Experimental investigation of unsteady wake structure of bluff bodies




Rahimpour, Mostafa

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The interaction between a bluff body and the impinging fluid flow, can involve detached boundary layers, massive flow separations, free shear layers, development of recirculation zones and formation of a highly disturbed and complex region downstream of the bluff body, which can be categorized as wake. The present research aims to experimentally investigate such fluid-structure interaction and provide insight into the wake structure of two bluff bodies. To this end, the airwake over the helicopter platform of a Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) polar icebreaker was studied using high-speed particle image velocimetry (PIV). The experiments were conducted on a scaled model of the polar icebreaker situated on a costume-built and computer-controlled turntable, which provided the ability to accurately change the incidence angle of the impinging flow with a given rate of change for incidence angle. Quantitative flow field data were obtained in several vertical and horizontal planes. The obtained velocity field was then used to calculate the time-averaged flow structure and turbulence metrics over the helicopter platform of the vessel. The present work compared the effects of two types of inflow conditions: (i) a uniform flow and (ii) a simulated atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) on the flow structure over the helicopter platform of the ship. Moreover, for the bluff scaled model, the effects of the Reynolds number on the wake structure and the flow patterns were investigated. The incidence angle (α) between the oncoming flow and the orientation of the ship varied between 0° to 330° with the increment of 30°. It was observed that higher maximum values of the turbulence intensity were associated with the simulated ABL. Moreover, it was found that for both inflow conditions, the incidence angle of 300o corresponded to the highest turbulence levels over the helicopter platform. Building on the results obtained for a stationary vessel in the simulated ABL, this work aimed to quantify the effects of the unsteady change in the direction of the impinging wind, simulated by rotating the model at a certain rate, . It was observed that the increase of the rate of change of the inflow direction resulted in an increase of the turbulent intensity over the helicopter platform. However, an exception was observed for the case of α = 60°, where clockwise rotation of the ship model with respect to the inflow exposed the helicopter platform to increased turbulent velocity fluctuations, while counterclockwise rotation diminished the flow unsteadiness over the helicopter platform. Moreover, aiming to identify the origins of the unsteady forces applied on bluff elongated plates with high chord-to thickness ratio (c/t = 23) at zero incidence, direct force measurement as well as PIV were used to identify the effect of transverse perforations on the flow-induced loading on the flow structure in the near-wake of the plates. The experiments were conducted in a water channel, where the plates were located at the center of channel, parallel to the upstream flow direction. Plates with various characteristic diameter of the perforation as well as a reference case without perforations were considered. The spectra of the trailing-edge vortex shedding and flow-induced forces were compared and it was observed that the vortex shedding frequencies were in very good agreement with those of the measured flow-induced forces for all considered perforation patterns. Thus, it was determined that the trailing-edge vortex shedding was the main mechanism of generating the unsteady loading on the plates. The staggered patterns of the perforations created a three-dimensional flow structure at the vicinity of the trailing edge and in the near wake, which was investigated using PIV at several data acquisition planes. It was found that in the cross-sectional planes corresponding to the close proximity of the perforations to the downstream edge, the periodic trailing-edge vortex shedding were suppressed. Furthermore, it was observed that for small perforations, the velocity fluctuations in the near wake were enhanced. However, further increase of the perforation diameter led to suppression of the velocity fluctuations.



bluff body, impinging fluid flow, etached boundary layers, massive flow separations, free shear layers, wake, high-speed particle image velocimetry, atmospheric boundary layer, polar icebreaker