Parameter dependence of vortex interactions on a two-dimensional plunging plate

Azar Eslam Panah, James H.J. Buchholz

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22 Scopus citations


The structure and dynamics of the flow field created by a plunging flat-plate airfoil are investigated at a chord Reynolds number of 10,000 while varying plunge amplitude and Strouhal number. Digital particle image velocimetry measurements are used to characterize the shedding patterns and the interactions between the leading- and trailing-edge vortex structures (LEV and TEV), resulting in the development of a wake classification system based on the nature and timing of interactions between the leading- and trailing-edge vortices. The streamwise advancement of the LEV during a plunge cycle and its resulting interaction with the TEV is primarily dependent on reduced frequency; however, for Strouhal numbers above approximately 0.4, significant changes are observed in the formation of vortices shed from the leading and trailing edges, as well as the circulation of the leading-edge vortex. The functional form of the relationship between leading-edge vortex circulation and Strouhal number suggests that the Strouhal number dependence is more specifically a manifestation of the effective angle of attack. Comparison with low-Reynolds-number studies of plunging airfoil aerodynamics reveals a high degree of consistency and suggests applicability of the classification system beyond the range examined in the present work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1687
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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