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Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53

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Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics

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Steady flow of Bingham plastic fluids past an elliptical cylinder

S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra ⇑
Department of Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur 208016, India

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: In the present work, the flow of Bingham plastic fluids past an elliptical cylinder has been investigated
Received 24 July 2013 numerically elucidating the effect of yield stress and fluid inertia on the momentum transfer character-
Received in revised form 16 September 2013 istics at finite Reynolds numbers for a 100-fold variation in the aspect ratio. The governing differential
Accepted 19 September 2013
equations have been solved over wide ranges of Reynolds number (0.01 6 Re 6 40) and Bingham number
Available online 26 September 2013
(0.01 6 Bn 6 100) in the laminar flow regime employing the finite element method. Furthermore, the
effect of the aspect ratio (E) of the elliptical cylinder on the detailed flow characteristics has been studied
by varying it from E = 0.1 to E = 10 thereby spanning varying levels of streamlining of the submerged
Elliptical cylinder
Bingham plastic fluid
object. In particular, new extensive results on streamline contours, shape and size of yielded/unyielded
Reynolds number regions, shear rate profiles, surface pressure distribution and drag coefficient as functions of the Reynolds
Bingham number number, Bingham number and aspect ratio are presented and discussed. The functional dependence of
Yielded/unyielded zones the individual and total drag coefficients on the governing dimensionless parameters, aspect ratio, Rey-
Drag coefficient nolds number and Bingham number, is explored. The present results reveal a significant influence of the
shape of the cylinder, i.e., aspect ratio on the detailed flow patterns and the overall hydrodynamic flow
behavior of elliptical cylinders.
Ó 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction transfer phenomena. In contrast, the currently available body of

knowledge on the so-called external or boundary layer type flows
Owing to the wide occurrence of viscoplastic fluid behavior in is very limited indeed [6]. The bulk of the available literature re-
suspensions, foams and multiphase systems encountered in scores lates to the prediction of drag and stability of spherical particles
of industrial settings including food, pharmaceutical, personal-care settling in such fluids in the creeping flow regime, e.g., see
product sectors, polymer composites, geological applications, etc., [7–12] or on interactions between them [13]. Detailed discussion
there has been a renewed interest in studying their fluid mechan- and cross-comparisons between various numerical and/or experi-
ical behavior in various configurations [1–3]. One of the main dis- mental studies have been presented elsewhere [14,15]. Suffice it
tinguishing aspects of viscoplastic fluids is the fact that the flow to add here that based on a combination of the experimental and
domain is spanned by the so-called yielded (fluid-like) and unyiel- numerical studies, reliable results are now available on the wall ef-
ded (solid-like) regions depending upon the prevailing stress levels fects, drag coefficient and the size/shape of the yielded regions for
vis-a-vis the value of the fluid yield stress. From a theoretical/ spherical particles undergoing steady translation in viscoplastic
numerical standpoint, not only this aspect itself poses enormous fluids in the creeping flow regime. These comparisons clearly re-
challenges in resolving such regions but such dual nature of the veal that the predictions and experiments for drag on a single
flow field also has a deleterious effect on the degree of mixing sphere are in reasonable agreement in the creeping flow regime.
and convective transport of heat and mass, for diffusion is the chief Indeed, the effect of finite Reynolds numbers (up to 100) on drag
mode of heat and mass transfer operating in the unyielded regions. and heat transfer characteristics of a heated sphere in Bingham
Thus, the current interest in studying the behavior of such media in plastic and Herschel Bulkley fluids has been reported only very re-
complex geometries stems from both pragmatic and fundamental cently [14,15]. Broadly, while the fluid yield stress acts to stabilize
considerations. Consequently, over the past fifty years or so, signif- the flow field by postponing the flow detachment to higher values
icant advances have been made in the behavior of viscoplastic flu- of the Reynolds number than that in Newtonian fluids, it obviously
ids in internal flows [1,3], porous media flows [4], mixing vessels increasingly restricts the size of the yielded fluid-like regions close
[5], etc., though the fluid mechanical aspects have been studied to the surface of the sphere where the stress level exceeds the fluid
much more thoroughly than the corresponding heat and mass yield stress. On the other hand, with the increasing Reynolds
number, the fluid-like domains tend to expand spatially thereby
facilitating convective transport [14,15]. In contrast, much less
⇑ Corresponding author. Tel.: +91 512 2597393; fax: +91 512 2590104.
attention has been accorded to the other two-dimensional shapes
E-mail address: (R.P. Chhabra).

0377-0257/$ - see front matter Ó 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra / Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53 33

a semi-axis of the elliptical cylinder along the direction of LR length of the unyielded rigid static zone (Zr2)  lR2a
flow, m dimensionless  
b semi-axis of the elliptical cylinder normal to the direc- Lw recirculation length  lw2a
, dimensionless
tion of flow, m   m regularization parameter, dimensionless
Bn Bingham number  slo ð2bÞV 1 , dimensionless n power-law flow behavior index, dimensionless

Bnc critical Bingham number denoting the disappearance of ns unit vector normal to the surface of cylinder, dimen-
flow separation, dimensionless sionless
CD drag coefficient, dimensionless nx, ny x- and y-components of the unit vector normal to the
C D;1 limiting plastic drag coefficient, dimensionless surface of cylinder, dimensionless
CDF frictional drag coefficient, dimensionless p pressure, dimensionless
CDP pressure drag coefficient, dimensionless ps local pressure on the surface of cylinder, Pa
Cp pressure coefficient, dimensionless p1 reference pressurefar awayfrom the cylinder, Pa
C p modified pressure coefficient, Eq. (16), dimensionless Re Reynolds number  qV 1l ð2bÞ , dimensionless
Cpo pressure coefficient at the front stagnation point, Re ⁄
modified Reynolds number, Eq. (17), dimensionless
dimensionless S surface area of the cylinder, m2
D diameter of circular cylinder, m V velocity vector, dimensionless
D1 diameter of the computational domain, m V1 free stream velocity, m s1
E aspect ratio of the elliptical cylinder, (=a/b), dimension-
Greek symbols
FD drag force per unit length of the cylinder, N m1
FDF frictional component of drag force per unit length of the
c_ rate of strain tensor, dimensionless
cylinder, N m1
lB plastic viscosity, Pa s
FDP pressure component of drag force per unit length of the
ly yielding viscosity, Pa s
q density of the fluid, kg m3
cylinder, N m1
h angular position on the surface of the cylinder measured
lR length of the static rigid zone (Zr2) from the center of
from the front stagnation point, °
the cylinder, m
lw distance from the center of the cylinder to the point of
s extra stress tensor, dimensionless
reattachment of the near closed streamline along the
s0 yield stress, Pa
x-axis, m
L length of the cylinder in the z-direction, m Subscripts
i, j, x, y Cartesian coordinates

