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FLOW AROUND A CYLINDER


6.1 OBJECTIVES

1. The visualization of flow around a cylinder at different input velocities.


2. The measurement of pressure distribution around a circular cylinder and
comparing it with the theoretical distribution.
3. Measurement of pressure drag using the surface Pressure Distribution
obtained.

6.2 THEORY AND BACKGROUND

6.2.1 Ideal flow description

In ideal flow Superposition of a Uniform Stream and a Doublet gives Flow over a
Circular Cylinder.

The superposition gives stream function as

𝐾
𝜓 = 𝑉∞ 𝑟𝑠𝑖𝑛𝜃 − 𝑠𝑖𝑛𝜃 (1)
𝑟

We calculate the velocity components everywhere in the flow field by differentiating the above
equation.

1 ∂ψ a2
𝑢𝑟 = = V∞ cosθ (1 − 2 )
r ∂θ r
(2)

∂ψ a2
𝑢𝜃 = − = −V∞ sinθ (1 + 2 )
∂r r
(3)

On the surface of the cylinder r = a and then the above equation reduces to

𝑈𝑟 = 0 and 𝑈𝜃 = −2𝑉𝛼 𝑠𝑖𝑛𝜃

Since the no-slip condition at solid walls cannot be satisfied when making the irrotational
approximation, there is slip at the cylinder wall. In fact, at the top of the cylinder (θ= 90°), the
fluid speed at the wall is twice that of the free stream.

Firstly, static pressure is the pressure that would be measured by a pressure probe moving with
the fluid. Experimentally, we measure this pressure on a surface through use of a static pressure
tap, which is basically a tiny hole drilled normal to the surface. At the other end of the tap is a
pressure measuring device.

A non dimensionalised pressure called pressure coefficient can be used to plot the static
pressure distribution around the cylinder.

Since the flow in the region of interest is irrotational, we use the Bernoulli equation to calculate
the pressure anywhere in the flow field. Ignoring the effects of gravity,

𝑃 𝑉2 𝑃∞ 𝑉∞ 2
+ = 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑡 = + (4)
𝜌 2 𝜌 2

Rearranging (4)

𝑃 − 𝑃∞ 𝑉2
𝐶𝑝 = = 1− 2 (5)
1 2 𝑉∞
2 𝜌𝑉

We substitute our expression for tangential velocity 𝑢𝜃 on the cylinder surface, and
equation (5) takes the form

(−2𝑉∞ 𝑠𝑖𝑛𝜃)2
𝐶𝑝 = 1 − = 1 − 4𝑠𝑖𝑛2 𝜃 (6)
𝑉∞ 2

We plot the pressure coefficient on the top half of the cylinder as a function of angle β
in the below figure. The first thing we notice is that the pressure distribution is curve. Because
of top–bottom symmetry, there is no need to also plot the pressure distribution on symmetric
fore and aft. This is not surprising since we already know that the streamlines are also
symmetric fore and aft.
Fig 6.1 Theoretical and actual pressure distribution

Pressure coefficient as a function of angle β along the surface of a circular cylinder; the solid
curve is the irrotational flow approximation, pink circles are from experimental data at
Re=2*105 laminar boundary layer separation, and gray circles are from typical experimental
data at Re=7 * 105 turbulent boundary layer separation.

The front and rear stagnation points (at β = 0° and 180°, respectively) are marked on Fig. The
pressure coefficient is unity there, and these two points have the highest pressure in the entire
flow field. In physical variables, static pressure P at the stagnation points is equal to 𝑃∞ +
1
𝜌𝑉 2 . In other words, the full dynamic pressure (also called impact pressure) of the oncoming
2
fluid is felt as a static pressure on the nose of the body as the fluid is decelerated to zero speed
at the stagnation point. At the very top of the cylinder (β = 90°), the speed along the surface is
twice the free-stream velocity (V= 2V∞), and the pressure coefficient is lowest there. Also
marked on figure are the two locations where Cp= 0, namely at β = 30° and 150°. At these
locations, the static pressure along the surface is equal to that of the free stream (P= P∞).

The tapping points are evenly distributed around the cylinder at 22.50 or at 200 intervals
depending on the setup used for the experiment.
6.2.2 Real flow around a cylinder

Figure 6.2. Schematic Representation of Flow Round a Cylinder

Motion of the cylinder through stationary fluid produces stresses on its surface which
give rise to a resultant force. It is usually convenient to analyze these stresses from the point
of view of an observer moving with the cylinder, to whom the fluid appears to be approaching
as a uniform stream. At any chosen point "A" of the surface of the cylinder, the effect of the
fluid may conveniently resolved into two components, pressure p normal to the surface and
shear stress  tangential to the surface. It is convenient to refer absolute pressure P to a
reference static pressure Patm in the oncoming stream; P is then a gauge pressure.

