Simulations of Three-dimensional Forced Flows Over Long Flat Plates


Principal Investigator

Mark Thompson

Mechanical Engineering,

Monash University

This project simulates fluid flow around a long rectangular plate. It has applications in heat
exchangers and building/structural dynamics. The project is concerned with controlling drag and lift by introducing small pertrubations to the flow. Numerical simulations are performed and verified with experimental models and then used to further understand the physics of the flow. This includes flow visualisation and vortex dynamics.



Tan Boon Thong

Mechanical Engineering,

Monash University




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What are the results to date and the future of this work?

A detailed investigation has been carried out for two dimensional simulations. Simulations have been performed for a range of perturbation frequencies and plate aspect ratios. The results show similar trends with experimental results and strengthens the hypothesis of previous published results. The results are contained in the publications listed below. The next step is to perform three-dimensional simulations. This is to observe the three dimensional flow instabilities and to compare them with experimental observations. The effect of these flow structures will also be studied.

What computational techniques are used?

The spatial scheme consists of a spectral element technique which is finite element in nature with higher order Lagrange polynomials in each element. It is a hybrid of a high order global spectral scheme and a finite element scheme which can handle complicated geometries.

The temporal scheme solves an initial value problem by intergrating in time the Navier-Stokes equation. A time-slitting scheme is used and the advection is solved using an Adam-Bashforth scheme, and the implicit part with a Crank-Nicholson scheme.


T. B. Thong, M. C. Thompson, K. Hourigan, Simulation of Perturbed Flow Around a Rectangular Cylinder Proceedings of Fluids Engineering Division Summer Meeting 1998 ASME. July, Washington DC, USA. In press.

M. C. Thompson, B.T. Tan, and K. Hourigan, Simulation of perturbed flows past long blunt plates. FEDSM97-3675. Proceedings of the 1997 ASME Fluid Engineering Division Summer meeting. Vancouver, Canada.

- Appendix B