Passive pitching of splitters in the trailing edge of elliptic cylinders

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The distinctive pitching of hinged splitters in the trailing edge of elliptic cylinders was experimentally studied at various angles of attack (AoA) of the cylinder, Reynolds numbers, splitter lengths, aspect ratios (AR) of the cylinder and freestream turbulence levels. High-resolution telemetry and hotwire anemometry were used to characterize and gain insight on the dynamics of splitters and wake flow. Results show that the motions of the splitters contain various dominating modes, e.g. fp and fv, which are induced by the mean flow and wake dynamics. High background turbulence dampens the coherence of the regular vortex shedding leading to negligible fv. For a sufficiently long splitter, namely twice the semimajor axis of the cylinder, dual vortex shedding mode exists close to the leading and trailing edges of the splitter. In general, the splitters oscillate around an equilibrium position nearly parallel to the mean direction of the flow; however, a skewed equilibrium is also possible with a strong recirculation region. This is the case with cylinders of low AR and high AoA, where higher lift and drag occurs. Flow measurements at various transverse locations within the wake of the cylinder-splitter system indicate that the signature of the low-frequency splitter pitching is shifted in the wake in the cases with non-zero AoA of the cylinder. Although the splitter pitching exhibits two dominant vortex shedding modes in various configurations, only the higher frequency is transmitted to the wake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-375
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - Sep 10 2017


  • aerodynamics
  • flow-structure interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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