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Computers & Fluids 35 (2006) 607623


Cartesian cut cell approach for simulating incompressible ows

with rigid bodies of arbitrary shape
Meng-Hsuan Chung *

Civil, Hydraulics, and Informatics Research Center, Sinotech Engineering Consultants, Inc., 171 Nanking E. Rd., Sec. 5, Taipei 105, Taiwan, ROC

Received 28 August 2004; received in revised form 30 March 2005; accepted 18 April 2005
Available online 15 August 2005


In this paper, a Cartesian grid method with cut cell approach has been developed to simulate two dimensional unsteady viscous
incompressible ows with rigid bodies of arbitrary shape. A collocated nite volume method with nominally second-order accurate
schemes in space is used for discretization. A pressure-free projection method is used to solve the equations governing incompress-
ible ows. For xed-body problems, the AdamsBashforth scheme is employed for the advection terms and the CrankNicholson
scheme for the diusion terms. For moving-body problems, the fully implicit scheme is employed for both terms. The present cut cell
approach with cell merging process ensures global mass/momentum conservation and avoid exceptionally small size of control vol-
ume which causes impractical time step size. The cell merging process not only keeps the shape resolution as good as before merging,
but also makes both the location of cut face center and the construction of interpolation stencil easy and systematic, hence enables
the straightforward extension to three dimensional space in the future. Various test examples, including a moving-body problem,
were computed and validated against previous simulations or experiments to prove the accuracy and eectiveness of the present
method. The observed order of accuracy in the spatial discretization is superlinear.
 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction a highly accurate and conservative boundary scheme is

required. Another branch of non-body-tted grid ap-
The major advantages of the non-body-tted grid proach, immersed boundary method [1316], has also
method over the body-tted grid method include the succeeded in simulating viscous ows. The immersed
simplicity of grid generation and neat discretization boundary is represented by a discrete set of body or sur-
equations. Particularly, a prominent advantage appears face forces in these methods, hence smearing is inevita-
when the immersed solid boundary is moving arbi- ble and could cause inadequate solutions near the
trarily. boundary for high Re ows or boundary motion in-
The Cartesian grid method with cut cell approach has volved ows [17]. The Cartesian grid method with cut
been used extensively and successfully for inviscid ows cell approach has no concern about this because the im-
[17] whereas few applications to viscous ows are mersed boundary is represented as a sharp interface ex-
found in the literature [812]. The reason resides in the actly on which the boundary conditions are imposed.
fact that the boundary layer, especially for high Re In this work a Cartesian cut cell approach has been
ows, must be suciently resolved to assure accurate developed to simulate unsteady, viscous, incompressible
solutions in the whole eld for viscous ows, therefore ows. The success of whatever cut cell approach de-
pends on how the boundary conditions are implemented
at the immersed boundary and the discretization scheme
Tel.: +886 2 27692131x20956; fax: +886 2 27655010. modied for the cut cells. In the present method, the
E-mail address: mhsuan@sinotech.org.tw uid part of the cut cell with solid center will be merged

0045-7930/$ - see front matter  2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
608 M.-H. Chung / Computers & Fluids 35 (2006) 607623

