Journal of Fluid Mechanics

The mechanics of the formation region of vortices behind bluff bodies

J. H.  Gerrard a1 1
a1 Department of the Mechanics of Fluids, Manchester University

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The characteristic lengths of the oscillating wakes of bluff bodies is discussed; in particular, those used in the universal non-dimensional frequencies proposed by Roshko (1954b) and Goldburg, Washburn & Florsheim (1965). It is concluded that these are equivalent at high Reynolds number. A closer examination leads to the conclusion that there are two simultaneous characteristic lengths; the scale of the formation region, and the width to which the free shear layers diffuse. Discussion of the mechanics of the formation region results in a physical basis for the determination of the frequency by these two characteristic lengths. The ideas developed are applied to the effects of splitter plates in the wake. The possibility of a high-Reynolds-number symmetrical formation region is suggested as an explanation of the very small lift values observed in the absence of free-stream disturbances.

(Published Online March 28 2006)
(Received September 22 1965)


1 During 1965, National Science Foundation Senior Foreign Scientist Research Fellow at Pennsylvania State University, Department of Aeronautical Engineering.