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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 495179, 13 pages
Research Article

Application of Potential Theory to Steady Flow Past Two Cylinders in Tandem Arrangement

1Ocean College, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
2The State Key Laboratory of Fluid Power Transmission and Control, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
3Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
4College of Logistics Engineering, Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai 201306, China
5Maritime Research Centre and School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore 639798
6Nanyang Environment and Water Research Institute and School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore 639798

Received 25 August 2013; Revised 31 December 2013; Accepted 14 January 2014; Published 5 March 2014

Academic Editor: Shihua Li

Copyright © 2014 Yangyang Gao et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The wake flow patterns associated with flow past a cylinder and a cylinder-pair in tandem configuration are revisited, compared, and evaluated with respect to the streamline patterns generated based on potential flow theory and superposition of various potential flow elements. The wakes, which are vortex shedding in the lee of the cylinder(s), are reproduced by placing pairs of equal but opposite circulation elements in the potential flow field. The strength of the circulation elements determines the size of the vortices produced. The streamline patterns of flow past a pair of unequal cylinders in tandem configuration provide an indirect means to establish the threshold condition for the wake transition from that of a single bluff body to alternating reattachment behavior. This threshold condition is found to be a function of the diameter ratio, (diameters and , ), spacing ratio, (centre-to-centre distance, , to cylinder diameter, ), and equivalent incident flow speed, A unique functional relationship (, , ) of this threshold condition is established.