such as circular cylinders [16–22] and square bars [23,24]. While cal solutions of the complete Navier–Stokes equations revealed
the currently available results for a circular cylinder are restricted the results obtained in [25–27] to be grossly inadequate for
to the creeping flow only (zero Reynolds number), limited results Re > 2 for unconfined flow conditions. Since the first numerical
for a square cylinder are available at finite Reynolds numbers up study of Epstein and Masliyah [28], numerous numerical studies
to Re = 40 [24]. Indeed, not only these studies reveal the existence pertaining to the steady flow regime [29], elucidating the influ-
of different types of yielded/unyielded domains, but their shapes ence of incidence [30], etc. have been reported in the literature
and sizes are also modulated by the shape of the object as well which are mutually consistent as far as the values of the drag,
as by the values of the governing parameters. The simplest devia- recirculation length, etc. are concerned. Depending upon the val-
tion from a circular cylinder is an elliptical shape which not only ues of the Reynolds number and aspect ratio, the flow past a cyl-
allows the varying levels of streamlining simply by varying its as- inder exhibits a variety of flow regimes, akin to that seen for a
pect ratio but it is also free from geometric singularities such as a circular cylinder. Thus, for instance, Faruquee et al. [31] have
square cylinder. Therefore, this work is concerned with the two- extensively studied the influence of aspect ratio on the wake
dimensional flow of Bingham plastic fluids past an elliptical cylin- characteristics at a fixed Reynolds number of 40. At Re = 40,
der oriented with its long axis transverse to the flow. At the outset, the critical aspect ratio was reported to be 0.34 for the onset
it is instructive to briefly recount the available results on the flow of flow separation. Subsequently, Stack and Bravo [32] presented
of Newtonian fluids past elliptical cylinders and the analogous re- the critical Reynolds number denoting the onset of flow separa-
sults for viscoplastic fluids which, in turn, facilitate the presenta- tion for aspect ratios ranging from 0 (plate normal to flow) to 1
tion and discussion of the new results obtained in this work. (circular cylinder) by solving the complete Navier–Stokes equa-
tions. As the value of E becomes increasingly larger than unity,
1.1. Previous work the degree of streamlining increases and the flow remains at-
tached to the surface of the cylinder up to much larger values
The flow past elliptical cylinders denotes a classical problem of the Reynolds number than the oft reported value of Re = 5–6
in the realm of fluid mechanics and transport phenomena and for a circular cylinder. The effect of confinement on the vortex
has been studied widely over the past 100 years or so for New- shedding characteristics of an elliptical cylinder has been inves-
tonian fluids. Early attempts at studying the flow of Newtonian tigated using the lattice Boltzmann method recently [33]. At the
fluids past elliptical cylinders are invariably based on the use other extreme, the high Reynolds number limit has also been ap-
of the Oseen’s linearized form of the Navier–Stokes equations proached by employing the standard integral boundary layer
to obviate the so-called Stokes paradox. This approach is exem- analysis for the prediction of skin friction and Nusselt number
plified by the works of Tomotika and Aoi [25], Imai [26] and for an elliptical cylinder [34]. More detailed reviews of the per-
Hasimoto [27]. Subsequent results [28,29] based on the numeri- tinent studies are available elsewhere [35–37].
34 S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra / Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53

In contrast, as far as known to us, within the framework of the i.e., Vz = 0 and @ðÞ
¼ 0. The unconfined flow condition is reached
generalized Newtonian fluids, there have been only three studies here by enclosing the elliptical cylinder in a hypothetical concen-
dealing with the flow of power- law fluids past elliptical cylinders tric cylindrical envelope of fluid of diameter D1 as shown schemat-
[35–37]. Sivakumar and co-workers [35,36] reported extensive re- ically in Fig. 1b. The diameter of the outer circular boundary D1 is
sults on the momentum and forced convection heat transfer char- taken to be sufficiently large to minimize the boundary effects.
acteristics in the steady flow regime (Re 6 40) for shear-thinning While no information exists about the flow regimes in Bingham
and shear- thickening fluids. Both the drag and Nusselt number plastic fluids for elliptical cylinders, by analogy with the transitions
values were found to be enhanced in shear-thinning fluids and observed in Newtonian fluids [37,40], the flow is expected to be
these were suppressed in shear-thickening media with reference steady and symmetric about the mid plane (y = 0) over the range
to that in Newtonian fluids otherwise under identical conditions. of conditions spanned here and therefore the computations have
However, these results are based on a priori assumption of the been carried out only in half-domain (y P 0) to economize on
steady flow regime to prevail over the range of conditions spanned the computational effort.
in their study. Indeed, the limits of the steady flow regime for ellip- For 2-D, incompressible and steady flow, the continuity and
tical cylinders of various aspect ratios have been delineated only momentum equations in their dimensionless forms are given by:
recently [37]. Based on these findings, some of the results reported Continuity:
by Sivakumar and co-workers [35,36] might be less reliable than
rV ¼0 ð1Þ
initially thought. Also, as expected, for blunt shapes (E < 1) flow
separation occurs at lower values of the Reynolds number than Momentum:
that for a circular (E = 1) cylinder and the critical Reynolds number
increases with the increasing value of E. This finding is consistent ðV  rÞV ¼ rp þ r:s ð2Þ
with that of Faruquee et al. [31]. Re
Even less is known about the flow of viscoplastic fluids past For a Bingham plastic fluid, the deviatoric part of the stress ten-
elliptical cylinders. Putz and Frigaard [38] presented very limited sor s is given by
results for a two-dimensional planar flow over an elliptical cylin-
c_ ¼ 0 if jsj 6 Bn ð3Þ
der using the standard Taylor–Hood finite element method in the
creeping flow regime. Similarly, in an attempt to mimic the behav-  
ior of an artificial lung, Zierenberg et al. [39] have considered the Bn
s ¼ 1 þ _ c_ if jsj > Bn ð4Þ
pulsatile flow of Casson model fluid (blood) over a circular cylin- jcj
der. While they have considered three values of the Reynolds num- qffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
where jc_ j ¼ 12 trðc_ Þ is the magnitude of rate of deformation tensor
ber (5, 10 and 40), the yield stress values are extremely small qffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi
(corresponding to blood) and therefore very small deviations from and jsj ¼ 12 trðs2 Þ is the magnitude of deviatoric stress tensor. In
the corresponding Newtonian kinematics are predicted in their
these equations, the two dimensionless parameters are the familiar
study. From the aforementioned discussion, it is thus fair to con-
Reynolds number (Re) and Bingham number (Bn) which are defined
clude that there is only scant information available on the flow
a little later in Eqs. (9) and (10).
of viscoplastic fluids over an elliptical cylinder. For a given value
The rate-of-strain tensor c_ is given by
of the aspect ratio (E), it is expected that with the increasing Rey-
nolds number, the fluid-like yielded domains must grow in size, c_ ¼ ðrV þ rV T Þ ð5Þ
but this tendency is countered to some extent by the fluid yield
stress. Intuitively therefore, it appears that for a given Reynolds There have been several approaches developed to obviate the
number and aspect ratio, there must be a critical value of the Bing- discontinuity inherent in the Bingham constitutive equation [41].
ham number above which the flow remains attached due to the However, the two such approaches have gained wide acceptance,
equilibrium between the yield stress and viscous forces on one namely that of Papanastasiou [42] and bi-viscosity [43] in the liter-
hand and the inertial forces on the other. Conversely, for a given as- ature. While primarily the former is used in this work, limited re-
pect ratio of the cylinder and Bingham number, it is expected that sults were also obtained with the latter to corroborate the
the flow would remain attached to the surface of the cylinder up to reliability of our results. Papanastasiou [42] modified the classical
higher Reynolds numbers than that in Newtonian fluids. This work Bingham model by introducing an exponential term for the stress
endeavors to fill this gap in the literature. growth. The proposed Bingham–Papanastasiou model which trans-
In particular, the main objective of the present work is to solve forms the ‘‘solid’’ regions to a viscous one of high viscosity is given
the field equations (continuity and momentum) numerically for by:
the flow of Bingham plastic fluids past an elliptical cylinder eluci-  
Bn½1  expðmjc_ jÞ
dating the effect of fluid yield stress and inertia on the fluid s¼ 1þ c_ ð6Þ
mechanical aspects in the range of conditions as: Reynolds number
jc_ j
0.01 6 Re 6 40, Bingham number 0.01 6 Bn 6 100 and aspect ratio where m, the regularization parameter, controls the exponential
0.1 6 E 6 10. This work also reports the limiting values of the Bing- growth of the stress. Evidently, in the limit of m ? 1, this model
ham number above which the flow does not detach itself from the coincides with the Bingham model. Similarly, the bi-viscosity model
surface of the elliptical cylinder. The present results are compared approach [43] postulates:
with the previous studies wherever possible. 
s¼ c_ for jsj 6 Bn ð7Þ
2. Problem statement and formulation !
The flow of an incompressible Bingham fluid with uniform s ¼ Bn þ c_  for jsj > Bn ð8Þ
ðly =lB Þ
velocity V1 over a long elliptical cylinder of aspect ratio E = a/b ori-
ented transverse to the direction of flow is considered here, as The relative merits and demerits of different regularization
shown schematically in Fig. 1a. Since the cylinder is infinitely long methods and cross-comparisons between their predictions based
in the z-direction, the flow is considered to be two-dimensional, on different regularization techniques for specific geometries like
S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra / Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53 35

b E = 0.1


E = 10
V∞ x



Uniform velocity Out flow

E = 0.1
No slip- wall

E = 10
symmetry x
Fig. 1. Schematics of the flow past an elliptical cylinder: (a) physical model (b) computational domain.

