The Effect of a Wake-Mounted Splitter Plate on the Flow around a Surface-Mounted Finite-Height Square Prism.
The flow around a finite square prism has not been studied extensively when compared with an “infinite” (or two-dimensional) square prism. In the present study, the effect of a wake-mounted splitter plate on the flow around a surface-mounted square prism of finite height was investigated experimentally using a low-speed wind tunnel. Of specific interest were the combined effects of the splitter plate length and the prism’s aspect ratio on the vortex shedding, mean drag force coefficient, and the mean wake. Four square prisms of aspect ratios AR = 9, 7, 5 and 3 were tested at a Reynolds number of Re = 7.4×104 and a boundary layer thickness of /D = 1.5. Splitter plate lengths of L/D = 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 5, and 7, were tested, with all plates having the same height as the prism. Measurements of the mean drag force were obtained with a force balance, and measurements of the vortex shedding frequency were obtained with a single-component hot-wire probe. A seven-hole pressure probe was used to measure the time-averaged wake velocity at a Reynolds number of Re = 3.7×104 for AR = 9 and 5 with splitter plates of lengths L/D = 1, 3, 5, and 7. These measurements were carried out to allow for a better understanding of how the splitter plate affects the mean wake of the finite prism. The results show that the splitter plate is a less effective drag-reduction, but more effective vortex-shedding-suppression, device for finite square prisms than it is for infinite square prisms. Significant reduction in the mean drag coefficient was realized only for short prisms (of AR ≤ 5) when long splitter plates (of L/D ≥ 5) were used. A splitter plate of length L/D = 3 was able to suppress vortex shedding for all aspect ratios tested. However, for square prisms of aspect ratios AR ≤ 7, the splitter plate is a less effective vortex-shedding-suppression device when compared to its use with finite circular cylinders, i.e. longer splitter plates are needed for vortex shedding suppression with square prisms. Wake measurements showed distinct wake velocity fields for the two prisms tested. For the prism of AR = 9, a strong downwash flow in the upper part of the wake became weaker towards the ground plane. For the prism of AR = 5, the downwash remained strong close to the ground plane. With splitter plates installed, the downwash became weaker for both prisms. The splitter plate was found to narrow the wake width, especially close to the ground plane, and led to the stretching of the streamwise vortex structures in the vertical direction, and increased entrainment towards the wake centreline in the cross-stream direction.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
CommitteeBergstrom, Don J.; Bugg, Jim D.
Copyright DateJune 2014
Finite square prism, Bluff body, Drag coefficient, Drag reduction, Vortex shedding, Strouhal number, Splitter plate, Flow control, Wake, Seven-hole probe.