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Aerodynamic characteristics of a square cylinder with corner fins

Qiulei Wang, Qi Jiang, Gang Hu, Xiao Chen, Chao Li, Yiqing Xiao
Published: 10 June 2021

Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of fitting fins at the corners of a square cylinder on aerodynamic characteristics of the cylinder via wind tunnel tests and large eddy simulations (LES). Although it has been recognized that the corner fins have a remarkable effect on aerodynamic characteristics of a square cylinder, no study has been carried out to systematically evaluate this effect and reveal the underlying mechanism. Three types of corner fin configurations, i.e. fins fitted only to the leading corners, fins fitted only to the trailing corners, and fins fitted to both leading and trailing corners were studied. It was found that the corner fins significantly influence aerodynamic characteristics, such as mean drag coefficient, fluctuating lift coefficient, and vortex shedding of the cylinder. The influences of these corner fin configurations are very different. In general, the leading and trailing fins have an opposite effect on these characteristics. The mechanisms underlying these effects were clarified based on the flow regime visualized via LES. The interesting findings have practical significances not only for reducing aerodynamic forces and wind-induced vibration of infrastructures, but also for enhancing wind-induced vibration-based energy harvesting.
Keywords: Large eddy simulation / Square cylinder / Aerodynamic treatment / Corner modification / Corner fins

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