into an appropriately selected neighboring cell with uid In this work, the terms at the time step n + 1/2 have
center. Accordingly, the no-slip condition is imposed ex- been approximated in either of the following two ways.
actly at the immersed boundary and the normal gradient (a) The explicit second-order AdamsBashforth
terms are evaluated from the ow quantities on the sur- scheme is employed for the advection terms and the im-
face normal which in turn are bilinearly interpolated plicit CrankNicholson scheme for the diusion terms.
from the surrounding uid cell centers or centers of sur- Z Z
n1=2 1
face boundary segments. The pressure-free projection uU  n dS 3un Un  n
cs 2 cs
method is used as the incompressible ow solver. If
the advectiondiusion equation is advanced in time  un1 Un1  ndS; 4
fully implicitly, the moving-body problems can be simu- 1 1
run1=2  n dS ru run  n dS. 5
lated successfully. Re cs 2Re cs
The detailed description of the present method will be
(b) The fully implicit scheme is employed for both the
given below followed by some verifying and validating
advection terms and the diusion terms. This version of
time integration is used to treat moving-body problems.
2. Governing equations of uid ow uU  n dS u U  ndS; 6
cs cs
1 1
In the present work the laminar two dimensional ow run1=2  n dS ru  n dS. 7
eld of incompressible uid is governed by the Navier Re cs Re cs
Stokes equations. The integral nondimensional equa-
tions of motion are given by 3.1.2. Pressure-correction step
Z n1 Z
u  n dS 0; 1 u  u
dV  rpn1 dV . 8
Z I cv Dt cv
u dV uu  ndS In the above two steps, n denotes the time step index, Dt
ot cv cs
I I the time step size, u the intermediate velocity at the cell
 pn dS ru  n dS; 2 center and U the velocity at the cell face. To satisfy the
cs Re cs constraint of free divergence,
where cv and cs denote the control volume and control Z
surface, respectively, and n is the outward unit vector Un1  n dS 0: 9
normal to the control surface.
Eq. (8) is revised and gives the Poisson-like equation for
3. Numerical method Z Z
rpn1  n dS U  n dS; 10
cs Dt cs
3.1. Incompressible ow solver for body-tted grid
where U is the intermediate velocity at the cell face
The governing equations, Eqs. (1) and (2) constitute a interpolated from the neighbouring u . Once the pres-
nonlinear and coupled system of dierential equations. sure is obtained by solving Eq. (10), both the cell-center
A cell-centered collocated nite volume method is ap- and face-center velocities are updated separately as
plied to discretize this set of coupled equations. The cou- Z
pling between the divergence-free constraint and the un1 u  pn1 n dS; 11
V cell cs
pressure gradient in the momentum equation is solved
Un1 U  Dtrpn1 fc ; 12
by a pressure-free projection method [18,19]. Taking a
nite volume cell as the control volume, the momentum where Vcell is the volume of the control cell. That is, un-
equation, Eq. (2), is advanced in time with the advec- like U is evaluated by interpolating the neighboring u ,
tiondiusion step followed by the pressure-correction the cell face velocity at the next time step Un+1 is ob-
step. tained by updating the intermediate value of itself as
shown in Eq. (12). The introduction of the face center
3.1.1. Advectiondiusion step velocity not only eliminates the grid-to-grid pressure
Z  Z oscillation in collocated methods, but also can reduce
u  un
dV uU  nn1=2 dS the mass conservation error to machine zero if needed
cv Dt cs
Z [12,19].
1 In Eqs. (3) and (10), the spatial discretization of
run1=2  n dS. 3
Re cs advection, diusion and pressure terms on the cell face
M.-H. Chung / Computers & Fluids 35 (2006) 607623 609

are all treated by the central dierence scheme. For each script of /I, * for the advectiondiusion equation and
solution variable (u, v, or p), an algebraic equation is n + 1 for the pressure Poisson equation, has been
formed in each nite volume cell in which ve (seven dropped here for neatness. The system of algebraic
in three dimensions) cell center solutions at time step equations thus generated for each solution variable is
n + 1 are involved. Taking cell P in Fig. 1 as example a ve-diagonal sparse matrix equation and will be e-
and tentatively disregarding the immersed solid bound- ciently solved by the Stones Strongly Implicit Procedure
ary, the algebraic equation for this cell has the following (SIP) [20]. For compact-stencil schemes in the body-t-
form: ted Cartesian grid layout, S/ contains only the bound-
AP /P AW /W AE /E AS /S AN /N S / S n/ ; ary-condition terms, Eq. (13) thus can be solved
without updating S/ in SIP sweeps if the boundary con-
13 ditions are linear. For the cut cell approach, S/ generally
where AI denotes the coecient of the corresponding contains solution variables at cell centers other than the
cell-center value /I, S n/ the explicit source term contain- ve-point stencil, hence it must be updated in each SIP
ing the /-independent terms and the terms at the time sweep. The convergence criterion is that the least of
step n, n  1,. . ., etc. S/ is the source term from the the normalized residuals for pressure Poisson equation
boundary conditions and other implicitly treated terms over all the control volumes, Resp, should be less than
which are not expressed in the form of AI/I. The super- a prescribed value, usually 105, i.e.,

