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The shear-layer instability of a circular cylinder wake

Mark C. Thompson and Kerry Hourigan

Citation: Phys. Fluids 17, 021702 (2005); doi: 10.1063/1.1852581
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Thompson@eng. as given by Prasad and Only slightly later. they suggested that it is and Norberg. PO Box 31. PHYSICS OF FLUIDS 17. the Kármán vortex frequency f K. An accurate fit to the observed variation can be achieved using a piecewise fit based on theoretical and empirical arguments. the situation appears to have instability waves in the separated shear layer from a circular changed once again. ⬍ 105. Melbourne 3800.1 To explain the difference between re-examining the data obtained by Prasad and Williamson4 their results and Bloor’s1 results.248. Figure 1(b) shows the two longest intervals disturbed the shear layers. Kourta et al. For (61)(3)99059645.67. bined data set is f SL / f K = 0. and U⬁ is the lection on the length and velocity scales of the shear layer at free-stream velocity. Using available data ported by her experimental data.50 17.7 We focus on these two data sets because they more appropriate to assume that the shear-layer instability represent experiments undertaken with great care producing scales by local conditions within the shear layer.4 amongst others. to be f SL / f K ⬀ Re1/2. This theoretical relationship was sup. consistent data with very little scatter. a more accurate characterization consists of Bloor.225.5 where the data appears to be closely linear. It has been speculated that the hydrogen bubbles used separating the data into discrete intervals that can be fitted in the experiments of Wei and Smith2 may have artificially independently. Department of Mechanical Engineering. Australia (Received 26 October 2004. of Bloor1 and Wei and Smith. see .3 presented power spec- Williamson4 and independently verified by ourselves.. nal can first be detected experimentally. cording to the relationship f SL / f K = 0.69. where Re= U⬁D / ␯.155. Wei and Smith2 used a lower Reynolds number exponent than the global exponent.Hourigan@eng. accepted 4 December 2004. D is the cylinder diameter. e.2 Kourta et al. markedly In this paper we propose a different interpretation by different from Bloor’s. from the experimental measurements of Prasad and rather than the attached boundary-layer thickness at separa- Williamson4 and Norberg. Analysis of instead of a universal fit applying over the entire Reynolds these hot-wire frequencies supports the Re1/2 prediction of number range.3 and Williamson4 re-examined previous data sets together with Prasad and [DOI: 10. they proposed that the momentum thickness in the sets are in good agreement in the region of as suggested by Bloor. dependence is 0. © 2005 American Institute of Physics. the best fit to the data gives a considerably b) Electronic mail: Kerry. they were able to estimate a tions to find that the shear-layer vortex frequency varied ac. 1070-6631/2005/17(2)/021702/4/$22. on how this position depends on Reynolds number. Importantly. This instability has subsequently become known as appears to be that the experimental data are best fitted by a the Bloor–Gerrard instability. pressure coefficient variations.87.1063/1. They have been beau. Telephone: 艋 5000 (range 1) and 10000艋 Re艋 50000 (range 2). see Zdravkovich. she used simple boundary-layer theory to de. theoretical value for the exponent of 0.68. these data lar. cluding corrections due to the Strouhal number and base counting technique in conjunction with their flow visualiza. The occurrence of these shear. In particu.7 The line of best fit to the com- tion. Monash A logical conclusion is that the ratio of the frequency of the instability waves to the Kármán vortex shedding frequency is indeed determined by the boundary-layer properties at separation. and ␯ is the the variable downstream position where the shear-layer sig- kinematic Norberg6 independently ana- ing shear layers was governed by boundary-layer properties lyzed all the available data in this Reynolds number range at separation. In several recent studies.2 In particular. Prasad and duce the relationship between the frequency of these waves Williamson4 went further by proposing a theoretical expla- f SL. 021702-1 © 2005 American Institute of Physics Downloaded 28 Jul 2012 to both ranges. their own and concluded that the best-fit exponent for the Re By assuming that the instability occurring in the separat. tra of signals from a hot wire located in the near wake of the A close examination of the data clearly suggests that circular cylinder in the Re range 2000–16 000. 021702 (2005) The shear-layer instability of a circular cylinder wake Mark C. functional relationship approximately halfway between that layer vortices is now well established. middle of the exponential growth region of the separated Figure 1(a) shows the frequency variation of the shear- layer vortices over the Reynolds number range 103 ⬍ Re shear layer should be the appropriate lengthscale for scaling. and the Reynolds num.0047Re0. Prasad and tifully visualized by Wei and Smith. and in- Two decades later.1852581] Bloor1 made possibly the earliest systematic study of Since the mid-1990s. nation for the observed dependence basing the frequency se- ber Re. Electronic mail: Mark. the conclusion cylinder. and estimated a similar value of 0. These intervals a) cover the approximate Reynolds number ranges 1500艋 Re Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. In addition. Fax: (61)(3)99059639. Thompsona) and Kerry Houriganb) Fluids Laboratory for Aeronautical and Industrial Research (FLAIR). published online 10 January 2005) A reinterpretation is made of previously published data concerning the frequency of the instability waves in the separated shear layer from a circular cylinder for Reynolds numbers in the range 103 – 105. Redistribution subject to AIP license or copyright.

