able to use line styles in the