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Investigation of harmonic instability of laminar


fluid flow past 2D rectangular cross sections
with 0.5-4 aspect ratios
Article in ARCHIVE Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part C Journal of Mechanical
Engineering Science 1989-1996 (vols 203-210) April 2014
DOI: 10.1177/0954406213491906

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Saleh Fallah

Amirreza Niazmand

Tarbiat Modares University

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Original Article

Investigation of harmonic instability of


laminar fluid flow past 2D rectangular
cross sections with 0.54 aspect ratios

Proc IMechE Part C:


J Mechanical Engineering Science
2014, Vol. 228(5) 828839
! IMechE 2013
Reprints and permissions:
sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav
DOI: 10.1177/0954406213491906
pic.sagepub.com

Behzad Ghadiri Dehkordi, Saleh Fallah and


Amirreza Niazmand

Abstract
The viscous, incompressible and laminar flow around rectangular cross sections is simulated via a Cartesian-Staggered
grid finite volume method for various of aspect ratios. Simulations were carried out for a range of 10150 Reynolds
number and aspect ratios of 0.54. In the present work, The Great-Source Technique is used to satisfy directly the no slip
condition. The grid is refined in the same size in the back and front regions of the body, but for increasing computation
accuracy, the region of rectangular section has been refined more. Because of widespread application of rectangular cross
sections and less attendance on it than circular sections, especially in laminar flow and low Reynolds, the aim of this study
is to investigate the range of harmonic instability and estimation of its critical Reynolds number. For this purpose, The
shedding frequency and The variation of lift and drag coefficients with time and Reynolds numbers have been analyzed for
various of aspect ratios. The results show that increase in aspect ratios leads the rise in critical Reynolds number.
Keywords
Rectangular cross sections, harmonic vortex shedding, laminar harmonic instability, finite-volume method
Date received: 13 September 2012; accepted: 8 May 2013

Introduction
Cross ows past circular or rectangular cross sections
are basic problems in uid mechanics. This is the
topic of many recent research works which
attract scientists attention to this area. Although rectangular cross sections are as important as circular
cross sections, scientists do not pay enough attention
to them. In the following we shall briey review some
of papers on the problem of the ow around a rectangular cylinders.
Many researchers such as Wang,1 Qie et al.,2
Dehkordi et al.3 and Liu et al.4 were carried out the
ow pattern over one or two circular cylinders in different arrangements of the cylinders, However, for
rectangular cross sections, in comparison with the circular cylinder, few research works have been
conducted.
These works, as mentioned above, such as Eslami
et al.,5 Degawa and Uchiyama6 and Farhadi and
Rahnama7 have been performed in periodic laminar
or turbulent ow range and less attention was given to
ow instability boundaries.
Flows past rectangular cross sections have
an important role in engineering, especially in uid
mechanics sciences, which were discussed in references. In this paper, we focused on the nature of

wake variations aected by the Reynolds number


variation.
Flow past blu bodies are aected by eddies behavior, which is produced behind the bodies. The behavior of these eddies is dependent on the turbulence
intensity of upstream ow, width of channel, outlet
boundary condition, inlet velocity prole, the angle of
the body relate to the ow and aspect ratio of cross
sections.
Generally, the nature of the laminar ow can be
divided into three main parts.
Steady ow region: in this region, the steady ow is
dominated and can be divided into two parts. First,
when Re < 1 the viscous forces have the most eects.
In this part, there is no separation and the ow regime
is a creeping ow. Second, when Re > 1 the upper
limitation is related to the aspect ratio of the cross
section. In this part, the ow is separated from the
leading edge of the body and produce a circulating

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University


(TMU), Tehran, Iran
Corresponding author:
Saleh Fallah, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tarbiat Modares
University (TMU), Al-e-Ahmad, Tehran, Iran.
Email: s.fallah@modares.ac.ir