the creeping flow over a sphere are available elsewhere [41,44]. qV 21 and 2b
for the stress components, pressure and regulariza-
Potential difficulties in locating the yield surfaces through such tion parameter respectively. Naturally, one could have chosen 2a
regularization methods have also been discussed in Ref. [44]. instead of 2b as the characteristic linear scale, but since the aspect
In order to complete the problem statement, the following ratio E is dimensionless on its own, one can convert these results
boundary conditions have been used in this work. from one format (based on the choice of 2b) to another (based on
The front-half of the fluid envelope (of diameter D1) is desig- the choice of 2a). Evidently, in this case, the momentum character-
nated as the inlet and at this surface, a uniform flow in the x-direc- istics are governed by the following three dimensionless
tion is prescribed, i.e., Vx = 1 and Vy = 0. parameters:
The rear-half of the surrounding fluid envelope is designated as Bingham number: This represents the ratio of the yield stress
the outlet and here the disturbance to the flow field caused by the to viscous forces, i.e.,
elliptical cylinder is assumed to have subsided and thus, zero-dif-
fusion flux condition for the both velocity components, i.e.,
Bn ¼   ð9Þ
@V x @V
¼ 0 and @xy ¼ 0 is used here on this plane. lB V2b1
On the surface of the cylinder: The standard no-slip boundary Reynolds number: This denotes the ratio of the inertial to vis-
condition, i.e., Vx = Vy = 0 is used. cous forces, i.e.,
Over the range of conditions spanned here, the flow is expected
to be symmetric about y = 0 plane and therefore, the symmetry qV 21
conditions are implemented here, i.e., @V x
¼ 0 and Vy = 0. Re ¼   ð10Þ
@y lB V2b1
The preceding governing equations and the boundary condi-
tions have been rendered dimensionless by using V1 and 2b as Of course, the aspect ratio, E = a/b, which describes the shape of
the characteristic velocity and length scales respectively. These,
  the cylinder cross-section, is the third dimensionless parameter.
in turn, can be used to obtain the corresponding scales as lB V2b1 , The preceding definitions of the Reynolds and Bingham numbers
36 S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra / Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53

are based on the assumption that the characteristic shear rate is of C p ¼ C p  Re ð16Þ
the order of (V1/2b) and the effective viscous stress is given simply
as lB(V1/2b) thereby disregarding the influence of the fluid yield where
stress. However, the inclusion of the yield stress in estimating Re
the representative viscosity will only rescale the Reynolds number Re ¼ ð17Þ
1 þ Bn
by incorporating the effect of the Bingham number, as seen in Eq.
Recirculation (or wake) length (Lw): It is the dimensionless
(17) here and elsewhere [14,24].
distance measured from the rear of the cylinder to the point of
It is customary to present the detailed kinematics of the flow in
reattachment for the near closed streamline Vx = Vy = 0 on the line
terms of the streamlines in the vicinity of the cylinder and the dis-
of symmetry (y = 0).
tribution of pressure coefficient along the surface of the cylinder.
The overall gross behavior is denoted in terms of the recirculation lw  a
Lw ¼ ð18Þ
length, individual and total drag coefficients. In the case of visco- 2a
plastic fluids, the size and shape of the yielded zones also depend
where lw is the distance from the center of the cylinder to the point
on the values of three parameters, namely, Re, Bn and E. Some of
of reattachment for the near closed streamline as shown schemati-
these characteristics are defined here.
cally in Fig. 2a. In the context of Newtonian fluids, this is a direct
Drag coefficient (CD): This is a measure of the net hydrody-
measure of the wake length. However, in the present situation, as
namic force exerted by the fluid on the immersed cylinder along
will be seen in Sections 5.2 and 5.3, there is an unyielded zone at-
the direction of flow. The drag coefficient is made up of two com-
tached in the rear of the cylinder which is engulfed in the recircu-
ponents, namely, friction drag (CDF) due to the shearing forces and
lating region. Therefore, it is not uncommon to introduce another
form drag (CDP) due to the normal forces acting on the cylinder.
characteristic parameter to describe the length of this static zone.
These are defined as follows and are essentially evaluated by the
Length of the unyielded rigid zone (LR): It is the dimensionless
surface integrals as shown below:
length of the static rigid zone Zr2 measured from the rear of the
C D ¼ C DF þ C DP ð11Þ cylinder.

Z lR  a
F DF 2 LR ¼ ð19Þ
C DF ¼ 1 ¼ ðsxx nx þ sxy ny ÞdS ð12Þ 2a
q V 21 ð2bÞ Re s
where lR is the length of static zone downstream of the cylinder
where nx and ny are the components of the unit normal vector, ns, measured from the center of the cylinder (Fig 2b).
normal to the surface of the cylinder given as Finally, the scaling considerations suggest that the detailed
kinematics and macroscopic momentum characteristics in the
ðx=a2 Þex þ ðy=b Þey present case are influenced to varying extents by three dimension-
ns ¼ rffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffiffi ¼ nx ex þ ny ey ð13Þ
 x 2  y 2 less groups or combinations thereof, namely, Reynolds number
a 2 þ b 2 (Re), Bingham number (Bn) and the aspect ratio of the cylinder
(E). This work endeavors to understand and develop this
The form drag is defined and evaluated as follows relationship.
C DP ¼ 1 ¼ C p nx dS ð14Þ
q V 21 ð2bÞ s 3. Numerical methodology

In Eq. (14), Cp is the dimensionless pressure coefficient defined The preceding partial differential equations subject to the afore-
as the ratio of the static to dynamic pressure on the surface of the mentioned boundary conditions have been solved here numeri-
cylinder, i.e., cally using the finite element method based solver, COMSOL
ps  p1 MultiphysicsÒ (Version 4.2a). The computational domain was
Cp ¼ ð15Þ meshed using a non-uniform grid structure created by the built-
qV 21
in meshing function employing quadrilateral and triangular ele-
In Eq. (15), ps is the local pressure at a point which varies along ments. Owing to the expected steep gradients close to the surface
the surface of the cylinder and p1 is the reference pressure far of the cylinder and near the interface demarcating the yielded and
away from the cylinder. unyielded regions, a fine mesh was used in these regions which
Further insights into the nature of this flow can be gained by was progressively made coarse to economize on the required com-
rescaling the pressure coefficient (ratio of the static pressure to putational effort. The resulting system of equations is solved using
yield stress) on the surface of the cylinder. The modified pressure the steady, 2-D, laminar flow module with parallel direct linear sol-
coefficient is defined as: ver (PARDISO). The deviatoric part of the stress tensor in the

