Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 36, Issue 2, pp 334–343 | Cite as

Role of the shear layer instability in the near wake behavior of two side-by-side circular cylinders

  • C. BrunEmail author
  • D. Tenchine
  • E. J. Hopfinger


Wakes, and their interaction behind two parallel cylinders lying in a plane perpendicular to the flow, have been investigated experimentally in the sub-critical Reynolds number regime. The experiments were performed in a water channel using laser Doppler velocimetry. The gap between the two cylinders was less than the cylinder diameter, a geometry referred to as strong interaction configuration. In this case the blockage is strong and a gap-jet appears between the cylinders. Two flow regimes of the near wake region have been identified: one below a critical Reynolds number Re c ∈]1000;1700[, where the gap jet is stably deflected to one side and the double near-wake becomes asymmetric; the other, above Re c, where the gap-jet deflection is unstable and a random flopping phenomenon takes place. When Re<Re c, two different Strouhal numbers are identified, related to the Kármán vortex shedding behind each cylinder. When Re>Re c, a third frequency appears in the near wake, related to the development of Kelvin-Helmholtz vortices in the separated shear layer of the cylinders [Prasad A, Williamson CHK (1997) J Fluid Mech 333:375]. The observed flopping behavior is attributed to the birth of these Kelvin-Helmholtz instabilities and their intermittent nature. Further downstream, beyond about five cylinder diameters, the random flopping flow phenomena disappear while a slightly asymmetric single wake persists. It is characterized by a Strouhal number St=0.13, a value that one would normally measure behind a single cylinder of twice its diameter.


Vortex Reynolds Number Shear Layer Strouhal Number Laser Doppler Velocimetry 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors wish to thank the Comissariat à l’Energie Atomique for providing the experimental support for the study. The first author also thanks Jan Dusek for interesting discussions and advices.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.DRN/DTP/SETEX/LETSComissariat à l’Énergie AtomiqueGrenobleFrance
  2. 2.LEGI, CNRSUniversité Joseph Fourier, INPGGrenobleFrance
  3. 3.Polytech’ Orléans/LMEOrleans CEDEX 2France

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