Pulsatile flow past an oscillating cylinder

Adnan Qamar, Robinson Seda, Joseph L. Bull*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


A fundamental study to characterize the flow around an oscillating cylinder in a pulsatile flow environment is investigated. This work is motivated by a new proposed design of the total artificial lung (TAL), which is envisioned to provide better gas exchange. The Navier-Stokes computations in a moving frame of reference were performed to compute the dynamic flow field surrounding the cylinder. Cylinder oscillations and pulsatile free-stream velocity were represented by two sinusoidal waves with amplitudes A and B and frequencies ωc and ω, respectively. The Keulegan-Carpenter number (Kc=Uo/Dωc) was used to describe the frequency of the oscillating cylinder while the pulsatile free-stream velocity was fixed by imposing ω/Kc=1 for all cases investigated. The parameters of interest and their values were amplitude (0.5D<A<D), the Keulegan-Carpenter number (0.33<Kc<1), and the Reynolds number (5<Re<20) corresponding to operating conditions of the TAL. It was observed that an increase in amplitude and a decrease in Kc are associated with an increase in vorticity (up to 246%) for every Re suggesting that mixing could be enhanced by the proposed TAL design. The drag coefficient was found to decrease for higher amplitudes and lower Kc for all cases investigated. In some cases the drag coefficient values were found to be lower than the stationary cylinder values (A=0.5, Kc=0.3, and Re=10 and 20). A lock-in phenomenon (cylinder oscillating frequency matched the vortex shedding frequency) was found when Kc=1 for all cases. This lock-in condition was attributed to be the cause of the rise in drag observed in that operating regime. For optimal performance of the modified TAL design it is recommended to operate the device at higher fiber oscillation amplitudes and lower Kc (avoiding the lock-in regime).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number041903
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 19 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NIH Grant Nos. R01HL69420 and R01HL089043.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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