69. First. There is also some evidence for a short linear regime for Re⬍ 1500. more strongly in the plot of the fluctuating lift. (b) Proposed alternative fit to the data.04 for range 1 and Re0. 1.52±0.06 for range 2. see http://pof. but we focus on the two main ranges in the following discussion. These plots have been reconstructed from Fig. Hourigan Phys. The error bounds are statistical error estimates based on a 95% confidence interval assuming that at each Reynolds number the fractional error in the measured frequency ratio is normally distributed. C. consider the behavior of sense to consider separate ranges? We feel the answer is the base pressure coefficient. The dependence is f SL / f K ⬀ Re0. 2. lift coefficient at 90°. from Norberg’s9 paper.155. Importantly. close to the separation Hence we ask the obvious question: Does it make physical point. the fluctuating pressure at ␪ = 90°. 9). 7 and 8) and Fig. or that the proposal that a number. Figures 2(a) and by the overlaid linear segments. and (c) fluctuating ranges defined by these error bounds do not include the best. The line of best fit to the data is shown.021702-2 M. In terms of the range of interest definitely yes. and base pressure coefficient. Figure 2(c) shows the Reynolds number variation of universal exponent applies over the entire range is incorrect. (a) Variation of the shear-layer frequency ratio with Reynolds num- ber from the studies of Prasad and Williamson (Ref. 4) and Norberg (Ref. The most likely explanations are either that both sets of data contain some systematic error. Redistribution subject to AIP license or copyright. (b) base suction coefficient.aip. 7). These figures show the variation in Strouhal shows two distinct Reynolds number ranges where the value number. Norberg (Ref. with Reynolds is approximately constant corresponding remarkably closely Downloaded 28 Jul 2012 to 128. Thompson and K. calculated for the entire data .57±0. tions outside the best fit value for each of the individual fits. C Pb varies relatively slowly over ranges 1 and 2 iden- Figure 2 shows how three related flow parameters vary tified and considerably more rapidly in between as indicated over the relevant Reynolds number range. here.248. an exponent of 0. St. note that the exponent FIG. C Pb. (a) Strouhal number.8 papers on circular cyl. Fluids 17. 6 of fit global exponent of 0. 021702 (2005) FIG. highlights the relatively constant behavior within ranges 1 and 2. This effect is shown even 2(b) are reproduced from Norberg’s7. as functions of Reynolds number. 3 of Norberg (Refs. The overlaid dashed line segment appearing in the last plot In fact.69 is five or more standard devia. The latter inder wakes.

due to the increased narrowing of the shearlayers. This has been pointed out previously by Will- matic shortening of the mean separation bubble from large iamson. when the formation length is short at the higher Rey. low Reynolds finitive data on the exact variation with Reynolds number. It is expected that the nolds numbers.248. the cylinder. which are in ␦s/D ⬀ Re−1/2 f共␪s共Re兲兲. it should be approximately 1000⬍ Re⬍ 4000 and Re⬎ 10000. espe- ding. The front at higher Reynolds numbers. and the severely shortened wake at Re= 10 000. if the shear layers are stretched lon- gitudinally through the action of the forming Karman vorti. To reiterate. at a fixed point clearly in Fig. the situation is a little more been provided by Saelim and Rockwell. Typical instantaneous vorticity fields showing the change in the the Reynolds number range 103 ⬍ Re⬍ 105. the relationship proposed by Bloor layer changes remarkably in between ranges 1 and 2. Its value This behavior was documented in the pioneering studies of reduces only very slowly. if at all. the function f共␪s兲. It moves from wake at Re艋 4000. and Williamson4 assume this association in their derivation nolds numbers. fK Df K f共␪s兲 Stf共␪s兲 underlying trend should be observed. On the other cially over range 1. Redistribution subject to AIP license or copyright. It is difficult to find de- transition from the long formation length. The remarkable difference in the immediate wake of the cylinder as the Reynolds number is varied is demonstrated For a laminar flat-plate boundary layer. This is indeed what is sug. given that the shear tionality constant. In addition. How- vorticity fields obtained by PIV