Fig. 2. Schematic representation of (a) recirculating wake and (b) static zone characteristics.
S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra / Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53 37

momentum equation is approximated using the Papanastasiou computational effort at a reasonable level (Table 1a). An inspection
modified Bingham model. Based on our previous studies of Table 1a suggests that the domain sizes of D1/(2b) = 300, 520,
[14,15,23,24], the relative convergence criterion of 105 for the 900 and 800 are believed to be adequate for E = 0.1, 0.2, 0.5 and
equations of continuity and momentum is used in this work. With- 1 respectively while for E = 2, 5 and 10, the domain size of D1/
in the framework of this criterion, the drag values had also stabi- (2b) = 1000, 2500 and 5000 respectively are seen to be adequate
lized at least up to four significant digits. Besides, the results for the ranges of conditions of interest here: 0.01 6 Re 6 40 and
obtained using more stringent convergence criterion were virtually 0.01 6 Bn 6 100.
indistinguishable from the present results. Appropriate values of Having fixed the domain size, a grid independence study has
the fluid characteristics like density (q), yield-stress (so), plastic been carried out using three non- uniform grids (G1,G2 and G3)
viscosity (lB) and the geometric parameters were specified to with the increasing level of refinement for a range of values of
achieve the desired values of the three dimensionless parameters, the aspect ratio, E at Re = 40 and Bn = 100. The grid used in the
namely, Re, Bn and E. However, these specific values of the physical present work is divided into two subregions. The first zone in the
properties of the fluid are of no particular significance because the vicinity of cylinder where the mesh is highly concentrated consists
final results are presented here in their nondimensional form. of triangular elements, as shown in Fig. 3 for extreme values of the
Finally, the yield-surfaces denoting the boundaries between the aspect ratio E = 0.1 and E = 10. Otherwise non-uniform quadrilat-
yielded and unyielded regions were located by manually refining eral elements were employed for the remaining intermediate val-
the computational mesh in this region and by comparing the mag- ues of the aspect ratio. The second sub-region away from the
nitude of the dimensionless extra stress tensor with the fluid yield cylinder employed non-uniform quadrilateral elements with man-
stress (Bingham number) within a tolerance of 106–107 at each ual refining near the yield surfaces. Fig. 3 shows the schematics of
point. Further reduction in the tolerance criterion did not produce the grid structures used for aspect ratio E = 0.1 and 10 with their
any noticeable changes in the shape or size of the unyielded close-up view near the cylinder expanded for the three grids G1,
regions. G2 and G3 tested in this work. These results for grid tests are sum-
marized in Table 1b which clearly show that the values of the drag
4. Choice of numerical parameters coefficient change negligibly as one goes from grid G2 to G3. Fur-
thermore, Fig. 4 shows the influence of grids on the velocity profile
Undoubtedly, the accuracy and reliability of the numerical re- in the x- and y-directions for the extreme values of the aspect ratio
sults is strongly influenced by the choice of numerical parameters, E = 0.1 and E = 10 at Re = 40 and Bn = 100. Detailed examination of
namely, domain size, quality of grid, convergence criterion, the va- the results shown in Table 1b and Fig. 4 reveals that grid G2 is ade-
lue of the regularization parameter, m and of the yielding viscosity, quate to resolve the thin boundary layers under the extreme con-
ly. Much has been written about these aspects elsewhere ditions considered herein. Indeed, the comparison shown in Fig. 4
[14,23,24], and therefore only the salient points are recapitulated constitutes a more stringent test of the grid effects than the results
here. Bearing in mind the fact that the velocity field decays slowly, shown in Table 1b. Thus, on both counts, G2 seems to be adequate
at low Reynolds numbers and/or Bingham numbers, several values in the present study.
of (D1/2b) were used in this study to choose its optimum value A reliable prediction of the unyielded zones also depends
without a significant loss of accuracy and keeping the required strongly on an appropriate choice of the regularization parameter,

Table 1
Choice of computational parameters: (a) Domain effects. (b) Grid effects.

(a) Domain independence test (b) Grid independence test

Re = 0.01 Re = 40
E Domain size Bn = 0.01 E Grid Elementsb Bn = 0.01 Bn = 100
0.1 260 833.54 737.43 0.1a G1 26,878 1.6600 1.5735 61.333 58.879
300 834.01 737.47 G2 35,722 1.6596 1.5771 61.278 59.508
350 834.07 737.40 G3 40,322 1.6596 1.5773 61.267 59.567
0.2 360 836.30 686.88 0.2 G1 12,000 1.6355 1.4994 62.231 58.591
520 836.61 688.49 G2 23,640 1.6313 1.4768 61.749 58.342
700 836.70 690.14 G3 26,000 1.6303 1.4720 61.672 58.088
0.5 400 848.31 622.01 0.5 G1 12,000 1.5631 1.2335 63.031 52.856
900 848.16 573.45 G2 23,640 1.5626 1.2367 62.835 53.537
1300 848.34 578.92 G3 26,000 1.5624 1.2376 62.815 53.708
1 500 874.29 441.23 1 G1 12,000 1.5078 0.98117 66.247 49.281
800 875.50 447.36 G2 23,640 1.5076 0.98593 65.989 49.704
1800 874.64 446.33 G3 28,000 1.5076 0.98663 65.970 49.819
2 600 929.57 317.62 2 G1 12,000 1.4940 0.7237 74.920 47.333
1000 929.46 313.20 G2 23,640 1.4945 0.7185 74.286 46.000
2000 929.39 313.90 G3 28,000 1.4943 0.7186 74.260 46.006
5 1500 1076.7 183.72 5 G1 13,200 1.6515 0.4515 108.09 46.269
2500 1077.5 186.00 G2 18,200 1.6513 0.4489 107.36 45.545
5000 1077.8 187.68 G3 21,000 1.6513 0.4485 107.20 45.387
10 3000 1270.2 122.24 10a G1 7527 1.95041 0.2964 164.40 43.862
5000 1270.4 127.91 G2 16,332 1.95506 0.2802 161.53 43.700
8000 1270.3 127.50 G3 20,609 1.95338 0.2808 161.51 43.332
Free triangular grid in the vicinity of cylinder.
Refer to half-domain (y P 0).
38 S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra / Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53

G1 G2 G3
E = 0.1

G1 G2 G3
E = 10

Fig. 3. Schematic representation of non-uniform computational grid structure with their expanded view near the cylinder.

Fig. 4. Influence of grid size on the variation of velocity profiles in x- and y-directions at Re = 40 and Bn = 100.

m. Naturally, its unduly small values do not correctly capture the are based on the value of m = 107. Similarly, in the case of the bi-
behavior of the fluid whereas its excessively high values lead to a viscosity model, one needs to examine the effect of the value of
very stiff coefficient matrix thereby leading to oscillations in the the yielding viscosity (ly) on the accuracy of the solution. Table 2
predicted contours of the unyielded zones and convergence prob- summarizes the results showing the influence of this parameter on
lems [44,45]. In this study, the values of m ranging from 104 to the values of the pressure and drag coefficients at the minimum
107 have been examined for 0.1 6 E 6 10 at Bn = 10 and Bn = 100. and maximum values of the Bingham numbers used in this work.
Fig. 5 shows the influence of this parameter on the predictions of Evidently, the value of (ly/lB) = 105 is seen to be satisfactory over
the yielded/unyielded zones for extreme values of the aspect ratio, the range of conditions spanned in the present work. Finally, the
i.e., E = 0.1 and E = 10. Evidently, the results change very little for adequacy of these choices is demonstrated in the next section by
m P 107. Based on these observations, the results reported herein presenting a few benchmark comparisons.
S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra / Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53 39

Fig. 5. Influence of the regularization parameter, m, on the location of unyielded zones at Re = 40 (a) E = 0.1 (b) E = 10.

Table 2
Influence of the yielding viscosity ly, on the total drag (CD) and pressure drag (CDP) coefficients.
Re = 0.01 Re = 40 Re = 0.01 Re = 40
Bn = 0.01 Bn = 100 Bn = 0.01 Bn = 100 Bn = 0.01 Bn = 100 Bn = 0.01 Bn = 100
E = 0.1
104 835.47 242,882 1.6633 61.525 732.17 234,144 1.5559 59.149
105 835.49 242,903 1.6644 61.531 732.16 234,164 1.5570 59.156
106 835.50 242,906 1.6652 61.532 732.16 234,167 1.5578 59.156
E = 10
104 1269.4 646,055 1.9555 161.53 98.131 174,693 0.2802 43.700
105 1269.4 646,056 1.9555 161.53 98.131 174,693 0.2802 43.700
106 1269.4 646,056 1.9555 161.53 98.131 174,693 0.2802 43.700

Table 3
Comparison of drag coefficients (CD) for elliptical cylinders (E = 0.2 and E = 5) in Newtonian fluids.

