Unsteady incompressible flows past two cylinder in tandem and staggered arrangements

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Mittal, S. , Kumar, V. and Raghuvanshi, A. (1997), Unsteady incompressible flows past two cylinders in tandem and staggered arrangements. Int. J. Numer. Meth. Fluids, 25: 1315-1344. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0363(19971215)25:11<1315::AID-FLD617>3.0.CO;2-P


A stabilized finite element formulation is employed to study incompressible flows past a pair of cylinders at Reynolds numbers 100 and 1000 in tandem and staggered arrangements. Computations are carried out for three sets of cylinder arrangements. In the first two cases the cylinders are arranged in tandem and the distance between their centres is 2·5 and 5·5 diameters. The third case involves the two cylinders in staggered arrangement. The distance between their centres along the flow direction is 5·5 diameters, while it is 0·7 diameter in the transverse direction. The results are compared with flows past a single cylinder at corresponding Reynolds numbers and with experimental observations by other researchers. It is observed that the qualitative nature of the flow depends strongly on the arrangement of cylinders and the Reynolds number. In all cases, when the flow becomes unsteady, the downstream cylinder, which lies in the wake of the upstream one, experiences very large unsteady forces that may lead to wake‐induced flutter. The Strouhal number, based on the dominant frequency in the time history of the lift coefficient, for both cylinders attains the same value. In some cases, even though the near wake of the two cylinders shows temporal periodicity, the far wake does not.