Fig. 1. Illustration of computational nodes and cells near the immersed boundary, h = mesh size.
610 M.-H. Chung / Computers & Fluids 35 (2006) 607623
A  x  b with the cell face are rst located, then the immersed
 < 105 ;
cell 1
boundary within each cut cell can be approximated
and sharply tted by the line segment connecting the
where A is the coecient matrix, x the solution vector, intersection points on the cut cell faces. This approxima-
and b the source vector. tion can be justied if the mesh size becomes far smaller
Since the viscous stability limit is removed by advanc- than the local radius of curvature of the original solid
ing the viscous terms implicitly, the time step size must boundary. It is straightforward to determine the normal
obey the CFL condition due to the convective terms direction of solid boundary by the line approximation.
h Only two types of cut cell exist. For the negative type,
Dt < min ; 15
X juj the cell center lies within solid region; for the positive
type, the cell center lies within uid region. For illustra-
where X denotes the whole computational domain and
tion, the line segments centered at points a and b as
h the mesh size.
shown in Fig. 1 approximate the original solid boundary
immersed within the cut cell S (negative) and P (posi-
3.1.3. Solid wall and inow boundary conditions
tive), respectively.
n1 Whether a cell is cut or not, the cell-center velocity
un1 f t ; u u n1
; 0; 16 u and pressure p are still dened at the center of the
wall wall n1 wall wall

n1 original regular cell as the body-tted grid layout. The

n1  n1 op face-center velocity U is dened at the center of each cell
uinflow f inflow tn1 ; uinflow uinflow ; 0.
face, like w, s and se for the corresponding cut
17 face and n and e for the corresponding regular face
in Fig. 1.

3.1.4. Outow boundary conditions 3.2.1. Cell merging

On an outow boundary, the zero gradient condition To avoid a too small time step arising from the
can be applied to the intermediate velocity requirement of numerical stability in a small cut cell,
 the uid part of each negative cut cell will be merged
0. 18 into an appropriately selected neighboring regular cell
on  outflow
or positive cut cell. Taking for example the negative
In general, this condition will produce an intermediate cut cell with node S in Fig. 1, the surface normal tilts
R  eld which violates the compatibility condition, to the y-axis, hence the positive cut cell with node P is
u  n dS 0, required for the pressure Poisson equa- the better choice to merge than the positive cut cell with
tion, hence the following inhomogeneous Neumann node SE. The integration of governing equations will
boundary condition is used. be conducted in the merged cell with cell boundary being
n1 Z composed of line segments represented by a, b,
op 1
u  n dS; 19 w, n, e and se. The associated solution vari-
onoutflow S outflow Dt oX ables and uxes at these points are calculated according
where Soutow denotes the area of the outow boundary. to the following two subsections. Note that the values
Analogous to Eq. (12), the normal velocity is corrected as and uxes on the cut cell face s is no more needed
n1 after cell merging.
 op It is worth mentioning that, in the work of Ye et al.
un1  n u  n  Dt 20
outflow outflow
onoutflow [12], the value of variables or uxes at the center of
the merged cell face or the merged cutting surface of
and the tangential velocity is imposed the zero gradient
the merged cell is directly interpolated from the neigh-
boring positive centers or centers of the merged bound-

oun1  s ary segment. However, in the present method, the
 0. 21 merged cell face is regarded as a combination of a full
on outflow
cell face and a cut cell face, like face e and face se
In the following subsections, the modications and is- composing the eastern face of the merged cell in Fig. 1
sues related to the present cut cell approach are detailed and interpolation being done separately on these two
and discussed. faces. Likewise, the merged cutting surface is a combina-
tion of two boundary segments, like segment a and
3.2. Cut cell approach segment b composing the southern face of the merged
cell in Fig. 1. The present approach seems more com-
In the Cartesian grid method so called in the present plex, but this kind of cell-by-cell combination approach,
work, the intersection points of the immersed boundary on the contrary, makes both the location of cut face cen-
M.-H. Chung / Computers & Fluids 35 (2006) 607623 611