Re Dennis and Young [30] D’Alessio and Dennis [29] Sivakumar et al. [35] Present
E = 0.2
0.01 – – 404.53 409.97
0.1 – – 54.247 54.748
1 – – 9.806 9.839
5 3.854 3.862 3.790 3.782
20 2.119 2.140 2.065 2.062
40 1.876 – 1.621 1.618
0.1 – – 67.109 66.586
1 8.096 8.222 8.110 8.014
5 2.712 – 2.7361 2.665
10 1.765 1.848 1.768 1.730
20 1.169 1.228 1.168 1.147
40 0.789 0.794 0.786 0.774

5. Results and discussion (0.1 6 E 6 10) on the fluid flow around an elliptical cylinder over
wide ranges of dimensionless parameters as: 0.01 6 Re 6 40 and
In this study, the governing differential equations of flow have 0.01 6 Bn 6 100. In particular, the present results endeavor to elu-
been solved numerically to examine the effects of aspect ratio cidate the role of these parameters on streamline patterns, yielded/
40 S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra / Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53

Table 4
Comparison of front stagnation point pressure coefficient Cpo(h = 0) and drag coefficient of elliptical cylinders in Newtonian fluids.

E Re Cpo CD
Masliyah and Epstein [48] Present Masliyah and Epstein [48] Present
0.2 1 – – 10.810 9.839
5 1.634 1.619 3.942 3.782
15 1.212 1.226 2.586 2.309
40 1.049 1.088 1.814 1.618
2 0.5 – – 18.820 17.835
5 2.047 2.004 4.298 4.225
15 1.468 1.417 2.379 2.370
40 1.200 1.176 – –
5 5 2.649 2.408 5.019 5.037
10 2.037 1.839 3.490 3.417
20 1.656 1.481 2.424 2.350
40 1.436 1.262 1.771 1.637

Table 5 Table 7
Comparison of drag coefficient between the present results for E = 0.1 and that of a Comparison of the present and literature values of drag coefficient at finite Reynolds
vertical flat plate in Newtonian fluids. numbers for a circular cylinder (E = 1).

Re Dennis et al. [51] Present CD  Re⁄

0.5 15.08 15.99 Re⁄ Bn = 0.2 Re⁄ Bn = 1
1 9.66 9.95
Mossaz et al. [20] Present Mossaz et al. [20] Present
5 3.75 3.81
10 2.75 2.76 0.0083 25.628 24.720 0.005 59.279 59.239
20 2.09 2.10 0.0833 25.723 24.717 0.05 59.281 59.317
30 1.82 1.82 0.8333 26.678 25.291 0.5 59.478 60.103
40 1.68 1.66 4.1667 30.921 30.879 2.5 62.920 63.593
8.3333 36.225 37.429 5 68.522 67.955
16.6667 46.834 48.732 10 78.912 76.680
33.3333 68.050 67.826 20 97.052 94.130

ature values for a few limiting cases, as this will help ascertain the
level of the accuracy of the new results for Bingham plastic fluids
for elliptical cylinders presented herein.

5.1. Validation of results

Initially, a few results were obtained for the flow of Bingham

plastic fluids in a lid-driven square cavity and the resulting values
of the centerline velocities at the horizontal and vertical positions
of the vortex center were found to be within ±2% of the literature
values for Bingham plastic fluids [9,46] and the results of center-
line velocities for Newtonian fluids show deviations around ±3%
with those reported by Neofytou [47]. Next, as reliable results
are now available for the flow of Newtonian fluids (Bn = 0) past
Fig. 6. Comparison of drag coefficient values for a vertical flat plate and an elliptical elliptical cylinders over the range of conditions spanned here, Ta-
cylinder (E = 0.1).
ble 3 shows a comparison between the present and literature val-
ues culled from a few sources employing different numerical
Table 6 solution schemes, domains, etc. With the exception of one data
Validation of the present results (Bn = 105) for elliptical cylinders in the fully plastic point of Dennis and Young [30], the present values are within 3–
limit. 4% of the previous results [29,30,35]. Furthermore, Table 4 com-
Ref. C D;1 pares the present values of the pressure coefficient at the front
stagnation point and drag coefficient for the Newtonian fluids
E = 0.5 E=1 E=2 E = 10
[48]. Barring the results for E = 5, the other values are seen to be
Randolph and Houlsby [53] – 11.94 – – within ±4% of each other. While no prior results are available for
Mitsoulis [16] – 11.7 – –
Tokpavi et al. [19] – 11.94 – –
an elliptical cylinder with E = 0.1, these are expected to be very
Putz and Frigaard [38] 13.1 11.94 11.56 11.35 close to that for a plane surface oriented normal to the oncoming
Present 13.205 11.939 11.581 11.331 fluid stream. Table 5 and Fig. 6 show comparisons between the
present results for E = 0.1 and that for a plate with the literature re-
sults culled from several sources [49–52]. The close correspon-
dence seen in Table 5 and in Fig. 6 is particularly instructive and
unyielded zones, flow kinematics and drag coefficient. At the out- lends credibility to the present solution methodology. Finally,
set, it is, however, important to validate the solution methodology Table 6 shows a comparison between the present and literature
used in this study by comparing the present results with the liter- values for elliptical and circular cylinders in terms of the limiting
S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra / Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53 41

Fig. 7. Representative streamline profiles for an elliptical cylinder (a) E = 0.1 (b) E = 0.2 (c) E = 1 (d) E = 5 (e) E = 10.

drag values (Bn ? 1) while Table 7 compares the values of the in a Bingham plastic fluid. Once again, an excellent match is seen
drag coefficient at finite Reynolds numbers for a circular cylinder to exist in these tables. Similar extensive comparisons for the drag
42 S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra / Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53

Table 8
Effect of Reynolds number and Bingham number on the recirculation length.

Bn Re Lw
E = 0.1 E = 0.2 E = 0.5 E=1 E=2 E=5 E = 10
0.01 1 0.8915 – – – – – –
5 5.2663 2.0811 0.3125 – – – –
10 10.127 4.3815 1.1269 0.2106 – – –
20 21.151 9.4296 2.7842 0.8683 0.1271 – –
40 47.325 21.201 6.3974 2.1867 0.5706 – –
0.1 1 0.2940 – – – – – –
5 4.2747 1.5548 0.1121 – – – –
10 8.477 3.5784 0.8010 0.0619 – – –
20 17.786 7.8883 2.2418 0.6057 – – –
40 39.876 17.877 5.3753 1.7784 0.3886 – –
1 5 1.4640 – – – – – –
10 3.6493 1.1840 0.0552 – – – –
20 8.1874 3.1989 0.5397 – – – –
40 18.254 7.8966 1.9409 0.2825 – – –
5 10 0.5789 – – – – – –
20 2.0011 0.4853 – – – – –
40 5.1902 1.7259 0.1212 – – – –
10 20 0.5175 – – – – – –
40 2.2307 – – – – – –

Table 9
Values of critical Bingham number for elliptical cylinders.

Re E = 0.1 E = 0.2 E = 0.5 E=1 E=2

Bn (wake) Bnc (no wake) Bn (wake) Bnc (no wake) Bn (wake) Bnc (no wake) Bn (wake) Bnc (no wake) Bn (wake) Bnc (no wake)
1 0.5 0.75 – – – – – – – –
5 4.5 4.75 1.75 2 0.2 0.3 – – – –
10 7.75 8 4.25 4.5 1.25 1.5 0.2 0.25 – –
20 13.5 13.75 8.25 8.5 3 3.25 0.8 0.85 0.075 0.08
30 18.75 19 11.75 12 4.75 5 1.4 1.45 0.30 0.35
40 24 24.24 15.5 15.75 6.50 6.75 2 2.25 0.45 0.50

