Investigation of flow past tandem and side-by-side circular and square columns is of interest in offshore engineering. Flow past fixed and vibrating circular columns has received a lot of focus in the literature. However, the studies focused on square columns, especially at high Reynolds numbers are very limited due to the computational cost of large eddy simulation (LES). Unsteady Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) methods are limited by their accuracy, especially for tandem columns in the wake interference regime (spacing to diameter ratio: L=D ∼ 3:0). Hybrid URANS-LES models (URANS near the solid-wall and LES away from the wall) can overcome the drawbacks of the traditional URANS methods and can provide a reasonable prediction of the flow physics at a fraction of the cost of LES without significantly sacrificing numerical accuracy.

Arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) methods fails when vibrating tandem bodies are in close proximity to each other or vibrate at high reduced velocities. Remeshing the domain can be expensive, especially at high Reynolds numbers (Re). Alternate strategies are necessary to efficiently simulation this problems. This study proposes the use of a non-linear URANS-LES model, coupled with an overset mesh method (for vibrating columns), for studying flow past tandem square columns. Simulations are performed at sub-critical Re to match the experimental Re. The initial results are encouraging for further investigation of fixed and vibrating tandem square column flow interference at high Reynolds numbers.

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