Dehkordi et al.
zone, including two symmetric eddies behind the
body. The initial separation occurs when 1 < Re < 2.8
Periodic unsteady ow region: In this region, the
circulation zone is spread by increasing the Reynolds
number. By increasing the Reynolds number over the
critical Reynolds number, the ow regime initiates
unsteadiness and the Von Karman vortex street is
formed by a periodic vortex shedding in the wake
behind the body. The critical Reynolds varies from
40 to 70 for square cylinder.9,10
Non-periodic unsteady ow region: In this region,
by increasing the Reynolds number, the ow is
separated from the front edge of the body and the
non-periodic unsteady region is produced. One of
the specications of this region is disordered vortex
shedding. The onset limit of this phenomenon is not
been mentioned exactly in the literature. Researchers
mentioned a wide range of Re (100 < Re < 150)9,10 for
this purpose in the case of square cross sections. In
this region, the ow remains two dimensional (2D).
After this region, the ow starts to be 3D. In other
words, the ow transformed from laminar to turbulence. Although the periodic unsteady region is a transition to turbulence, we assume this region as a laminar
ow. Regardless of the Williamsons11 prediction which
the critical Reynolds number is 180 for starting of 3D
wake production in the case of circular cylinder, there is
no accurate predictions for rectangular and square
cylinders. In Ref. 9, the author suggested that
Re 300 is the upper limit for 2D ows for square
cross sections. Therefore, for lower Reynolds number,
the ow regime is 2D and laminar while for upper
Reynolds number, the 3D structures are impressive
and the ow undergoes transition turbulent shear ow.
There are many signicant research works on laminar ows around rectangular cross sections with various aspect ratios. Okajima studied these cross sections
numerically12 and experimentally.10 He studied a wide
range of Reynolds number 70 to 2  104 and found
that the separation zone, in low Reynolds numbers,
attached again to the body. This reduces the wake
zone behind the body. He called this zone as mode
1. Another mode has occurred in a high Reynolds
number, which produces a wider wake zone. In addition to Reynolds number, these phenomena are
dependent on the aspect ratios of the cross sections.
Davis et al.13 studied both numerically and experimentally the ow around rectangular cross sections
conned in a channel with various blockage ratios
with a range of Reynolds number from 100 to 200
and checked the dependency of the Strouhal number
to other properties. They studied the motion of circulating zone near the walls and showed the consistency
of numerical and experimental results. Davis and
Moor14 investigated numerically the production and
maturation of cylinder eddies in the wake and features
of a rectangular in a uniform ow with various aspect
ratios with a range of Reynolds number between 100
and 2800. They found that the drag and lift

829
coecients and Strouhal number are highly dependent
on Reynolds number. The main benecial aspect of
numerical study is that there is high concentration in
all parts of the ow, specically a periodic vortex shedding which is so dicult to control expriementally.
Because of this fact, Zaki et al.15 studied the ow
around rectangular cross sections for Re < 250 numerically and for 1001000 Reynolds number experimentally. Franke et al.9 in a numerical research studied the
eects of Reynolds number on vortex shedding for the
case of ow around circular and rectangular cylinders.
Their researchs are limited to 50 < Re < 5000 for a circular cylinder and 40 < Re < 300 for a square cylinder.
They obtained the drag and lift diagram and found that
for Reynolds number less than 40, the ow is steadystate. So, in simulation of ows with higher Reynolds
number, the steady equation cannot be applied. By
using the steady state equation, the wake behind the
body has greater size in comparison to the unsteady
solution since the interaction of vortices has been
ignored; The pressure and drag coecients decrease
up to 18% compared to unsteady solutions. The ow
pattern around square and circular cylinders is alike,
but the main dierence between them is the location
of separation point where in a square cylinders occur
on the sharp edge of the square and its position is xed.
This sharp edge aects the frequency of vortex shedding. Another dierence between ows around square
and circular cylinders is that the size of eddies in the ow
around a square cylinder is approximately twice in comparison to the circular cylinder.
For Re < 150, the separation occurs on the back
point of the cylinder as the Reynolds number
increases the size of the eddies and the drag coecient
decreases although for Re > 150, the physical behavior is completely dierent and separation occurs in the
front point of cylinder and simultaneously the size of
the eddies grows and drag coecient increases.
Tombazis and Bearman16 found that in a specic
Reynolds number, the 2D behavior of vortex shedding changes to the 3D behavior. They decided to
categorize the 3D eects by the z component of velocity in the wake or the oscillating pressure on the
body related to the hydraulic diameter of blu bodies.
Kelkar and Patankar17 did a research on the linear
stability analysis of ow around a square cylinders to
nd the Reynolds number of transitional ows and
they showed that it happens at Re 53.
Sohankar et al.18 studied to nd the initial time of
vortex shedding and the eects of boundary conditions for simulation of ow around a square cylinder
with angels o attack between 0 to 45 and the
Reynolds in the range of 45200. They found that
the vortex shedding starts at Re 51.2  1.
The vortex shedding initiating boundary is determined by the harmonic instability boundary. Due to
the fact that this phenomenon can lead to the uid
structure interaction instability, assessment of harmonic instability boundary can help to prevent