𝑃𝑔𝑎𝑔𝑒 = P − Patm
(7)

Let U denote the undisturbed uniform speed of the motion upstream of the cylinder and  the
density of the fluid.
1
The dynamic pressure in the undisturbed stream,  U  2 is then given by:
2

1
 U  2  Ptotal  p static (8)
2

The dynamic pressure is a useful quantity by which the gauge pressure p and shear stress 
may be non-dimensionalised, yielding the following dimensionless terms:

p
cp 
1 (9)
U2
2


cf 
1 (10)
U2
2

where cp is the (local) pressure coefficient and cf is the (local) skin friction coefficient.
The combined effect of pressure and shear stress (sometimes called skin friction) gives rise to
a resultant force on the cylinder. This resultant may conveniently be resolved into the
following force and torque components (acting at any chosen origin 'C' of the section as shown
on Figure 2):

A component in the direction of U, called the drag force, D.

A component normal to the direction of U called the lift force, L.

A moment about the origin C, called the pitching moment, M.

These components may be expressed in dimensionless terms by definition of drag, lift, and
pitching moment coefficients as follows:

D
CD 
1 (11)
 U  2 dl
2

L
CL 
1 (12)
 U  2 dl
2

M
CM 
1 (13)
 U  2 dl
2

Where CD is the drag coefficient, CL is the lift coefficient, and CM is the pitching
moment coefficient. Note that d is a length that characterizes the cross-sectional size of the
cylinder while l is the length of the cylinder. In Figure 1, d is shown as the width measured
across the cylinder, normal to U, which is the usual convention. (An important exception is
the aerofoil, where the length in the direction of flow or "chord" of the section is used
instead). The coefficients CD, CL, and CM are of prime importance, since they are invariably
used for correlating aerodynamic force measurements.

6.2.3 Drag Measurement by Measurement of Surface Pressure Distribution

We now consider how pressure and skin friction coefficients are related to lift and drag
coefficients. Consider an element of area s along the surface, at a point where the normal is
inclined at angle  to the direction of U, as shown on Figure 2.
Figure 6.3. The Circular Cylinder

The element of drag D due to p and  is:

 D   p cos   sin  dS (14)

where dS=lRd.

Integrating this around the perimeter yields:

D   ( p cos   sin  )dS (15)


S

where S is the cylinder’s area.

This can now be cast in dimensionless form:


 
D 
1  p  
CD    cos  sin  dS (16)
1 ld S  1 1 
 U  dl
2
 U
2
U
2

2 2 2 

1
ld S
CD  (c p cos  c f sin  )dS (17)

1
ld S
Similarly, CL  (c p sin   c f cos )dS (18)

These results show that the drag of a cylinder may be found by measuring p and  over the
surface and calculating the drag coefficient by Equation (17). Now, it is easy to measure the
distribution of p over a cylinder merely by drilling fine holes into its surface, but measurement
of  is a much more difficult task. For the case of the circular cylinder, however, the
contribution to drag from shear stress (the 'skin friction drag') is found to
be very much smaller than from pressure (the 'pressure drag') and may safely be neglected.
Making this assumption and writing:

ld
 s  lR   d (19)
2

for the circular cylinder of Figure 3 simplifies Equation (15) to:

2
D   P cos R l d (20)
0

for the circular cylinder of Figure 3 simplifies Equation (17) to:

1
c p cos d
2 C
CD  (21)

From consideration of symmetry, we may write CL=CM=0 for the circular cylinder. Equation
(20) allows us to calculate CD from the measured pressure distribution over the cylinder
surface.

6.3 PROCEDURE

 Check that the fan is set to 0%, then switch it out of standby mode by selecting the 'fan
on' button on the mimic diagram.

 Check that the readings are all same at zero velocity.

 Measure the ambient pressure and temperature.

 Gradually set the fan in 1% increments by using the up arrows. Then set the fan to the
reach the required velocity and allow the fan to stabilize.

 Repeat the flow visualization and pressure sensor logging as before.

 Gradually shutdown the fan. Starting at =0, measure P().


Required Results and Plots

 Plot the variation of 𝐶𝑝 with angle  and compare the same with the theoretical
distribution as given by equation (6).

 Using this distribution of 𝐶𝑝 , find the pressure drag or the drag coefficient acting on the
cylinder.

6.4 TABULAR COLUMN

Ambient pressure Patm


Ambient temperature T∞
P
Density,   atm
RT

Fan Tunnel Tunnel Tunnel Reynol Drag D Pressure


speed head pressur velocity ds (N) coefficients
(%) (mm) e (Pa) (m/s) number