Phase dynamics of effective drag and lift components in vortex-induced vibration at low mass–damping

Efstathios Konstantinidis, Jisheng Zhao, Justin Leontini, David Lo Jacono, John Sheridan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In this work, we investigate the dynamics of vortex-induced vibration of an elastically mounted cylinder with very low values of mass and damping. We use two methods to investigate this canonical problem: first we calculate the instantaneous phase between the cylinder motion and the fluid forcing; second we decompose the total hydrodynamic force into drag and lift components that act along and normal to, respectively, the instantaneous effective angle of attack. We focus on the phase dynamics in the large-amplitude–response range, consisting of the initial, upper and lower “branches” of response. The instantaneous phase between the transverse force and displacement shows repeated phase slips separating periods of constant, or continuous-drifting, phase in the second half of the upper branch. The phase between the lift component and displacement shows strong phase locking throughout the large-amplitude range – the average phase varies linearly with the primary frequency – however the modulation of this phase is largest in the second half of the upper branch. These observations suggest that the large-amplitude–response dynamics is driven by two distinct limit cycles – one that is stable over a very small range of reduced velocity at the beginning of the upper branch, and another that consists of the lower branch. The chaotic oscillation between them – the majority of the upper branch – occurs when neither limit cycle is stable. The transition between the upper and lower branches is marked by intermittent switching with epochs of time where different states exist at a constant reduced velocity. These different states are clearly apparent in the phase between the lift and displacement, illustrating the utility of the force decomposition employed. The decomposed force measurements also show that the drag component acts as a damping factor whereas the lift component provides the necessary fluid excitation for free vibration to be sustained.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103028
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Fluids and Structures
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Bluff body
  • Flow-induced vibration
  • Force decomposition
  • Non-linear synchronisation
  • Phase dynamics

Cite this