830

Proc IMechE Part C: J Mechanical Engineering Science 228(5)

uid-structure instability (FSI). The ow past a blu


body like a tube of rectangular cross section has more
importance because of the high velocity and pressure
gradients that cause formation of vorticity and force it
to shed. Tubes of rectangular cross section have sharp
edges that emphasize these gradient eects.
In the present work, the critical Reynolds number
is investigated to nd a starting point for periodic
unsteady ows of rectangular cross sections with
0.54 aspect ratios in the range of 10 < Re < 100.
This Reynolds number range is selected to ensure
that it is not 3D turbulent ow. In other words, our
goal is to nd the periodic unsteady Reynolds number
below the transitional turbulent range of Reynolds
number for this type of cross sections.
For comparison, we choose the dimensionless parameter such as the lift and drag coecients (parameters show force magnitude) and Strouhal number (a
parameter shows the vortex shedding frequency).

Numerical procedures
Mathematical equations
The unsteady viscous 2D ow of an incompressible
uid is described by Navier-Stokes equations which
may be written as:
r  ~
u 0

Du
@p
 r2 u fx
Dt
@x

Dv
@p
 r2 v fy
Dt
@y

where ,  and p are density, viscosity and pressure respectively. u and v are component of
velocity in the x and y directions. Moreover, fx and
fy are body forces. Because of single phase ow, the
body forces are neglected fx  0, fy  0 and as a
result of incompressibility, the density variation is
neglected.

For inlet, uniform velocity is used.


u U,

v0

For outlet, the Orlansky condition19 is used


@
@
Uc
0
@t
@x

@u=@x 0,

@v=@x 0

v0

The computational domain includes a wide rectangle


as shown in Figure 1. According to Behr et al.20 The
space behind the body must be long enough to reduce
the eects of boundaries on the vortex shedding and
the diusion of eddies. In addition, the entrance
length must be long enough to reduce the eects of
upstream velocity. Many papers mentioned dierent
dimensions for this purpose. To ensure, in this
research, the maximum dimensions of their suggestion
are used and the blockage ratio (BR D/H) is used
for choosing the dimension of upper and lower
boundary. In the present work, an uniform prole is
considered and the ow eld is assumed a free ow.
In the performed simulations a non-uniform staggered mesh is used to simulate the ow around a rectangular cylinder. As shown in Figure 2, the grid is
concentrated in the area where the body is located.

Discretization
In this research, the nite volume method is used
to discretize the governing equations on a Cartesian
staggered-grid with non-uniform grid spacing. Hybrid
scheme is applied and the fully implicit method is
employed for time integration. In discretization of

No slip boundary condition is applied on the cylinder


surface:
u 0,

v0

Computational domain

The boundary conditions which are used in this


research are:
For upper and lower boundary, the slip condition
is considered due to little eects of viscosity.
u 0,

where () is u or v variable and Uc is an spatial average of outow velocity which is assumed unit. The
ow at outlet is steady and the rst term of
Orlansky condition becomes zero. So, the outlet condition changes to Neumann boundary condition:

Boundary conditions

@u
0,
@y

5
Figure 1. Computational domain.

Dehkordi et al.

