CFD Vortex Shedding for Performance: Simulations and Analysis of Induced Vibrations
Key Takeaways

What vortex shedding is.

An overview of vortex shedding and fluidstructure interactions (FSI).

Applying CFD vortex shedding techniques.
Vortex formed in a fluid
Vortices are one of Mother Nature’s fairly common creations that still invoke wonder and awe. Although we know what these occurrences are, we are often surprised and unprepared when they formulate. We can readily identify hurricanes, tornadoes, and even black holes; however, pinpointing exactly where they will materialize is a bit more elusive. Being able to prevent their effectsin the case of earthborne vorticesis even more daunting.
Unpreparedness in systems design, however, can lead to disastrous results, as vortexinduced vibrations (VIVs) at or near the resonant frequency of a structure may cause degradation or even failure. Therefore, it is important to understand these phenomena that occur within fluid systems. The best means for performing this is by employing CFD vortex shedding analysis that necessitates advanced functionality and capabilities.
What Is Vortex Shedding?
An example of a vortex shedding simulation is shown in the figure below.
CFD vortex shedding simulation streaklines example
As shown, the vortex was formed by the fluid flowing past a square object or opening in the flow medium. The introduction of this barrier to normal flow causes a vortex to form temporarily around an axis linethat may be a straight line or curved. As flow continues beyond the barrier, the vortex begins to shed, which can cause oscillations within the fluid that creates pressure, velocity differences, and vibrations within the medium. These vortexinduced vibrations (VIVs) can be harmful and, if severe enough, may even cause structural deformation.
CFD Vortex Shedding and FluidStructure Interactions
For the case of a flow around a circular cylinder, vortex formulation and behavior can be somewhat predicted according to the Reynolds number for the fluid, as shown in the figure below.
Vortex behavior vs. Reynolds number. Image source: Fundamentals of VortexInduced Vibration
Knowing whether the fluid flow is laminar or turbulent is important. However, it is also important to understand what happens at the boundaries between fluids and structures. This fluidstructure interaction (FSI) can be defined as follows:
FSIs due to vortex shedding may introduce shear stress and strains in the fluid and have the effects listed in the table below.
As shown in the table above, the type of analysis necessary varies according to the degree of deformation and time variationnot to mention the material properties of the structure. However, it is also important to know the propertiespressure, viscosity, velocity, etc.of the fluid to develop and/or design a solution for the system.
CFD Vortex Shedding Analysis Techniques
In most cases, the best tool for analysis of fluid flow systems is the NavierStokes equation, given below for a compressible Newtonian fluid.
F(i) = F(p) + F(v) + F(e)
Note that F(i) are the internal forces, F(p) are the pressure forces, F(v) are the viscous forces, and F(e) are the external forces.
In mathematical symbol form, the equation is:
NavierStokes equation
Typically, this equation is solved with the continuity equation:
Continuity equation
Together, the NavierStokes and continuity equations serve to uphold the important concepts of conservation of momentum and conservation of mass, respectively. When solving the NavierStokes equations, the objective is to determine the fluid velocity, pressure, and other properties all around and upon the system geometry. For simple systems, such as a circular pipe or parallel plate, determining these parameters is fairly straightforward. However, for more complex fluid analysis, software tools are typically invoked to find solutions.
Performing CFD vortex shedding analysis necessitates that you utilize an advanced solver with the ability to solve complex mathematical models accurately, such as from Cadence’s Omnis.
CFD analysis tree capabilities with Cadence tools
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