Flow characteristics around extremely low fineness-ratio circular cylinders

Masahide Kuwata, Yoshiaki Abe, Sho Yokota, Taku Nonomura, Hideo Sawada, Aiko Yakeno, Keisuke Asai, Shigeru Obayashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The accurate measurement of flows and aerodynamic characteristics around a bluff body has been a challenging task due to the existence of interference between the wake and mechanical model supports in wind-tunnel experiments. The present study focuses on a freestream-aligned circular cylinder with an extremely low fineness ratio (the ratio of the axial length to diameter) ranging from 0.30 to 0.50, which has never been investigated without interference from a mechanical model support. We employed a magnetic suspension and balance system to eliminate interference from the model support and measured the drag and velocity fields in the diameter-based Reynolds number between 2.0×104 and 7.7×104. As the fineness ratio decreases below 1.50, the size of the recirculation bubble increases and the velocity distribution on the central axis inside the bubble gradually converges to that of the circular disk. Furthermore, large-eddy simulations were performed in the Reynolds number of 4.0×104, whose drag coefficient agrees well with experiments. Based on those results, it was found that the drag coefficient monotonically converges to that of the circular disk without local maximum. This study revealed that in the low-fineness-ratio regime (0.10-0.50), a critical geometry, at which the drag coefficient shows a local maximum, does not exist in the circular cylinder. Subsequently, unsteady flow analyses were performed, where two characteristic frequencies, i.e., St=0.05 and 0.155, were identified from power spectral densities of the drag coefficient and the pitching moment coefficient. The associated flow structures are then extracted by a phase-averaging procedure, where the phase-averaged flows with St=0.05 represent the recirculation bubble pumping while the phase-averaged flows with St=0.155 show nonaxisymmetric structures inside the recirculation bubble.

Original languageEnglish
Article number054704
JournalPhysical Review Fluids
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May


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