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On the Characteristics of the Super-CriticalWake behind a Circular Cylinder


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The flow topology of the wake behind a circular cylinder at the super-critical Reynolds number of Re = 7.2 105 is investigated by means of large eddy simulations. In spite of the many research works on circular cylinders, there are no studies concerning the main characteristics and topology of the near wake in the super-critical regime. Thus, the present work attempts to fill the gap in the literature and contribute to the analysis of both the unsteady wake and the turbulent statistics of the flow. It is found that although the wake is symmetric and preserves similar traits to those observed in the sub-critical regime, such as the typical two-lobed configuration in the vortex formation zone, important differences are also observed. Owing to the delayed separation of the flow and the transition to turbulence in the attached boundary layer, Reynolds stresses peak in the detached shear layers close to the separation point. The unsteady mean flow is also investigated, and topological critical points are identified in the vortex formation zone and the near wake. Finally, time-frequency analysis is performed by means of wavelets. The study shows that in addition to the vortex shedding frequency, the inception of instabilities that trigger transition to turbulence occurs intermittently in the attached boundary layer and is registered as a phenomenon of variable intensity in time.




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