Table 10
any loss of kinetic energy and thus the flow remains attached to
Comparison of recirculation length Lw for Bingham plastic fluid flow past circular the surface of the cylinder. Similarly, the yield stress of the fluid
cylinder. also tends to delay the onset of flow detachment from the surface
of the cylinder. This is ascribed to the fact that away from the sub-
merged cylinder, the material is by and large unyielded which acts
Mossaz et al. [20] Present %error
as a virtual wall and it is thus tantamount to that the flow occurs in
Bn Re = 20 a confined geometry. This, in turn, tends to suppress the propensity
0.08 0.6310 0.6567 4.08 for flow separation, in line with the available results in Newtonian
0.19 0.3793 0.4016 5.88 fluids. Thus, while the tendency for flow separation increases with
Re = 40 the increasing Reynolds number, it is suppressed with the increas-
0.08 1.8574 1.7954 3.34 ing Bingham number for a given shape, i.e., value of E. Naturally
0.18 1.5079 1.4857 1.47 both these mechanisms are modulated by the shape of the object.
0.28 1.2422 1.1931 3.95 Thus, for instance, at E = 0.1 which behaves like a plane surface ori-
0.39 1.0064 0.9809 2.54
ented normal to flow, due to sudden changes in the flow direction,
0.59 0.5980 0.6195 3.60
flow separation is likely to occur at low Reynolds numbers; the
critical value being Re = 0.08 for Newtonian fluids [32]. Thus, for in-
of a sphere in Bingham plastic and Herschel–Bulkley fluids have stance, at Re = 1, there is a visible separated region in the form of
been recently presented elsewhere [14,15] and therefore, these twin counter rotating vortices at Bn = 0.01 which seems to disap-
are not repeated here. Based on the foregoing extensive compari- pear completely at Bn P 0.1. Intuitively, it appears that higher
sons, the new results for elliptical cylinders reported herein are be- the Reynolds number, larger would be the value of the Bingham
lieved to be reliable to within 2–3%. number needed to prevent the flow separation. This observation
is clearly borne out by the results shown in Fig. 7 irrespective of
the value of E 6 1. However, for E > 1, flow separation occurs at
5.2. Streamlines contours and recirculation length much larger Reynolds numbers even in Newtonian and power-
law fluids [37] and with the introduction of yield stress, this trend
Representative streamline profiles close to the surface of an is likely to continue even up to higher Reynolds numbers, as can be
elliptical cylinder (E = 0.1, 1 and 10) are shown in Fig. 7 for a range seen in Fig. 7 and in Table 8. These trends are qualitatively consis-
of values of the Reynolds number and Bingham number. At low tent with that reported for a circular cylinder [20] and a sphere
Reynolds numbers, the fluid inertia is small and therefore a fluid [14]. Table 8 summarizes the functional dependence of the recircu-
element is able to negotiate the body contour without incurring lation length Lw on the Reynolds number and Bingham number for
S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra / Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53 43

the present values of the recirculation length, Lw, with that of

Bn = 100 Re = 40 Mossaz et al. [20] in the limit of E = 1 and n = 1, and the two values
are seen to be in good agreement.
Finally, attention is drawn to the fact that in one case corre-
sponding to Re = 10, Bn = 0.1 and E = 1, there is a second recircula-
Zr3 tion region, smaller than the primary wake present, while no wake
was observed at Bn = 0.2 and only one recirculating region was
seen at Bn = 0.08–0.09. Therefore, it is likely that this point is just
too close to the critical point corresponding to the suppression of
the wake formation at Bn = 0.2. It is likely that the primary recircu-
Zr1 Zr2
lating region splits into smaller regions before disappearing alto-
gether. On the other hand, the presence of the second
recirculation region is not a numerical artifact because this case
was repeated at least with two different meshes and for a few val-
Zr3 ues of the Bingham number in the vicinity of Bn = 0.1. No more
explanation can be given at this stage for this effect.

5.3. Delineation of yielded/unyielded zones

Fig. 8. Schematic representation of the rigid zones around a circular cylinder (E = 1) One of the distinct features of the flow of viscoplastic media is
(flow is from left to right). the simultaneous existence of the fluid-like (yielded) and solid-like
(unyielded) regions, both in the vicinity of the submerged object
a range of values of E. For a fixed value of the Bingham number and and far away from it, as have been reported for a sphere, circular
aspect ratio, the recirculation length shows a positive dependence cylinder and a square bar. Similarly, in the present case, three dis-
on the Reynolds number which is in line with the behavior seen in tinct unyielded zones are observed, shown schematically in Fig. 8,
Newtonian and power-law fluids. On the other hand, for a fixed where the unyielded zones are shaded while the unshaded regions
Reynolds number and aspect ratio, the recirculation length de- represent the deforming fluid zones; however, these differ in shape
creases with the increasing Bingham number. The decreasing wake and size depending upon the aspect ratio (especially Zr1 and Zr2)
size and disappearance of the standing vortices is also expected of the cylinder from that seen for a circular cylinder (E = 1). These
with the increasing value of the aspect ratio (E) due to the increas- are briefly described below:
ing degree of streamlining of the bluff body. Thus for instance, no
flow separation is observed for the range of Bingham and Reynolds Two triangular shaped unyielded zones (Zr1 and Zr2) attached
numbers considered in this study for E > 2 which is also in line with to the front and rear of the cylinder at the stagnation points
the previous results [37]. Similarly, no flow separation was ob- which are static in nature. The triangular shape of these zones
served at Re 6 0.1 for the ranges of Bingham number, Bn and aspect observed in this study was also reported by Mossaz et al. [21].
ratio, E embraced in this study. Table 9 summarizes the critical val- Two symmetric rigid cores (Zr3), equidistant from the cylinder
ues of the Bingham number (within ±0.13) as a function of the as- on the either side about the horizontal axis of symmetry. These
pect ratio and Reynolds number above which the flow remains are dynamic in nature, i.e., these are undergoing a rigid body-
attached to the surface of the submerged body. It is worthwhile like rotation without deformation of the fluid.
to add here the values of the critical Bingham number (for a fixed A rigid envelope enclosing the fluid zone, far away from the cyl-
Reynolds number) reported here (denoting the cessation of the inder referred to here as Zr4. This is also dynamic in nature in so
flow separation) are complimentary to the critical values of the far that it is moving as a solid plug with a uniform velocity V1,
Reynolds number, for a fixed Bingham number, reported by Moss- without deforming.
az et al. [20] which denote the onset of the formation of the recir-
culating regions in the rear of the cylinder. Therefore, while it is not The existence of the above-mentioned rigid zones has been also
possible to contrast these two results, however, Table 10 contrasts confirmed by comparing the location of the yielded/unyielded

Fig. 9. Comparison of unyielded zones of (a) Tokpavi et al. [19] (creeping flow) with that of (b) present work (Re = 0.01) for Bingham plastic fluid.
44 S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra / Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53

regions for a circular cylinder (E = 1) at low values of the Reynolds the kinematic parameters, Reynolds number and Bingham num-
number (Re = 0.01) in the present study with that of Tokpavi et al. ber, also exert significant influence on the size of these zones.
[19] for the creeping flow regime at Bn = 10 and Bn = 100 (Fig. 9). With the increasing Reynolds number, the size of zone Zr3 de-
Notwithstanding the inherently different values of the Reynolds creases for a given value of the aspect ratio at low Bingham
number in the two cases and the numerical solution methodolo- numbers, while at high values of Bn, this effect is not so signif-
gies, the two predictions are seen to be qualitatively similar. icant, as can be seen clearly in Fig. 11. The size of the static zone
Naturally, the size of each of these unyielded segments will Zr1 (in the front side of cylinder) decreases as the Reynolds
vary not only with the kinematic parameters (Re and Bn), but number increases at low Bingham numbers while Zr2 (formed
also with the aspect ratio of the cylinder. For the extreme values in the rear of the cylinder) increases and this is discussed more
of E = 0.1 and E = 10 considered here, the shape of the cylinder later. However, the role of Reynolds number is somewhat coun-
corresponds to a vertical (E ? 0) or to a horizontal (E ? 1) flat tered by the increasing Bingham number in suppressing these
plate. The static zones Zr1 and Zr2 are observed to be the largest regions. Finally, irrespective of the value of the aspect ratio,
corresponding to E = 0.1 (Fig. 10a). These regions shrink gradu- the far away rigid fluid envelope Zr4, surrounding the fluid zone
ally as the aspect ratio increases and there is no evidence of increases in size as the value of Bn increases, attaining a limiting
the formation of these static zones for E > 1 (Fig. 11b). On the behavior corresponding to the fully plastic limit reaching at a
other hand, the size of zone Zr3 is observed to be the largest limiting value of Bingham number. Included in these figures
for the extreme geometry given by E = 10 (Fig. 11b) due to the are also the predictions of the bi-viscosity model (with
increased extent of streamlining of the cylinder. Their size de- ly/lB = 105) where the two results are seen to be in very good
creases progressively, as the body shape becomes increasingly agreement thereby suggesting that it is possible to use either
blunt, due to the enhanced levels of deformation and it vanishes of these approaches with suitably chosen values of m or ly. This
altogether for aspect ratio, E < 0.5, as shown in Fig. 10. Similarly, finding is also in line with our previous studies [14,23,24].

