Stability and three-dimensional evolution of a transitional dynamic stall vortex

Abel-John Buchner, Damon Honnery, Julio Soria

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This paper describes a series of experiments using particle image velocimetry to investigate the dynamic stall resulting due to a rapid pitching motion of a flat plate. There exist in such unsteady separated flows multiple time-dependent coherent structures, whose interaction and evolution are complex and nonlinear. The experiments presented here are aimed at determining the behaviour of a dynamic stall vortex system in the Reynolds number range <10Re < 104. Evidence is presented for the development of the three-dimensional structure associated with the dynamic stall vortex and its interaction with the no-slip boundary condition at the surface of the pitching plate. The analysis presented suggests that a centrifugal instability exists, and that the form of the three-dimensional structure is consistent with that expected of a centrifugal instability. The structure and scale dependence of the flow are explored using wavelet and Fourier methods, with the dependence of the flow on Reynolds number examined, as well as the influence of spanwise end boundary conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-197
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2017


  • instability
  • transition to turbulence
  • vortex flows

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