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Two tandem cylinders of different diameters in cross-flow: effect of an upstream cylinder on wake dynamics

  • Longjun Wang (a1) (a2), Md. Mahbub Alam (a1) (a2) and Yu Zhou (a1) (a2)


This work aims to provide a systematic experimental study on the wake of two tandem cylinders of unequal diameters. The fluid dynamics around a circular cylinder of diameter $D$ placed in the wake of another circular cylinder with a smaller diameter of $d$ is investigated, including the time-mean drag coefficient ( $C_{D}$ ), the fluctuating drag and lift coefficients ( $C_{D}^{\prime }$ and $C_{L}^{\prime }$ ), the Strouhal number ( $St$ ) and the flow structures. The Reynolds number based on $D$ is kept constant at $4.27\times 10^{4}$ . The ratios $d/D$ and $L/d$ vary from 0.2 to 1.0 and 1.0 to 8.0 respectively, where $L$ is the distance from the upstream cylinder centre to the forward stagnation point of the downstream cylinder. The ratios $d/D$ and $L/d$ are found, based on extensive hotwire, particle imaging velocimetry, pressure and flow visualization measurements, to have a marked influence on the wake dynamics behind the cylinders. As such, the flow is classified into the reattachment and co-shedding flow regimes, the latter being further subdivided into the lock-in, subharmonic lock-in and no lock-in regions. It is found that the critical spacing that divides the two regimes is dictated by the upstream-cylinder vortex formation length and becomes larger for smaller $d/D$ . The characteristic flow properties are documented in each regime and subdivided region, including the flow structure, $St$ , wake width, vortex formation length and the lateral width between the two gap shear layers. The variations in $C_{D}$ , $C_{D}^{\prime }$ , $C_{L}^{\prime }$ and the pressure distribution around the downstream cylinder are connected to the flow physics.


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