Journal of Fluid Mechanics

On the uniqueness of steady flow past a rotating cylinder with suction

a1 Department of Mathematics, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK


The subject of this study is a steady two-dimensional incompressible flow past a rapidly rotating cylinder with suction. The rotation velocity is assumed to be large enough compared with the cross-flow velocity at infinity to ensure that there is no separation. High-Reynolds-number asymptotic analysis of incompressible Navier–Stokes equations is performed. Prandtl's classical approach of subdividing the flow field into two regions, the outer inviscid region and the boundary layer, was used earlier by Glauert (1957) for analysis of a similar flow without suction. Glauert found that the periodicity of the boundary layer allows the velocity circulation around the cylinder to be found uniquely. In the present study it is shown that the periodicity condition does not give a unique solution for suction velocity much greater than 1/Re. It is found that these non-unique solutions correspond to different exponentially small upstream vorticity levels, which cannot be distinguished from zero when considering terms of only a few powers in a large Reynolds number asymptotic expansion. Unique solutions are constructed for suction of order unity, 1/Re, and 1/[surd radical]Re. In the last case an explicit analysis of the distribution of exponentially small vorticity outside the boundary layer was carried out.

(Received February 16 1999)
(Revised December 1 1999)