Simulations of the unsteady separated flow past a normal flat plate

Fady M. Najjar, S. P. Vanka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Well‐resolved two‐dimensional numerical simulations of the unsteady separated flow past a normal flat plate at low Reynolds numbers have been performed using a fractional step procedure with high‐order spatial discretization. A fifth‐order upwind‐biased scheme is used for the convective terms and the diffusive terms are represented by a fourth‐order central difference scheme. The pressure Poisson equation is solved using a direct method based on eigenvalue decomposition of the coefficient matrix. A systematic study of the flow has been conducted with high temporal and spatial resolutions for a series of Reynolds numbers. The interactions of the vortices shed form the shear layers in the near‐and far‐wake regions are studied. For Reynolds numbers less than 250 the vortices are observed to convect parallel to the freestream. However, at higher Reynolds numbers (500 and 1000), complex interactions including vortex pairing, tearing and deformations are seen to occur in the far‐wake region. Values of the drag coefficient and the wake closure length are presented and compared with previous experimental and numerical studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-547
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 15 1995


  • flat plate
  • high‐order finite difference scheme
  • time‐splitting method
  • vortex interactions
  • wake instability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


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