Experiments in Fluids

, Volume 52, Issue 1, pp 69–83 | Cite as

An experimental investigation of flow past a dual step cylinder

Research Article


Flow development in the wake of a dual step cylinder has been investigated experimentally using Laser Doppler Velocimetry and flow visualization. The dual step cylinder model is comprised of a large diameter cylinder (D) mounted at the mid-span of a small diameter cylinder (d). The experiments have been performed for a Reynolds number (ReD) of 1,050, a diameter ratio (D/d) of 2, and a range of large cylinder aspect ratios (L/D). The results show that the flow development is highly dependent on L/D. The following four distinct flow regimes can be identified based on vortex dynamics in the wake of the large cylinder: (1) for L/D ≥ 15, three vortex shedding cells form in the wake of the large cylinder, one central cell bounded by two cells of lower frequency, (2) for 8 < L/D ≤ 14, a single vortex shedding cell forms in the wake of the large cylinder, (3) for 2 < L/D ≤ 6, vortex shedding from the large cylinder is highly three-dimensional. When spanwise vortices are shed, they deform substantially and attain a hairpin shape in the near wake, (4) for 0.2 ≤ L/D ≤ 1, the large cylinder induces vortex dislocations between small cylinder vortices. The results show that for Regimes I to III, on the average, the frequency of vortex shedding in the large cylinder wake decreases with L/D, which is accompanied by a decrease in coherence of the shed vortices. In Regime IV, small cylinder vortices connect across the large cylinder wake, but these connections are interrupted by vortex dislocations. With decreasing L/D, the frequency of dislocations decreases and the dominant frequency in the large cylinder wake increases toward the small cylinder shedding frequency.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mechanical and Mechatronics EngineeringUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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