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Aspect ratio and end plate effects on vortex shedding from a circular cylinder

  • S. Szepessy (a1) and P. W. Bearman (a2)

Aspect ratio effects on the vortex shedding flow from a circular cylinder have been studied by using moveable end plates. Experiments were carried out to measure fluctuating forces, shedding frequency and spanwise correlation whilst varying end plate separation and Reynolds number. The aspect ratio (0.25–12) was found to have a most striking effect on the fluctuating lift. Within a certain range of Reynolds number an increase of the sectional fluctuating lift was obtained for reduced aspect ratio, and showed a maximum for an aspect ratio of 1, where the fluctuating lift could be almost twice the value for very large aspect ratios. This increase of the lift amplitude was found to be accompanied by enhanced spanwise correlation of the flow. The measurements were carried out over the Reynolds number range 8 × 103 < Re < 1.4 × 105. The strong increase in fluctuating lift with small aspect ratio did not occur at the lower and upper boundaries of this range. In the lower Reynolds number range (Re < 2 × 104) the trend could be reversed, i.e. the fluctuating lift decreased with decreasing aspect ratio. Also, with small aspect ratio, a shedding breakdown was found in the upper Reynolds number range (Re = 1.3 × 105). The main three-dimensional feature observed was a spanwise variation in the phase of vortex shedding, accompanied by amplitude modulation in the lift signal. However, the level of three-dimensionality can be reduced by using a small aspect ratio. Three-dimensional vortex shedding features are discussed and comparison of the results with those from both two-dimensional numerical simulations and other experiments using large aspect ratios are presented.

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