Fig. 10. Unyielded fluid zones (shaded): (a) E = 0.1 (b) E = 0.5 (dashed lines represent bi-viscosity model predictions) (flow is from left to right).
S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra / Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53 45

Fig. 11. Unyielded fluid zones (shaded): (a) E = 1 (b) E = 10 (dashed lines represent bi-viscosity model predictions) (flow is from left to right).

Before leaving this section, it is worthwhile to analyze the func-

tional relationship between the size of static zone Zr2 on one hand
and the Reynolds number and Bingham number on the other.
Fig. 12 shows the representative results for 0.1 6 E 6 1. These
trends are seen to be qualitatively similar to that for a circular cyl-
inder [20]. However, for E P 2, this zone was not observed due to
the streamlining of the cylinder shape.

5.4. Flow kinematics

Figs. 13 and 14 show the variation of the x-component of veloc-

ity, Vx, along the positive x-axis and y-axis at the extreme values of
the Reynolds number, Re = 0.01 and Re = 40 for a range of values of
the Bingham number and for representative values of the aspect
ratio. An inspection of the velocity profiles along the y-axis for
E = 10 (Fig. 13) shows that there are four different segments of
curve in the case of high Bingham numbers. These segments are
characterized as:

Fig. 12. Dependence of the size of the static rigid zone Zr2 on the Reynolds number I–II: Rapid change in velocity Vx where fluid experiences rela-
and Bingham number. tively a high rate of deformation.
46 S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra / Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53

II–III: Solid body rotation, representing unyielded zone Zr3. Zr3 for this configuration of elliptical cylinders as shown in
III–IV: Corresponds to a flow region with very high strain rate. Fig. 14. On the other hand, for E = 0.1, an examination of the
IV–V: Corresponds to a dynamic zone Zr4 moving with a con- velocity profile along the x-direction shows three different
stant velocity without shearing. regions irrespective of the value of the Bingham number, Bn,
spanned here (Fig. 14). These segments are characterized as
As the aspect ratio of the elliptic cylinder decreases, the follows:
size of zone Zr3 shrinks and ultimately it vanishes. So only
the segments I–II, III–IV and IV–V are observed for aspect ratio I–II: Static (Vx = 0), corresponds to the rigid zone (static zone
E 6 0.5 which suggest altogether the disappearance of the zone Zr2) adhering to the surface of the cylinder.

Fig. 13. Velocity profile along (i) y = 0, x > 0 (ii) x = 0, y > 0 for E = 10 and E = 1.
S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra / Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53 47

II–III: Velocity changes from 0 to Vx corresponding to the fluid- as shown in Fig. 13, hence one only observes the segments II–III
like zone between the rigid envelope Zr4 and static zone Zr2. and III–IV in this case.
III–IV: Constant velocity Vx = 1, corresponding to the translation Fig. 15 shows the profiles of the second invariant of the strain
of the rigid envelope Zr4. rate tensor at the equator and on the vertical axis of the symmetry
at Re = 5 for a range of Bingham numbers and for the extreme val-
As the aspect ratio of the cylinder increases, the static zone Zr2 ues of aspect ratio (E = 0.1 and E = 10). For an elliptical cylinder
decreases in size (Fig. 14) and disappears above aspect ratio E = 1 with E = 0.1 shown in Fig. 15a, for very small values of Bingham

Fig. 14. Velocity profile along (i) y = 0, x > 0 (ii) x = 0, y > 0 for E = 0.5 and E = 0.1.
48 S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra / Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53

Fig. 15. Shear rate magnitude profiles at the equator (y = 0) and on the vertical axis (x = 0) at Re = 5: (a) E = 0.1 and (b) E = 10.

Fig. 16. Influence of the regularization parameter, m on the velocity profiles in x- and y-directions at Re = 5 and Bn = 100.

number (Bn = 0.01 and Bn = 0.1), i.e., small deviations from the increasing Bingham number (at a fixed Reynolds number), as the
Newtonian fluid behavior, two peaks (at x = 2.5 and x = 5) are pres- unyielded zone Zr2 appears and grows which behaves like a so-
ent at Re = 5. Under these conditions, the yield stress effects are lid-region thereby extending the body contour in the downstream
rather weak and the fluid behaves nearly like a Newtonian fluid direction. This, in turn, leads to a gradual turning of the streamlines
and there is a well formed wake in the rear of the plate which and hence, the first minor peak disappears altogether. Thus, there
probably does not extend up to the top edge of the cylinder. Hence, is only one maximum in the shear rate plot in x-direction located in
the two peaks probably correspond to the sharp turning of the the fluid zone between Zr2 and Zr4 for Bn P 1. While for aspect
streamlines at the two points along the wake contour. With the ratio E = 10, Fig. 15b, the presence of one peak in the x-direction
S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra / Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53 49

Fig. 17. Variation of the modified pressure coefficient along the surface of cylinder for (i) E = 0.1 (ii) E = 0.5 (iii) E = 1.

confirms the fluid zone between the cylinder and Zr4. On the other been varied here by 2–3 orders of magnitude accompanied by a
hand, in the case of an elliptical cylinder with E = 10 (shown in very little change in the detailed velocity profile (shown in
Fig. 15b) there are two zones of high shear rate in the positive y- Fig. 16) and/or in the value of drag coefficients clearly demon-
direction which manifest in the form of two peaks of the velocity strates the robustness of the values of m used here. This, as such,
profile in the y-direction. As aspect ratio approaches E = 0.1, only lends further credibility to the reliability of the present results.
one peak located in the fluid zone between cylinder and Zr4 is ob- Figs. 17 and 18 show the pressure variation along the surface of
served (Fig. 15a). It is, however, appropriate to mention that the an elliptical cylinder for a range of values of the aspect ratios span-
shear rate is scaled here using (V1/2b) as the characteristic shear ning the range 0.1 6 E 6 10 and Bingham number 0.01 6 Bn 6 100
rate. The only other possibility is to employ (V1/2a) as the charac- at Re = 10 and Re = 40 in terms of the modified pressure coefficient,
teristic shear rate. These two values are, however, inter-related via C p . Evidently, the aspect ratio is seen to have a strong influence on
the value of the aspect ratio, E. Both these choices approximate the the pressure coefficient distribution along the surface of the cylin-
shear rate in an average sense, as actual shear rate could be signif- der, similar to the case of Newtonian fluids. These results confirm
icantly higher than this value in some parts of the flow domain. that as the aspect ratio increases, the pressure decrease becomes
However, since the values of the regularization parameter (m) have sharper in the front part of the cylinder. For each configuration
50 S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra / Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53

Fig. 18. Variation of the modified pressure coefficient along the surface of cylinder for (i) E = 2 (ii) E = 5 (iii) E = 10.

of the elliptical cylinder, it is clear from these figures that the mag- drag coefficients exhibit the classical inverse dependence on the
nitude of the pressure on the surface of the cylinder shows a posi- Reynolds number while positive dependence on the Bingham
tive dependence on the both Reynolds number and Bingham number irrespective of the shape of the cylinder. The relative con-
number. tributions of the friction and form drag depend upon the shape of
the cylinder, as can be clearly seen in Fig. 20. For E 6 1, the ellipti-
5.5. Drag coefficients cal cylinder acts more like a bluff body and thus the total drag is
dominated by the form drag drawing little contribution from the
The drag coefficient is a gross parameter which describes the viscous drag. As the aspect ratio E increases above unity, the object
macroscopic fluid mechanical behavior and it consists of two com- becomes more streamlined where the total drag is dominated by
ponents, i.e., viscous drag due to shear stress and form drag (CDP) the viscous drag. Fig. 20 also reveals that the ratio CDP/CDF becomes
due to the pressure field, as defined in Eqs. (12) and (14). Fig. 19 independent of the Reynolds number above the value of Bingham
shows the dependence of the total (CD) and pressure (CDP) drag number 50 for a given value of the aspect ratio while the total
coefficients on the Reynolds number and Bingham number for a drag coefficient increases with the increasing Bingham number
range of values of the aspect ratio considered in this study. Both (Fig. 19). It is desirable to correlate the present numerical results
S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra / Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53 51

