Interaction of trailing vortices in the wake of a wall-mounted rectangular cylinder.

Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics

PubMedID: 14682880

Sau A, Hwang RR, Sheu TW, Yang WC. Interaction of trailing vortices in the wake of a wall-mounted rectangular cylinder. Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2003;68(5 Pt 2):056303.
Numerical simulations are performed to investigate three-dimensional unsteady vortex-vortex and vortex-surface interactions in the near field of a wall-mounted rectangular cylinder placed inside a channel. The generation mechanism of the upstream and the trailing vortices from the topologically important critical points and their near-wall evolution pattern have been examined in detail. In the upstream region, a laminar necklace vortex system formed around the junction between the rectangular block (cylinder) and the flat channel floor. A sequence of streamwise vortical rollers dominated the downstream interaction region, and they exhibited strong unsteady vortex-surface interaction. Streamwise vortices which formed upstream of the obstacle exhibited quadrupole structure with the dominant pair being central downwash, whereas those lifting the flow behind the obstacle were of predominantly central upwash. Notably, at some downstream location, the near-wall wake structure was observed to locally disappear due to mutual interaction and annihilation by opposite strength vortices on either side of the wake centerline. During the entire course of unsteady flow evolution, such a disappearance of the wake remained closely associated with local contraction of the limiting streamlines on the channel floor, the development of a pair of topologically important floor critical points (saddles), and the presence of a near-wall node on the vertical symmetry plane. The dominance of inward transverse flow toward these saddles together with flow evolution from the downstream node on the vertical symmetry plane were found to be particularly responsible for facilitating the local interaction of various vortices of opposite strength, leading to significant vorticity cancellation in the region. Moreover, the basic source of the wake vortices and their nature of evolution behind the cylinder were also investigated here, and they were found to be fundamentally different from what one usually observes in the near-wake of a transverse jet. However, the growth of a pair of vertically lifting vortices from the spiraling shear layer nodes just behind the downstream edge of the cylinder base was detected in this flow configuration also.