measurements.12 and Roshko. tion will deviate from the Re−1/2 law. Reynolds number range of interest. coefficient and Strouhal number can be obtained from Fig. the fluctuat. the best fit Reynolds number indices are still slightly higher than the theoretical value suggested by Bloor. Neither the boundary layer velocity or thickness appear to have been measured systematically over FIG. the observed variation can be associated with the dra. since the pressure re- ing pressure changes rapidly with Reynolds number. but not in between. is not readily avail- posed by Bloor should apply over the approximate ranges 1 able. about 95° at Re= 300. is considerably less.155. C Pbl. In particular. the separating shear layers are strongly af. From collected data from a number of 艋 Re艋 10 000. 021702 (2005) and 2. While the variation of this parameter also has not been to the ranges given above. a readjustment to a higher frequency ratio above the =␬ 共1 − C Pb兲1/2 =␬ Re1/2 . of the shear-layer frequency ratio variation. close proximity. mately similar separately in regimes 1 and 2 (except for the Putting these relationships together allows the frequency natural shear-layer thinning with Reynolds number) but not ratio to be written 冋 册 in between. For Re艌 104 the variation in bubble length. While the base pressure taining self-similarity. These images show typical instantaneous the boundary-layer thickness scales as ␦ / D ⬀ Re−1/2. high Reynolds number wake especially since the separation point moves considerably dur- state takes place over the Reynolds number range 4000 ing a shedding cycle. dropping to 82° at 12 000. surprising that the hypothetical dependence proposed by and the separation angle do not vary significantly over the Bloor breaks down since it depends on the shear layer main. Thus. where Ubl is the velocity at the edge of the boundary layer and ␦s is the boundary layer thickness at the point of separation. Specifically. Strouhal number. Why is it so? To address this issue we return to the analysis of Bloor1 who proposed that the shear-layer frequency should scale as f SL ⬀ Ubl / ␦s.5 the separation angle is fluctuating lift at 90° over this interval as shown in Fig. it is not requires that the base pressure coefficient.13 indeed Prasad values at low Reynolds numbers to small values at high Rey. number wake state to the short. the shear layers flap considerably. Wu and Sheridan. Physi. for a circular cylinder. 3. or equivalently ␦s共Re兲. 2(c). for higher Reynolds num- Linke. 3. These images have point measurements exist. ␪s. f SL U⬁ Re1/2 共1 − C Pb兲1/2 ces. for sufficiently high been obtained from PIV measurements obtained by Saelim and Rockwell Reynolds number. However.225. However. Ubl ⬇ U⬁共1 − C Pb兲1/2 . we are left with the situation in which where f共␪s兲 accounts for the variation due to the movement the shear layers and shear-layer environment are approxi- of the separation angle. due to the influence of the forming Karman vortices. see http://pof. Fluids 17. Thus. 10). which occurs much further downstream. the boundary layer thickness at separa- hand. Because shear layers are relatively unaffected by the Karman shed. They have ever. mains almost constant in the separation zone at the back of cally.aip. layer is directly dependent on the pressure coefficient there. These approximate ranges are documented in the literature. where the formation length is relatively the rear of the cylinder at low Reynolds numbers towards the long. The separation point is not fixed. 1(b) above. where St= f KD / U⬁ is the Strouhal number and ␬ is a propor- gested by Fig. equal to the base pressure coefficient. 2. although some near-wake structure as the Reynolds number is varied. consistent with the marked increase in the authors presented in Zdravkovich. the separating bers until the onset of the drag crisis at Re⯝ 2 ⫻ . or formation length. the velocity at the edge of the boundary (Ref. of the considerable variation of the separation point.11 When the formation length is long. To this point we have argued that the relationship pro. and form they will be stretched more and hence will be thinned.10 They show the complicated.021702-3 Shear layer instability of a circular cylinder wake Phys. Downloaded 28 Jul 2012 to 128. In between. with Reynolds number. boundary layer thickness should obey a relationship of the fected.