831

Specifying the body


Because of the high computational cost of mesh generation and computation in general coordinate, the
inactive cells method is used to specify the body.
For this purpose, a large quantity is selected for
source terms or viscosity for nodes located in the
body. In the present work, the great source terms
are used. For example, if () is a parameter (includes
u and v), the nodes which are inside the body and their
source terms are determined as below:
SC 1030 P,desired ,

momentum equations, if  is a scalar, the mathematical equation will be a general transport equation
for 2D nite volume which is shown in equations (9)
to (14)):


@
@
@
@

uj
S
9
@t
@xj
@xj
@xj
ap p aE E aW W aN N aS S b

10

aE De AjPe j Fe , 0

11a

aW Dw AjPw j Fw , 0

11b

aN Dn AjPn j Fn , 0

11c

aS Ds AjPs j Fs , 0

11e

0P xy
t

11f

b SC xy a0P 0P

11g

ap aE aW aS a0P  SP xy

11f

Fe ue y,

Fw uw y

Fn un x,

Fs us x

e y
,
xe
n x
Dn
,
yn

De

Pe

Fe
,
De

12

Pn

13

Fn
,
Dn

Ps

Fs
Ds

14

In the hybrid method, for calculation of diusion


terms equation (15) is used:
AjPj 0, 1  0:5jPj

Patankar and Spalding22 were the rst researchers


who solved the unsteady ow eld using a semi implicit procedure called SIMPLE. The main procedure for
this algorithm is:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

guessing the initial pressure eld;


solving the momentum equations;
calculation of total residuals;
pressure and velocity corrections;
solving other scalar eld.

The best solution is obtained when all residuals reach


an appropriate value. In this paper, this appropriate
value is 106. This value covers all errors including
round-o and truncation errors. Choosing lower
value will not help to reach more accurate results in
this research.

In this research, the ow around a square is selected


to compare the results for mesh and time step independency. The Reynolds number is chosen 150.

Grid size and time step study

w y
xw
s y
Ds
ys

Fw
,
Dw

Pressure correction method

Verification

Dw

Pw

15

The 1030 is used to damp the eects of other parameters. The pressure equation solves for all nodes and it
does not need to have specic conditions.

Figure 2. Non-uniform staggered grid.

a0P

SP 1030

15

where [j,j] shows the function which selects the maximum number.21

Firstly, by choosing a tiny time step (0.01), the grid


independency is tested and the results are shown in
Table 1.
Next, the time step independency is checked as
shown in Table 2. As it shows, the 0.025 is an appropriate time step.
According to Table 1, by increasing the grids, the
dierences between maximum and minimum of lift
coecient, made from staggered grid decreases.
Comparing 200  200 and 220  220 grids, results
reveal that the dierences are very little. Therefore,
the 200  200 mesh with 21 nodes on each edge of
square was chosen as the appropriate mesh.

832

Proc IMechE Part C: J Mechanical Engineering Science 228(5)

Table 1. Mesh independency test (Re 150, AR 1).


Mesh

Resolution

St

CD

CLrms

CLmaxCLmin

100  100
140  140
160  160
180  180
200  200
220  220

11  11
15  15
17  17
19  19
21  21
25  25

0.1253
0.1316
0.1384
0.1483
0.1511
0.1505

 0.018
0.0131
0.0018
0.0027
0.00145
0.0014

0.2031
0.2690
0.2863
0.2883
0.3045
0.3055

1.6013
1.6164
1.6164
1.5673
1.5567
1.5547

Table 2. Time step independency test (Re 150, AR 1).


t

St

CDmean

CLrms

CLmaxCLmin

0.75
0.5
0.25
0.1
0.05
0.025
0.01

0.2458
0.2674
0.2903
0.3045
0.3205
0.3332
0.3057

1.5764
1.5883
1.6008
1.6088
1.5613
1.5652
1.5567

0.110
0.1230
0.1310
0.1350
0.1480
0.1505
0.1510

0.0110
0.0105
0.0099
0.0094
0.00133
0.0013
0.0014

It is noted that the quantity of nodes on each side


of computational domain is more predominant than
the quantity of whole mesh. Thus by changing the
aspect ratios, the quantity of nodes on each side
should be checked to be constant:


number of node on side
ND
:
length of side
as the number of nodes increases, the Strouhal
number increases because it can identify smaller
eddies; hence, small time step for vortex shedding is
distinguished, while the vortex shedding frequency
and Strouhal number increases.