ter and the construction of interpolation stencil easier where fb is the prescribed solid boundary velocity, jKbj
and more systematic. This benet will manifests itself the length of the boundary segment, and n the unit nor-
most in three dimensional problems. Further, the merg- mal vector on Kb, pointing from solid to uid. The sign
ing of boundary segments in the work of Ye et al. will of equality comes from the no-slip condition
reduce the shape resolution of the immersed boundary ub f b . 23
more than the present method. As shown in Fig. 2, the
original boundary segments a and b will be re- For the integration of the x-direction advectiondif-
placed by the single boundary segment c according fusion equation, the x-direction physical uxes through
to the philosophy of cell merging of Ye et al. The trian- the solid boundary segment centered at point b are
gular area formed by segments a, b, and c just required and can be approximated as
causes the reduction of shape resolution.  
1 ou  s
ub f b  n  ny ; 24
Re on b
3.2.2. Boundary conditions on the immersed boundary
For the integration of the mass conservation equation where ub = ubi + vbj, n = nxi + nyj and the tangent vector
over a control volume with solid boundary being one of s = nyi  nxj. The advection ux, ub(fb n), is determined
its control surfaces, the mass ux on the solid boundary by the no-slip condition, Eq. (23), thus can be evaluated
is needed. Taking for illustration the solid boundary seg- at time step n + 1/2 and lumped under the source term
ment centered at point b in Fig. 1, denoted as Kb here, S nu for either the AdamsBashforth scheme or the fully
the mass ow rate through the segment into the uid can implicit scheme. To obtainthe tangential
 velocity gradi-
1 ous
be approximated as ent in the diusion ux,  Re on ny , points b1 and
b2 are rst located such that bb1 and bb2 are normal
ub  n  jKb j f b  n  jKb j; 22 to the boundary segment Kb with length of 1/2 and

2 3

b c
a 4

1-2-3-4-5-1 : merged cell in the present method

1-2-3-4-1 : merged cell in Ye et al. [12]

center of boundary segment in the present method

center of boundary segment in Ye et al. [12]
center of positive cut cell
center of negative cut cell
Fig. 2. Comparison of shape resolution between the present method and Ye et al. [12].
612 M.-H. Chung / Computers & Fluids 35 (2006) 607623

3/2 mesh size, respectively (Fig. 1). Second, the variation 3.2.3. Interpolation strategy at cell face center
of the uid velocity u between b and b2 is assumed The value of solution variable and its spatial gradi-
quadratic, ents at the center of each cut face will be interpolated
from the bilinear polynomial t to the nearest four posi-
un a0 a1 n a2 n2 ; 25
tive centers or boundary segment centers. Referring to
with the three coecients (a0, a1, a2) determined by Fig. 1, the values of variable / at the cut face center
imposing the following conditions w and se are calculated by
u0 f b ; uh=2 ub1 ; u3h=2 ub2 . 26 /w vW /W vP /P vNW /NW vN /N 30
Finally, the normal derivative of the tangential velocity and
at point b can be approximated as
  /se vSE /SE vP /P vE /E va /a ; 31
ou  s
u0 0  s a1  s respectively, where the boundary segment center a has
on b been assigned correct values as depicted in the previous
8f b 9ub1  ub2 =6h  s; 27 subsection. Further, the spatial gradients of the solution
variable at points w and se can be obtained directly
where the velocity u (and other variables) at points b1
by dierentiating the corresponding polynomial and
and b2 can be evaluated by the bilinear interpolation
rewritten in the weighting form.
polynomial t to the neighbouring positive centers or
The cell-center velocities interpolated at the center of
boundary segment centers. This polynomial can be writ-
cut face can be used to evaluate the advection ux
ten as the weighting sum of the interpolating centers.
through the cut face at time step n and n  1 for the
For instance, the value of a general variable / at point
AdamsBashforth scheme and at the intermediate step
b1 can be calculated from the following equation,
* for the fully implicit scheme. In the former, the advec-
/b1 vW /W vP /P vNW /NW vN /N ; 28 tion ux is lumped under the source term S nu or S nv ; in the
latter, the advection ux is not expressed in the form of
where v denotes the weighting coecient at the corre-
AI/I but lumped under the source term S u or S v .
sponding point, dependent on the spatial coordinates
The diusion ux through the cut face is required at
of the target point and the interpolating centers only.
the intermediate step * for both the CrankNicholson
The diusion ux on solid boundary at the intermediate
and the fully implicit scheme. The velocity gradients at
step * is required for both the CrankNicholson and the
the center of cut face can be expressed as the weighting
fully implicit scheme. It is not expressed in the form of
sum of the velocities at the nearest four positive centers
AI/I but lumped under the source term S u . For the
or boundary segment centers, hence the intermediate-
CrankNicholson scheme, the diusion ux at time step
step diusion ux can be decomposed into the contribu-
n is evaluated and lumped under the source term S nu .
tions in the form of AI/I if I belongs to the ve-point
The y-direction uxes required for the integration of
stencil and the contributions lumped under the source
the y-direction advectiondiusion equation can be
term S / otherwise. Referring to Fig. 1 for illustration,
approximated similarly as the x-direction uxes.
the x-direction gradient of u at the face center w
Note that in the work of Ye et al. [12], the normal
can be expressed as
velocity gradient on the immersed boundary is decom-

