Abstract

In this study, the flow field over three square cylinders (SCs) arranged side by side is investigated in a low-speed wind tunnel. The experiments are performed with three similar SCs for Reynolds number (Re) 295. The influences of spacing ratio on the wake size, drag coefficient, and flow interference of the cylinders are reported with the hotwire anemometry, particle image velocimetry (PIV), and the flow visualization techniques. Special attention is paid to the oscillation given to the middle cylinder and its effect on flow structure and related forces. The spacing ratio (s/D) ranges from 1.5 to 3, whereas the forcing frequency ratio ranges from 0.5 to 2 with amplitude of 10% of the cylinder width. It is observed that the spacing influences the flow structure, and the vortex shedding mechanism strongly. A secondary frequency appears in the flow field for spacing ratio s/D = 2 and 3. Depending upon the spacing ratios, the flow pattern is seen to be asymmetric biased, symmetric biased, and weakly interactive. The wake interaction decreases with increase in spacing ratios. With the oscillations, the wake becomes more unstable and complex. Additional wake oscillation frequency appears in the power spectra. With an increase in spacing ratios, the drag coefficient decreases, whereas with oscillations, higher drag force is observed compared to a stationary cylinder. A correlation is developed between the time-averaged drag coefficient with cylinder spacing and Reynolds number.

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