A power-law fit for ber variation of the shear-layer frequency. Flow around Circular Cylinders Volume 1: Fundamen- of the variation for ranges 1 and 2 individually because the tals. 2 T. H. Chalmers University. “An experimental investigation of the flow around a circular cylinder: Influence of aspect ratio. Norberg.084 and ⬀ Re0. not affect the conclusion.” J. tificial.69 relationship. An extensively tested third-order finite. 10 govern the shear-layer instability then the predicted fre. Norberg. vortices in wakes. Note that the correction due to the change in the position 14 H. 9 C. H. J. We performed our own fits to find the correction Induced Vibration. 11 quency variation should be f SL / f K ⬀ Re0. 3169 (1954). 19. “On the drag and shedding frequency of two-dimensional bluff bodies. K. pp. 141 (1987). 181. “Nonlinear interaction and the transition to turbulence in the wake of a circular cyl- 共1 − C Pb兲1/2 inder. N.” NACA Technical Report No. “Velocity gradients at the wall for of the separation angle is very small and neglecting it does flow around a cylinder for Reynolds numbers between 60 and 360. At Re= 1500 the Thus.028. W. H. Williamson. 13 respectively. Fluids 17. They assume that formed to ensure the results were grid independent. “The instability of the shear layer separating from a bluff body. 1997). Stf共␪s兲 Stf共␪s兲 8 C. Hanratty. to within experi- separation point was measured as ␪s ⯝ 91°. Norberg. R. Bearman and C. the current analysis suggests that. Williamson. as seen in Proceedings of the 1998 Conference on Bluff Body Wakes and Vortex- from Fig. M. Also note that the Strouhal number Fluid Mech. and H. 169. Z. Smith. (See Fig. 57 (2003). K.” J. Mechanics. Fluid Mech. P. “New measurements on aerodynamics of cylinders particularly their friction resistance.” Technical Report. 6 C. C. respectively. Dimopoulos and Hanratty14 showed downstream distance at which the shear-layer fluctuations experimentally that the separation angle for a steady flow can first be sensed experimentally. Sweden (1987). Fluid Mech.1 separation angle changes more slowly over range 2. Fluids 7. Wei and C. C. H. 235 (1997). 434.52± . 16 from that paper. Roshko. The main the centerline. Thus. Saelim and D. Reynolds number range as 3 A. Hourigan Phys. Williamson factor (including the new contribution from the changing (Washington.248. Oxford. private communication (2004).57±0. 1–12. Finally.046 . This seems somewhat ar- produced with the aid of a splitter plate matched the time. lengthscale to derive the frequency ratio. 2307 (1995). These agree remarkable well 12 C. A grid resolution study was per. In sup. 303 (1968).225. 17. edited by P. difference from their analysis is that they use a different element code was used.aip. see http://pof. 7 separation angle) is C. were measured directly from the results. 32. f共␪s共Re兲兲 ⬀ Re−0. “The transition to turbulence in the wake of a circular cylin- Prasad and Williamson4 estimated the contribution of the der.155. 258. 900 (1931). Pub- 共1 − C Pb兲1/2 共1 − C Pb兲1/2 lication NR 87/2. J. if the boundary-layer properties at separation surements. Ha Minh.” J. Prasad and C. 513 (1986). Goteborg. Fluid Mech. 33. this is an overestimate 5 M. Kourta. dropping to ␪s mental uncertainty.528. note that the small lin- although this was for much lower Reynolds numbers 共Re ear regime in the range 1200艋 Re艋 1500 can be ⬍ 300兲. and J. Rockwell. Zdravkovich. “Fluctuating lift on a circular cylinder: Review and new mea- Therefore. hence 1 the variation of f can probably be neglected for that range. 1st ed. Sheridan.584 for range 1 and W. “Scaling of streamwise with the measured variations of Re0.” Phys. mental measuring equipment.” J. Chassaing.06. Redistribution subject to AIP license or copyright. ⬀ Re0. The Bloor. Norberg. A. 287 (1994). Linke. Dimopoulos and T. The separation point and boundary layer thickness incorporated into range 1 within the error bounds. the boundary-layer properties at separa- ⯝ 84° at Re= 5000.” base pressure gradient in each of these ranges is less.) In fact. “LDV measurements in the near wake of a circular cylinder. (Oxford University Press.04 and Re0.075 . K. Thompson and K. DC 1998). 2. Boisson. “Secondary vortices in the wake of circular Strouhal number and base pressure variation over the entire cylinders. Fluid Mech.021702-4 M. Bloor. for ranges 1 and 2. “Effects of Reynolds number and a low-intensity freestream 冋 册 冋 册 turbulence on the flow around a circular cylinder. Fluid Mech. Wu.” Phys. S.” J. These values appear to be consistent with tion are sufficient to account for the observed Reynolds num- the experimental values given above. 4 St A. 021702 (2005) This term was estimated numerically by solving the and base pressure coefficient corrections are well established steady Navier–Stokes equations directly for laminar flow and have been used by Prasad and Williamson4 in formulat- past a cylinder with a symmetry boundary condition along ing their theoretical f SL / f K ⬀ Re0. Downloaded 28 Jul 2012 to 128. Fluids Struct. The Department of Applied Thermodynamics and Fluid ⬀ Re0. as proposed by range 1 gave ␦s / D ⬀ Re−0. G. 290 (1964). the appropriate length scale is the shear-layer thickness at a port of this approach.546 for range 2. f SL / f K ⬀ Re0. since it may depend on the sensitivity of the experi- mean separation angle for the flow without a splitter plate.” J.” J.