Effect of Free Stream Turbulence on Flow Past a Circular Cylinder at Low Reynolds Numbers

  • Vinoth Kumar
  • Mrityunjay Singh
  • Murugan ThangaduraiEmail author
  • P. K. Chatterjee
Original Contribution


Circular cylinders experiencing different upstream flow conditions have been studied for low Reynolds numbers using hot-wire anemometry and smoke flow visualizations. The upstream condition of the cylinder in the test section is varied using a wire mesh placed at the entrance of the test section. The Reynolds number is varied by varying the diameter of the cylinder and the mean velocity in the test section. Smooth cylinders of diameter varying from 1.25 to 25 mm are used in the present study. A multi-channel hot-wire anemometry is used for measuring the fluctuating velocities in the test section and the wake behind the cylinder. The sectional views of the wake behind the cylinder are obtained using a 4 MP CCD camera, 200 mJ pulsed laser and a fog generator. The flow quality in the test section is examined using higher order turbulence statistics. The effect of free stream turbulence levels and their frequencies on wake structures and the shedding frequencies of circular cylinders are studied in detail. It has been observed that the alteration in wake structure and the shedding frequency depend strongly on the frequencies and the amplitudes of upstream disturbances besides the diameter of the circular cylinder.


Wind tunnel Circular cylinder Hot-wire anemometry Flow visualization Free-stream turbulence Higher order moments 



Reynolds number


Diameter of the cylinder


Mean velocity along x direction


Boundary layer


Distance between the screen and the cylinder


Lateral direction from the centre of the tunnel


Height of the probe from the bottom of the test section



Root mean square value of the fluctuation


Time-averaged quantity of the fluctuating velocity


Critical condition at which transition takes place


Wake width of the circular cylinder



The authors acknowledge the Department of Science and Technology (DST), India for providing a partial financial support through FAST Track Young Scientist Scheme for carrying out the present work.


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Copyright information

© The Institution of Engineers (India) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Aeronautical EngineeringDhanalakshmi Srinivasan College of Engineering and TechnologyChennaiIndia
  2. 2.Asansol Engineering CollegeAsansolIndia
  3. 3.CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CSIR-CMERI)DurgapurIndia

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