A review of rotating cylinder wake transitions

Anirudh Rao, Alexander Radi, Justin Scott Leontini, Mark Christopher Thompson, John Sheridan, Kerry Hourigan

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44 Citations (Scopus)


Recent work on the flow past a rotating cylinder is reviewed and further investigated at low Reynolds numbers. The various two- and three-dimensional transitions that occur as the rotation rate is increased are detailed. Two steady states, steady state I and steady state II, are identified based on the physical characteristics of the wake and the drag force on the body. Steady state I occurs at lower rotation rates, while state steady state II occurs at higher rotation rates. Linear stability analysis shows that two three-dimensional modes become unstable on steady state I and steady state II. Floquet stability analysis of the unsteady base flows that occur at very low rotation rates shows the presence of five three-dimensional modes. The curves of marginal stability are presented, followed by a comparison of numerical simulations to their experimentally obtained counterparts. Furthermore, the spatio-temporal characteristics of each mode and the likely underlying physical mechanisms are briefly discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2 - 14
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Fluids and Structures
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Wakes
  • Flow stability
  • Vortexstreet
  • Transition

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