posed into the x- and y-components which in turn are ou 
nW uW nP uP nNW uNW nN uN ; 32
interpolated separately from the corresponding poly- ox w
nomial t to the neighbouring positive centers or centers
of the merged boundary segment. where n denotes the weighting coecient at the corre-
For the pressure Poisson equation, in the light of the sponding point. Thus nW, nP and nN will be added into
homogeneous Neumann boundary condition, there is no AW, AP and AN, respectively and nNW uNW lumped under
ux contribution on solid boundary to the source term the source term S u . By the cell merging process stated
S n1
p . Still, the pressure on the solid boundary is required
earlier, the cut face centered at se belongs to the
to serve as an interpolating point to interpolate out the merged cell at center P. At this face, nP and nE will
pressure gradient at the cut cell faces near the solid be added into AP and AE, respectively and
boundary as illustrated in the next subsection. To this nSE uSE and na ua lumped under the source term S u . In
end, the following implementation is adopted: the pressure Poisson equation, Eq. (10), the diusion-
like ux through the cut face is treated the same way,
pb pb1 . 29
thus explaining the need of the pressure value on the
To obtain pb1 , it often needs a priori known pb. While solid boundary.
this will not cause additional diculties because the For regular cell faces, one of the following three con-
solution of the pressure Poisson equation is inherently ditions will happen, depending on the sign of the two
iterative. cell centers striding across the cell face: (1) Both cell cen-
M.-H. Chung / Computers & Fluids 35 (2006) 607623 613

