Journal of Fluid Mechanics


A numerical study of an inline oscillating cylinder in a free stream

Justin S. Leontinia1 c1, David Lo Jaconoa1a2a3 and Mark C. Thompsona1

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

a2 Université de Toulouse; INPT, UPS; IMFT (Institut de Mécanique des Fluides de Toulouse), Allée Camille Soula, F-31400 Toulouse, France

a3 CNRS; IMFT; F-31400 Toulouse, France


Simulations of a cylinder undergoing externally controlled sinusoidal oscillations in the free stream direction have been performed. The frequency of oscillation was kept equal to the vortex shedding frequency from a fixed cylinder, while the amplitude of oscillation was varied, and the response of the flow measured. With varying amplitude, a rich series of dynamic responses was recorded. With increasing amplitude, these states included wakes similar to the Kármán vortex street, quasiperiodic oscillations interleaved with regions of synchronized periodicity (periodic on multiple oscillation cycles), a period-doubled state and chaotic oscillations. It is hypothesized that, for low to moderate amplitudes, the wake dynamics are controlled by vortex shedding at a global frequency, modified by the oscillation. This vortex shedding is frequency modulated by the driven oscillation and amplitude modulated by vortex interaction. Data are presented to support this hypothesis.

(Received March 16 2011)

(Reviewed August 25 2011)

(Accepted September 17 2011)

(Online publication November 03 2011)

Key Words:

  • pattern formation;
  • vortex shedding;
  • vortex streets


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