Experiments in Fluids

, 60:26 | Cite as

Active control of circular cylinder flow with windward suction and leeward blowing

  • Donglai Gao
  • Guanbin Chen
  • Wenli ChenEmail author
  • Yewei Huang
  • Hui Li
Research Article


This study is an experimental investigation of the effectiveness and mechanism of a concept for bluff-body control characterized by combined windward suction and leeward blowing (WSLB). Wind tunnel tests are performed at a subcritical Reynolds number (Re) of 3.33 × 104. Open-loop WSLB is used to control the flow around a cylindrical test model. Distributed suction and blowing nozzles are symmetrically arranged at the front and rear stagnation points. Steady suction and blowing are implemented simultaneously on both surfaces of the cylinder. WSLB control is characterized by the dimensionless momentum of the suction/blowing relative to the incoming airflow. Instantaneous pressure distributions on the midspan of the cylinder surface for the baseline and controlled cases are measured to quantify the modifications of WSLB control to the aerodynamic coefficients of the cylinder. In addition to surface pressure measurements, a particle image velocimetry (PIV) system is used to describe the wake flow structures of the baseline and controlled cylinders. Experimental results demonstrate that WSLB control decreases sectional drag at the midspan and reduces the fluctuating amplitudes of dynamic wind loads acting on the cylinder. The Strouhal number to characterize the vortex shedding frequencies of the controlled cylinders is also found to deviate from that of the natural cylinder. PIV measurement results show that the active blowing positioned at the leeward stagnation point forms a pair of vortices into the cylinder wake that modify the original vortex shedding process. As the blowing vortices convect into the wake, they stretch the unsteady shear flows from the upper and lower sides of the cylinder, increase the vortex-formation length and push the alternative vortex shedding further downstream. It is also shown that a steady and symmetric perturbation imposed on the periodic cylinder flow can reduce the von Karman vortices and modify the mode of wake vortex shedding significantly.

Graphical abstract

With active control of windward suction and leeward blowing (WSLB), blowing positioned at the leeward stagnation point forms a pair of vortices in the cylindrical wake that modifies the typical vortex shedding process. As the blowing vortices convect downstream, they contribute to detaching the unsteady shear layers from the cylinder. It is shown that a steady and symmetric perturbation imposed on the periodic cylinder flow can lead to a symmetric mode of wake vortex shedding.



This study is funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) through Grants 51378153, 51578188, and 51722805, and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (HIT. BRETIII. 201512 and HIT.BRETIV201803).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Lab of Smart Prevention and Mitigation of Civil Engineering Disasters of the Ministry of Industry and Information TechnologyHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbinChina
  2. 2.Key Lab of Structures Dynamic Behavior and Control of the Ministryof EducationHarbin Institute of TechnologyHarbinChina

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