Validation
Forces as vector quantities have two dierent components: (1) average value and (2) frequency. To compare cases, the two components should be assisted. In
most research works, the magnitude of the drag and
frequency of lift is compared. In present work, the
accuracy of the solver is validated by simulation of
the ow around a circular cylinder by Ghadiri
Dehkordi and Houri Jafari.23 The results of average
drag coecient and strouhal number are shown in
Table 3 for Re 100, 150 and compared with experimental and other numerical results. The predicted
average drag coecient is 1.50 which is in good agreement with experimental results of Davis et al. (1984)
giving 1.55. The strouhal number is 0.145 which is in
resonable agreement with expriemental results giving
0.154.

Table 3. Result verification (AR 1).


CDmean

St

References

100

1.63
1.55
1.61

1.478
1.53
1.51
1.36
1.39
1.42
1.4895
1.5

0.1410.145
0.15
0.154
0.154
0.148
0.146
0.154
0.159
0.140
0.140

0.1485
0.1450

Okajima10
Davis and Moor14
Davis et al.13
Franke et al.9
Okajima12
Sohankar et al.18
Robichaux et al.24
Saha et al.25
Breuer et al.26
Breuer et al.26
Cheng et al.27
Sahu et al.28
Present work

150

1.56
1.32
1.35
1.556

0.1650
0.1450
0.1480
0.1510

Franke et al.9
Breuer et al.26
Breuer et al.26
Present work

Numerical results
Vorticity distribution
In order to obtain the critical Reynolds number the
vorticity distribution of the ow around a
rectangular cylinder has been computed for dierent
of aspect ratio. The vorticity eld has sensitiveness
because it is calculated from the derivative of the velocity eld. Thus, this parameter can show the instability in a perfect manner.
As shown in Figure 3, the vorticity eld does not
have any instability for Re 30 and aspect ratio
(AR) 0.5. The two vortices develop behind the cylinder which are symmetric and the wake behind the
cylinder is closed. The two horn-shape vortecs
stretched behind the cylinder whereas in Re 60
(Figure 4), those horn-shape structure destructed
and the instability appears clearly.
For AR 1.0, the instability occurs between
Re 50 (Figure 5) and Re 60. Figure 6 illustrates

Dehkordi et al.

833

Figure 7. AR 2, Re 60.
Figure 3. AR 0.5, Re 30.

Figure 8. AR 2, Re 80.
Figure 4. AR 0.5, Re 60.

Figure 5. AR 1, Re 50.

Figure 9. AR 3, Re 80.

Figure 6. AR 1, Re 60.

this instability. The results


10 show that the instability
number between 60 and 80
the results, it is concluded

Figure 10. AR 3, Re 100.

of Figures 9 and
occurs at Reynolds
for AR 3. From
that as the aspect

ratio increases the critical Reynolds number signicantly increases. It happens due to the side eects
of each cylinder and contribute to instability
reduction.

834

Proc IMechE Part C: J Mechanical Engineering Science 228(5)

Figure 11. Vorticity fields for AR 0.54 at Re 100.

Increasing the aspect ratio (long side of the cylinder) helps to stabilize the ow eld. Therefore,
instability occurs in higher Reynolds number.
On the other hand, the sharpness of the rectangular
tube leads to high pressure and velocity gradient creation which gradients increase as aspect ratio
decreases. The pressure gradient in the back of the
rectangular tube intensies vortex shedding. In addition, the viscous eects near the body (rectangular
tube) region facilitate the vortex formation process.
The pressure gradients and the viscous eects contrast, determine harmonic instability boundaries.
Figure 11 depicts the instability of ow eld for various of aspect ratios at Re 100. The results show that
by increasing the aspect ratios, the ow elds approach
the stable condition. This happens due to the facts that
rectangle sides decrease the instability which is made by
the sharp edge of the rectangles.

