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# VON KARMAN FLOW:

## FLOW PAST A CIRCULAR CYLINDER

Ahmed Lamine TOUMI and Kouider BENMOUSSA
University of Sciences and Technology Houari BOUMEDIENNE.

Abstract: Flow past a circular cylinder between two parallel walls becomes
unstable around low Reynold numbers (Re=40). With a numerical simulation,
COMSOL Multiphysics, it was possible to calculate steady (but unstable) solutions
for different Reynold numbers. It was found that the region which contains the
vortices grows in length approximately with the Re number.
Keywords : von Karman flow, COMSOL, Vortex street.

I.

Introduction

II.

## The flow in the presence of

an obstacle like a circular cylinder
is the subject of this paper. The
flow is Poiseuille in the absence of
the obstacle and the phenomena
associated to the presence of the
cylinder are studied.
The most relevant feature of this
flow, at different Re numbers
starting from 40, is the instability
known as Vortex shedding, or von
Karman Vortex Street.
Several
experimental
results
about this subject have been
reported at moderately high
Reynolds numbers, in a turbulent
regime (Bearman and Zdravkovich
1978; Grass et al. 1984; Taniguchi
and Miyakoshi 1990; Lei, Cheng
and Kavanagh 1999). Other few
studies are in progress by Mr.
Gad-El-Hak, Mr. Bouabdallah,
and Mr. Oualli.

Flow
around
a
circular immersed in
a uniform flow

## The Navier-Stokes equation of the

motion of incompressible viscous
fluid indicates that the inertia
force, pressure, and viscous force
are in equilibrium.

= +

## Where is the density, u is the

velocity vector, t is the time, p is
the pressure, and is the
coefficient of viscosity.
A fluid flow analysis aims to
determine a relationship between
pressure, and velocity by solving
the precedent equation.
The ratio of inertial forces and the
viscous one can be defined as a
new non-dimensional variable
named Reynolds number, written
as

## Flow pattern generated by Hughes

and Brighton since 1999 are
shown in the next figure

## gets bigger than 40, the fluid in

the upper region rotates clockwise,
this
phenomena
is
called
generation
of
vortices.
By
increasing the Re number more,
the length of the vortex increases.
By exceeding Re=150, the vortex
becomes unstable as shown in the
figure. By reaching 3000, the
vortices are mixed together, and
the flow behaves very irregularly,
this phenomenon is called the
turbulent regime. However its
opposite is called Laminar flow.
Next figure is a schematic
description of what happens right
on the obstacle

## Figure 1. Flow pattern generated around a

circular cylinder

## The flow patterns shown above are

generated for Reynolds numbers
respectively 5, Re<40, 40<Re<150,
300<Re<3e5, Re<3.5e6, Re>3.5e6.

## Some experimental results are

shown in the next page, named
figure 3. These results were
obtained by increasing Reynolds
number in a steam of oil behind a
circular cylinder. The figure
describes Homanns experience,
1936.

## The figure shows that for low Re

numbers the shape of every
streamline is symmetrical not only
around the cylinders upper to
lower side, but also around its
front. As Re number increases, the
front symmetry disappears, and
the streamlines widen. As it Re

III.

Vortex shedding

## The most important feature of the

flow as described previously is
vortex shedding phenomenon,
which is common to all flow
regimes with Re bigger than 40. In
which the boundary layer over the
cylinder surface separates sue to
the pressure gradient imposed by
the divergent geometry As a result
a shear layer appears, figure 4
explains this.
Figure 5. Process of Vortex Shedding

V.

## The vortex shedding frequency,

normalized with the flow velocity
U, the cylinder diameter D, and
Reynolds number, is given by the
next relation, called Strouhal
number
= ()
In which

=

## is the vortex shedding frequency

The vortex shedding first appears
at Re=40, Strouhal number is
approximately
0.1,
than
it
increases as Re increases, to attain
a value of 0.2 for Re=300, than it
remains
practically
constant
(about 0.2).

separation.

IV.

Mechanism
shedding

Vortex
shedding
frequency

of

## As explained previously, vortices

are unstable for great Reynolds
numbers.
Consequently,
one
vortex grows larger than the other.
Mr. Gerrard have explained this
since 1966 as follows
The larger vortex A becomes
strong enough to draw the
opposing vortex B across the wake,
as shown in figure 4.this is when
the larger vortex is shed, and it
gets convected downstream by the
flow. Next, a new vortex C is
created at the same side of A, and
the vortex B plays the role of
vortex C. and the process
continues in an alternation.

VI.

Analysis model

## The analysis model in the study is

shown in figure 5. The fluid was
assumed to be water at 293 K
temperature, and the density was
1000 (kg/m^3) and the coefficient
of viscosity was 1.002e-3 (Pa.s),
the diameter of the cylinder was

Conclusion

## 10 mm, and the flow featured by a

Re=100.
The next figure shows the solution
of this problem for a series of
times

## Fluid flows generated around a

circular cylinder immersed in a
uniform flow is an object of study,
many numerical analysis were
performed with large Reynolds
numbers. The results found have
confirmed
those
earlier
experimental
ones.
As
a
consequence, we have obtained a
comprehensive knowledge that can
be applied to modern problems.

Simulation)