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Fluid Dynamics

CAx Tutorial: Oscillating Cylinder

Outline Tutorial # 5

Deryl O. Snyder
C. Greg Jensen
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602

PACE, Fluent, UGS Solutions, Altair Engineering;

and to the following students who assisted in the creation of the Fluid Dynamics tutorials:

Leslie Tanner, Cole Yarrington, Curtis Rands, Curtis Memory, and Stephen McQuay.
Oscillating Cylinder
2-D Flow
In this tutorial, Gambit® will be used to create and mesh the geometry for the problem.
Once this is complete, Fluent® will be used to solve the time dependant problem.

This tutorial will provide an outline to guide a user through creating a 2D mesh to be
used in a dynamic case in Fluent and using Fluent to analyze unsteady lift and drag
coefficient data.

The methods expressed in these tutorials represent just one approach to modeling, defining and
solving 2D problems. Our goal is the education of students in the use of CAx tools for model-
ing, defining and solving fluids application problems. Other techniques and methods will be
used and introduced in subsequent tutorials.

A cylinder oscillates sinusiodally in the cross flow direc-

tion. The frequency and total amplitude of oscillation is
0.28 Hz and 40% of the diameter of the cylinder respec-
tively. The crossflow Reynolds number is 200. Find the
frequency of vortex shedding behind the cylinder.

3
Oscillating Cylinder
Creating Geometry
In this problem, the cylinder will oscillate
vertically inside the square domain. Two
fluid regions will be required: one contain-
ing the boundary layer and cylinder and
the other containing the rest of the domain.
This is done to so that Fluent is not
required to dynamically mesh the bound-
ary layer.

The basic geometry is shown to the right.

The square domain is 40 units wide and 40
units tall centered at (0,0).

The circles have radii of 0.8 and 0.5. Note

that the larger of the two is an edge NOT a
face. Use the Boolean operations to
Subtract the circle face from the square
face.

Create a 3-D face by Sweeping the larger

circle edge. The sweep window is found
by clicking on the Form Face button with
MB3.

Select Vector next to Path and click Apply.

The geometry should resemble the image
to the right.

cylinder.

Split the square domain with the cylinder.

The cylinder should dissappear and the
two faces mentioned above should remain.

If problems are encountered in creating the

geometry, the geometry can be loaded from the
file “Oscillating_Cylinder_Geometry.dbs”.

4
Oscillating Cylinder
Meshing Geometry
Edge meshes are only required on the cir-
cles for this problem. Mesh both circle
edges with Sucessive Ratio = 1 and
Interval Count = 40.

Now create a boundary layer around the

inner circle. Use the following values:

First Row = 0.005

Growth Factor = 1.445
Rows = 8

Mesh the face containing the boundary

layer with Quad elements at an Interval
Size = 0.13. The mesh should resemble the
image to the right.

Mesh the outer face with tri elements at an

Interval Size = 3.0.

Top, bottom, left edges = Velocity_inlet

Right edge = Outflow
Small circle = Wall

Zones

Create one fluid zone for each of the two

faces making up the domain.

If problems are encountered in meshing the

geometry, the meshed geometry can be loaded
from the file
“Oscillating_Cylinder_Meshed.dbs”.

5
Oscillating Cylinder
Defining the Problem
After reading in and checking the mesh in
the 2-D version of Fluent, scale the mesh so
that the cylinder is 1 cm in diameter.

Select Grid Was Created In: cm.

solver and the laminar viscous model.

Copy water-liquid to the list of usable

materials using the Materials... window.

Change the Reference Pressure location to

(-0.1, 0) in the Operating Conditions win-
dow.

Enter the Boundary Conditions window

and change the material for both fluid
zones to water-liquid.

direction.

movement.

Browse to and select the following file

Oscillating_Cylinder_Profile.prof.

Read in an interpolation file to give Fluent

a pre-solved domain to begin iterating with
as opposed to beginning with a uniform
domain.

Locate the file Re=200.ip.

6
Oscillating Cylinder
Defining the Problem
Make the following changes to the
Solution Controls.

Pressure-Velocity Coupling = SIMPLEC

Momentum = Second Order Upwind
Pressure Under-Relaxation = 0.7

Change the Reference Values to properly

compute the lift and drag coefficients.

Area = 0.01 m^2

Density = 998.2 kg/m^3
Length = 0.01 m
Velocity = 0.02 m/s
Viscosity = 0.001003 kg/m-s

Enable residual plotting and disable auto-

matic convergence checking.

Check Dynamic Mesh and leave the

default settings alone.

From the Zone Names drop down menu

select default-interior and click Create.
The zone should appear in the Dynamic
Zones list. Do the same for default-interi-
or:007.

7
Oscillating Cylinder
Solving the Problem
If desired, the cylinder motion can be pre-
viewed before iterating. It is advised to
write a Case and Data file before preview-
ing so that a clean mesh can be used for the
final solution.

for the preview.

Set a time step of 0.2 s and enter as many

time steps as desired. One full period is
roughly 40-50 time steps. Click Preview.

After the mesh has been previewed, reload

the Case and Data files and begin iterating
with 40 time steps at a Time Step Size of
0.2 s and 40 Iterations per Time Step.

When these initial iterations have finished,

enable the lift and drag monitors. Make
sure to enable both Writing and Plotting.
Iterate 150 more time steps.

If problems are encountered in solving the

problem, the Case & Data files can be
“Oscillating_Cylinder_Solved.cas”.

8
Oscillating Cylinder
Analyzing the Solution
The vortex shedding frequency can be
found by analyzing the lift coefficient file
using Fluent’s built in FFT function.

Load the lift coefficient file and trim the file

to analyze the final portion of the data (the
converged portion) using the Plot/Modify
Input Signal....

Frequency.

peak value.

The peak reported by the FFT should be

around 0.275 Hz. However, vorticies from
a fixed cylinder at this Reynolds number
(Re = 200) typically shed at a frequency of
0.36 Hz.

This analysis accurately demonstrates the

phenomenon of “lock-in”, experimentally
shown by G. H. Koopman in 1967. Lock-in
occurs when the vortex shedding frequency
matches that of the oscillation. For a given
frequency there is a specific amplitude
requried to force lock-in.

The profile used to define the cylinder

movement used Koopman’s experimental
data: a cylinder oscillating at a frequency
78% of the fixed cylinder shedding fre-
quency (0.28 Hz) at an amplitude 40% it’s
diameter would shed vorticies at the oscil-
lating frequency instead of the frequency
expected based on that Reynolds number.
Fluent matches this experimental result
with roughly 2% error.