Fig. 19. Dependence of drag coefficient (CD) and pressure drag coefficient (CDP) on Reynolds number and Bingham number.

using regression which will facilitate the interpolation of the maximum deviations are of the order of 33% as shown in Table 11.
present results for the intermediate values of the parameters. On the other hand, at low Reynolds numbers (0.01 6 Re < 1), Eqs.
The present numerical values of the total (CD) and pressure (CDP) (20) and (21) approximate the present numerical results with an
drag coefficients for elliptical cylinders have been correlated over average error of less than 1% which rises to a maximum of 3.43%
the range of conditions (0.01 6 Re 6 40, 0.01 6 Bn 6 100 and over the range of values of E spanned here. Further statistical
0.1 6 E 6 10) as follows: examination of the results showed that the deviations between
the numerical and predicted, using Eqs. (20) and (21), values in-
m1 ð1  m2 Ref Þ creased with the increasing values of the Reynolds number and as-
C D ¼ I1 þ ð1 þ m3 Bna þ m4 Bnb Þ ð20Þ pect ratio and with the decreasing values of the Bingham number.
Therefore, there is a degree of self-cancelation of errors to some ex-
tent depending upon the combination of values of the parameters.
C DP ¼ I2 þ ð1 þ k3 Bna þ k4 Bnb Þ ð21Þ Unfortunately, Eqs. (20) and (21) do not seem to approach the ex-
Rek pected Newtonian values as Bn ? 0. While the reasons for this are
Table 11 summarizes the values of the empirically fitted not immediately obvious, similar difficulties in reconciling the
constants in Eqs. (20) and (21) for the total and pressure drag numerical and experimental results in Bingham plastic media have
coefficients respectively which exhibit additional dependence on been observed for spheres [14,15] and for square cylinders [23,24].
the aspect ratio E. Eqs. (20) and (21) reproduce the present numer- Before leaving this section, it is worthwhile to compare the
ical data (343 data points) for Reynolds number (1 6 Re 6 40) and present predictions with the numerical predictions of drag for a
aspect ratio 0.1 6 E 6 10 with an average deviation (davg) < 6% ex- plate oriented normal to the direction of flow available in the liter-
cept at the lowest Bingham number values of 0.01 and 0.1 where the ature [54]. In terms of the present notations, their results
52 S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra / Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53

Fig. 20. Influence of the Reynolds number, Bingham number and aspect ratio on the
drag ratio (CDP/CDF). Fig. 21. Comparison of the present drag coefficient results for E = 0.15 (hollow
symbols with solid lines) and for a normal flat plate [54] (filled symbols with
dashed lines).

correspond to E = 0.15 but the two ends of the plate were cham-
fered at an angle of 30°. Strictly speaking, therefore, it is neither 0.01 6 Bn 6 100, and 0.1 6 E 6 10. The extreme values of the as-
possible nor justified to make a comparison with their results. pect ratio, E, correspond to the limiting cases of a plane surface ori-
However, limited results were obtained in the present study for ented normal and parallel to the direction of flow respectively.
an elliptic cylinder with E = 0.15 for this purpose, and these are Detailed results on the streamline contours, yielded/unyielded
plotted in Fig. 21 together with the results of Savreux et al. [54]. zones, wake characteristics and drag coefficients are presented to
Notwithstanding the differences in the two geometries, the agree- delineate the influence of the inertial and yield stress forces on
ment is seen to be good in Fig. 21; the two values differ from each the velocity and shear rate distribution in the close proximity of
other at most by 7.5%. All in all, the present results seem to be con- the cylinder. Broadly speaking, while the increasing Reynolds num-
sistent with the previously available results for a circular cylinder ber tends to eliminate the unyielded zones due to the increased
and a flat plate oriented normal to the direction of flow. fluid inertia, this tendency is strongly suppressed by the increasing
Bingham number due to the stronger yield-stress effects. In addi-
6. Conclusions tion, the flow remains attached to the surface of the submerged
body up to higher Reynolds numbers in viscoplastic fluids than
In this work, extensive numerical results are reported for the that in Newtonian fluids. Indeed, for fixed values of the Reynolds
steady flow of Bingham plastic fluids past an elliptical cylinder in number and aspect ratio, there exists a limiting Bingham number
an infinite medium over the range of conditions as: 0.01 6 Re 6 40, beyond which the flow does not detach itself from the surface of

Table 11
Values of fitted constants in Eqs. (20) and (21).

E 0.1 0.2 0.5 1 2 5 10 E 0.1 0.2 0.5 1 2 5 10
0.01 6 Re < 1a 0.01 6 Re < 1b
I1 0.370 0.411 0.382 0.407 0.501 0.534 0.863 I2 0.434 0.439 0.318 0.247 0.198 0.169 0.148
m1 3.910 3.973 4.051 4.351 4.412 4.698 4.834 k1 3.497 3.049 2.434 1.924 1.457 0.617 1.800
m3 5.348 5.286 7.388 7.347 6.155 8.352 12.427 k3 5.841 6.616 7.735 9.284 6.979 10.087 0.056
m4 7.425 7.359 5.363 5.289 8.127 10.123 12.950 k4 7.468 7.809 7.786 7.739 11.932 28.561 9.540
a 1.013 1.013 0.424 0.440 0.997 0.998 0.997 a 1.013 1.014 1.012 1.008 0.414 0.222 0.50
b 0.418 0.421 1.010 1.006 0.444 0.460 0.468 b 0.414 0.401 0.401 0.409 1.003 1.005 1.004
davg 0.08 0.09 0.10 0.13 0.12 0.13 0.15 davg 0.07 0.08 0.07 0.11 0.16 0.72 0.94
dmax 0.48 0.43 0.45 0.54 0.43 1.00 1.69 dmax 0.42 0.59 0.60 0.77 0.87 3.29 3.43
1 6 Re 6 40 1 6 Re 6 40
I1 1.315 1.282 1.148 1.103 0.968 0.947 1.070 I2 1.234 1.172 0.973 0.774 0.560 0.350 0.240
m1 6.711 6.963 8.670 7.854 3.034 3.816 4.265 k1 6.040 5.591 4.536 3.601 2.785 1.023 1.800
m2 0.003 0.002 0.152 0.001 1.887 1.805 1.972 k3 3.141 3.362 3.767 4.684 3.286 17.181 9.524
m3 3.964 3.858 3.746 3.812 2.722 3.193 4.189 k4 3.943 3.842 3.888 3.736 5.947 4.318 0.093
m4 2.888 2.756 2.667 2.603 3.857 4.256 4.776 k 1.002 1.002 1.002 1.001 1.001 1.001 1.001
f 0.412 0.450 0.009 0.681 0.002 0.002 0.001 a 1.023 1.023 0.494 1.016 0.520 1.006 1.004
a 0.497 0.508 0.516 0.534 1.014 1.016 1.012 b 0.495 0.489 1.021 0.503 1.009 0.294 0.271
b 1.023 1.025 1.023 1.022 0.544 0.565 0.571 davg 2.70 2.51 2.87 2.97 3.64 4.54 3.91
davg 2.58 2.06 3.83 4.11 4.55 5.40 5.57 dmax 18.57 17.56 17.12 18.16 20.34 24.58 21.47
dmax 18.63 18.95 21.80 22.98 27.76 31.78 33.37

d: Percent relative r.m.s. deviation from the numerical data (Total data points = 49  7 = 343).
m2 = 0.
k = 1.
S.A. Patel, R.P. Chhabra / Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics 202 (2013) 32–53 53

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