Aspect ratio and the dynamic wake of the Ahmed body

James Venning, Thomas McQueen, David Lo Jacono, David Burton, Mark Thompson, John Sheridan

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8 Citations (Scopus)


The dynamic structures in the wake of the Ahmed body with a 25° slant angle were investigated. It is well established that the wake is dominated by two, counter rotating, streamwise vortex structures (C-pillar vortices). The influence these vortices have on the flow over the slant back was altered by modifying the width of the body between 60% to 120% of the standard width. The wake was measured using time-resolved particle-image velocimetry in several streamwise and spanwise planes for a height-based Reynolds number of 2.6×104. The wake measurements were decomposed with a spectral proper orthogonal decomposition technique, revealing two oscillatory modes. Firstly, the C-pillar vortical structures alternately contract and expand with a Strouhal number of 0.24, mildly dependent on the width. Secondly, the boundary layers on the sides of the body separate at the end of the body, forming shear layers with a dominant frequency of St = 2.30. Reducing the width of the body to 60% rotates the symmetry axis of the shedding mode. Furthermore, changing the spacing between the C-pillar vortices, by changing the width of the body, alters the nature of the spanwise vortical structures that form behind the base of the model. Intermediate width bodies produce two stable spanwise vortices. For wide bodies, the flow remains separated over the entire slant, and the top spanwise vortex does not form. Rather, the flow over the slant resembles a free shear layer with a Kelvin–Helmholtz-like instability leading to periodic shedding of small-scale vortex structures. Conversely, for narrow bodies, this phenomenon is observed at the bottom of the body and the lower spanwise vortex no longer forms while the flow over the slant remains attached.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110457
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Thermal and Fluid Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Ahmed body
  • Aspect ratio
  • Spectral POD
  • Time-resolved PIV
  • Trailing vortices

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