Aerodynamic force coefficients


The average lift coecient approximates to zero
because of symmetry of the ow about the cylinder.
However the lift coecient oscillate sinusoidally at the
shedding frequency which is higher than the drag
coecient frequency. Because of this, the non-dimensional lift data are used for nding the transition in
vortex shedding, at critical Reynolds number, the
drag coecient has low amplitude and frequency,
and it seems to be non-oscillatory. Because of applied
a staggered mesh for calculation of velocity, there are
few asymmetric eects on time history of lift and drag
coecients specically in low Reynolds number ows.
Figure 12 shows the magnied lift curve in Re 30
with less than unit aspect ratios. The results show
that, the oscillation, produced by uid ow dynamics
is damped and nally goes into a steady state solution.

Dehkordi et al.

835

Figure 12. Lift coefficient of 0.5, 0.6, 0.8 aspect ratio and Re 30.

Figure 13. Lift coefficient for Re 50, AR 1.

Figure 14. Drag coefficient for Re 10, AR 0.54.

Because of small amplitude oscillation in lift coecient curve of the Rectangular cylinder with aspect
ratios of 0.5, 0.6 and 0.8, the instability is established
in Reynolds number between 30 and 40. As shown in
Figure 13, for a rectangular section with unit aspect
ratio (square section), the instability occurs at
Re 50. The obtained results are very similar with
other researchers outcomes.9

In Figures 14 to 17, the time history of drag coefcient are shown at Re 10, 20, 30 and 60. The results
show that as the aspect ratio is decreased, the drag
coecient decreases. In fact, reducing the aspect ratio
leads to decrease the pressure gradients which leads to
pressure drag reduction.
For Re > 50, the vortex shedding occurs behind the
square cylinder. Figures 17 and 18 show that the

836

Proc IMechE Part C: J Mechanical Engineering Science 228(5)

Figure 15. Drag coefficient for Re 20 and AR 0.54.


Figure 17. Drag coefficient for Re 60 and AR 14.

Figure 16. Drag coefficient for Re 30 and AR 0.54.

oscillation starts at Reynolds 50. This means that


beyond Re 50, the unsteady periodic vortex shedding
reaches a stationary state. At this point, the dominant
oscillation frequency and amplitude have been dened.
Figure 18 predicts the instability starting at Re 60
for a rectangle cylinder with AR 2 but for AR 3
and AR 4, the lift curve is damped.
The damping behavior of the lift coecient curves
is because of the dissipation of producing vorticity by
viscous eects. This behavior establishes a typical
stable equilibrium. The enlarged view of Figure 18
claries that the damping rate of the lift coecient
oscillation of the rectangular tube with AR 3 and
4 is more than the case of tube with AR 2. In fact,
when Re 60, the rectangular tube with AR 2 being
on the instability boundary and slight increase in
Reynolds number lead to unstable behavior for this
aspect ratio.

Figure 18. Lift coefficient for AR > 1, Re 60.

Figures 19 and 20 show the drag and lift curves when


Re 80 with AR 3 and 4. By increasing the aspect
ratios from 0.5 to 4, the lift and drag coecients diminish and the ows vary from unsteady and unstable
regimes to stable and steady regimes (Table 4). For
Re 80, the ow goes to steady solution after a long
time which shows that it is near the critical regime.

Dehkordi et al.

837
Table 4. CLmax and CDmean comparison for AR 0.54,
Re 80.
AR

CLmax

CDmean

0.5
0.6
0.8
1
2
3
4

0.31
0.3
0.29
0.22
0.043
Damped oscillation
No oscilation

1.73
1.71
1.62
1.47
1.32
1.24
1.28

Table 5. CLmax and CDmean comparison for AR 0.54,


Re 100.
Figure 19. Lift coefficient for AR 3, Re 80.

AR

CLmax

CDmean

0.5
0.6
0.8
1
2
3
4

0.48
0.41
0.36
0.3
0.1
0.06
0.03

1.84
1.78
1.66
1.48
1.33
1.208
1.201

Figure 20. Lift and drag coefficient for AR 4, Re 80.

