Journal of Fluid Mechanics


Cylinders with square cross-section: wake instabilities with incidence angle variation


a1 Fluids Laboratory for Aeronautical and Industrial Research (FLAIR), Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Monash University, VIC 3800, Australia

a2 AMOG Consulting, Sea Technology House, 19 Business Park Drive, Monash Business Park, Notting Hill, VIC 3168, Australia


The wakes behind square cylinders with variation in incidence angle are computed over a range of Reynolds numbers to elucidate the three-dimensional stability and dynamics up to a Reynolds number of Re = 300, based on the projected height of the inclined square cylinder. Three-dimensional instability modes are predicted and computed using a linear stability analysis technique and three-dimensional simulations, respectively. Depending on the incidence angle, the flow is found to transition to three-dimensional flow through either a mode A instability, or a subharmonic mode C instability. The mode A instability is predicted as the first-occurring instability at incidence angles smaller than 12° and greater than 26°, with the mode C instability predicted between these incidence angles. At a zero-degree angle of incidence, the wake instabilities closely match modes A, B and a quasi-periodic mode predicted in earlier studies behind square and circular cylinders. With increasing angle of incidence, the three-dimensional wake transition Reynolds number first increases from Re = 164 as the mode A instability weakens, before decreasing again beyond an incidence angle of 12° as the wake becomes increasingly unstable to the mode C instability, and then again to the mode A instability as the incidence angle approaches 45°. A spanwise autocorrelation analysis from computations over a cylinder span 20 times the square cross-section side length reveals that beyond the onset of three-dimensional instabilities, the vortex street breaks down with patterns consistent with spatio-temporal chaos. This effect was more pronounced at higher incidence angles.

(Received October 27 2008)

(Revised March 09 2009)


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