For the rest Reynolds number up to 100, all curves


show that the regimes are periodic (Figures 23 and 24
and Table 5). The result of Flow past a rectangular
cross section with AR 4 show the steady and fully
damped behavior when Re 80 (Figure 20). This
behavior changes to an unsteady damped order, as
shown in Figures 21 and 22 when Re 90.
In fact, the lift and drag curves for rectangle with
AR 4 at Re 90 are oscillatory but the oscillations
tend to damp after a long time (small rate damping).
The reason for this behavior is that the the viscous
eect overcome the inertial forces and prevent the
formed vortices on the top and bottom side of rectangular section to shed. These oscillating swirling vorteces lead to not fully damped form of the Lift and
drag coecients curves.

Figure 21. Lift coefficient for AR 1, Re 90.

For AR 4 and Re 100, unsteady periodic vortex


shedding is observable (Figure 24).
By comparison the results for Re 80, 90 and 100,
it can be predicted that the critical Reynolds number
for this section is a bit higher than Re 90.
As shown in Tables 4 and 5, it can be found that
the increasing aspect ratio decreases the lift and drag
coecients in all Reynolds numbers. Although,
increasing aspect ratio increases the viscous drag

838

Proc IMechE Part C: J Mechanical Engineering Science 228(5)


Table 6. Strouhal number for Re 60150, AR 0.54.
Re
AR
0.5
0.6
0.8
1
2
3
4
******
3

Figure 22. Drag coefficient for AR 4, Re 90.

Figure 23. Lift and drag coefficient for AR 3, Re 100.

60

80

100

0.13
0.133
0.1209
0.1
3
*****
*****

0.142857
0.152
0.142857
0.15
0.1282
0.146
0.123
0.145
0.105
0.114
3
0.140
*****
0.134
No vortex shedding
Instability point

150
0.16428
0.15714
0.154
0.151
0.11875
0.148
0.14

and lift coecients because of increasing the eective


area, the eect of the pressure gradients which go to
smaller values with increasing the aspect ratio is more
important than viscous terms.
As mentioned before, the most important parameter is the amplitude and frequency of oscillation.
These parameters can be aected by the ow separation and reattachment from the bodies. The best representation of shedding frequency is Strouhal number.
Table 6 shows all values of Strouhal number from
Re 60 to 150. As this table shows, the Strouhal
number reduces except for AR 3 the Strouhal
number increases and after that starts to reduce.
The cause of this phenomenon is that at AR 3, the
formation of vorteces on the top and bottom sides of
rectangular section, as a result of enough space on
these faces of rectangular tube to locate vorteces,
leads to energy loss in other vorteces that formed at
the back of the rectangular tube. Consequently, the
vortex shedding frequency would be reduced.
The Strouhal number for AR 4 is a bit higher
than AR 3.

Conclusion

Figure 24. Lift and drag coefficient for AR 4, Re 100.

Harmonic instability boundary denes vortex shedding initiating boundary. Due to the fact that this phenomenon can lead to uid structure interaction
instability, assessment of harmonic instability boundary can help to prevent FSI instability. The ow past a
blu body like a tube of rectangular cross sections has
more importance because of the high velocity and pressure gradients that cause formation of vorticity and
force it to shed. A tube of rectangular cross section
has sharp edges that emphasize these gradient eects.
Simulations were done for the ow around a stationary rectangular cylinder at Re 10 to 100 and
AR 0.5 to 4.
For mesh independency, the density of meshes in
each side is important than the quantity of them. The
staggered meshes produce some errors in calculation
by this method.

Dehkordi et al.
Although, increasing aspect ratio increases viscous
drag and lift coecients as a result of increased eective area, the eect of the pressure gradients which go
to smaller values with increasing aspect ratio is more
important than viscous terms.
As the Reynolds number increases, the ow
regimes tend to periodic and instable zone.
Also increasing the aspect ratio, the critical
Reynolds number increases.
The damping behavior of the lift and drag coecients curve at Reynolds number lower than the critical value is due to the dissipation of producing
vorticity by viscous eects in vicinity of side walls of
the rectangular tube.
There is a peak value for Strouhal number in a
specic aspect ratio as a result of the formation of
vortexes on the top and bottom sides of rectangular
section.
Funding
This research received no specic grant from any funding
agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-prot sectors.

Conflict of interest
None declared.

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