ters are positive, then the cell face value is linearly inter- (iii) Merge each negative cut cell into a neighboring
polated directly from them; (2) The sign is opposite to positive cut or regular cell.
each other, then the cell merging process will be acti- (iv) Do all polynomial ts to nd the weighting coe-
vated as illustrated earlier. The cell face value is thus cients v and n needed for evaluating the variables
irrelevant; (3) Both cell centers are negative, then the cell and/or their derivatives at the reference points on
face is in the solid part and not involved in the uid ow the reference normal line, the centers of cut cell
solution. faces, and the boundary segment centers.
(v) Modify the coecients or the source terms in the
3.2.4. Moving-body problems discretized governing equations for the near-
The Cartesian cut cell approach is very useful to deal boundary cells.
with moving bodies, especially of arbitrary motion. (vi) Advance the discretized equations to the next time
These ows are very complex both physically and numer- step.
ically. In this work, a fully implicit scheme is adopted to (vii) Go to step (v) for xed-body problems or step (i)
avoid the stunning complexity in treating the dierences for moving-body problems.
of the cut cell indices and cell merging information be-
tween the current and the previous time step. The use
of pressure-free projection method is based mainly on
the same reason. Nevertheless, the Eulerian acceleration 5. Test examples
term, ou
, calls for the cell-center velocity at the previous
time step, un. In this work, if a previously negative cell 5.1. Lid-driven cavity ow with uniform lid velocity
center becomes positive at the current time step, the pre-
vious velocity of the immersed solid boundary within this Lid-driven cavity ows with uniform lid velocity at
cut cell is used to approximate the previous cell-center the Reynolds numbers of 100, 1000, and 3200 (based
velocity. That is, using notations in Fig. 1, on the lid velocity) were simulated to verify the present
unS una . 33 ow solver in a body-tted grid layout. The geometry,
initial conditions, and boundary conditions are shown
Further, the initial guess of pressure at each time step in Fig. 3. A 128 128 uniform grid and Dt = 0.005
is crucial to convergence behaviour though it would not was used in the computations. Fig. 4 presents the steady-
change the solution converged to machine zero. In xed- state streamlines at the three Reynolds numbers. Fig. 5
body problems, the initial guess at cell centers and presents the steady-state u and v proles along the
boundary segment centers are exactly copied from the vertical and horizontal center lines, respectively. The
results of the previous time step. In moving-body prob- results of Ghia et al. [21] is plotted for comparison. It
lems, boundary segments could be annihilated or born can be seen that the agreement is good. Table 1 lists
within two consecutive time steps, hence it is dicult the locations of the primary and the rst vortices pre-
to construct the previous pressure at a current boundary dicted by the present body-tted approach and makes
segment center from the information of previous bound-
ary segments. The alternative proposed in this work is to
guess the initial pressure at a boundary segment center
as the pressure of the relevant cell center at the previous (a) u = 1, v = 0
2 2
time step. That is, using notations in Fig. 1, (b) u = 16(x+ 1/2) (x-1/2) , v = 0

pan1;0 pbn1;0 pnP . 34

Though the fully implicit scheme is used, the time
u = 0, v = 0

u = 0, v = 0

step size Dt is limited by a CFL-like condition based

u = 0, v = 0, p = 0
on the velocity of body motion.

at t = 0

4. Summary of algorithm

The solution algorithm is summarized as follows:


u = 0, v = 0
(i) Determine the intersections of the immersed
boundary with the Cartesian mesh lines. -0.5 0 0.5
(ii) Classify types of cut cell as uid (positive) or solid x
(negative) and construct the reference line normal Fig. 3. Geometry, initial conditions, and boundary conditions of the
to the solid boundary segment in each cut cell. lid-driven cavity ow: (a) uniform lid velocity (b) variable lid velocity.
614 M.-H. Chung / Computers & Fluids 35 (2006) 607623

Fig. 4. Steady-state streamlines of the lid-driven cavity ow with uniform lid velocity, predicted by the body-tted grid approach. (a) Re = 100,
(b) Re = 1000 and (c) Re = 3200.

u 5.2. Lid-driven cavity ow with variable lid velocity

-1 -0.75 -0.5 -0.25 0 0.25 0.5 0.75 1
1 0.5
Though the previous test example has become a pop-
0.75 ular problem for verifying numerical methods, the uni-
0.3 form lid velocity makes some troubles. Because of the
0.5 (c)
discontinuity of the velocity at the top two corners,
the solution of the NavierStokes equations becomes
0.1 singular at these points. In the cut cell approach, the ori-
ginal geometry of solid boundary will be approximated

0 0

by a series of line segments, hence the right-angled cor-

-0.25 ners of the cavity will be reshaped into a transitional
-0.2 polyline. The characteristics of singularities at these cor-
-0.5 ners would be changed. It is dicult to quantify the ef-
(a) fect of this change on the numerical solutions. To avoid
-0.75 (b)
(c) -0.4 ambiguous results, an alternative velocity prole ex-
pressed in the case (b) of Fig. 3 is applied on the lid. This
-1 -0.5
-0.5 -0.4 -0.3 -0.2 -0.1 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 prole gives zero velocity and zero velocity gradient at
these two corners, thus eliminates the singularity. This
Fig. 5. Steady-state center-line velocity proles u(0, y) and v(0, x) of the kind of cavity ow has been simulated by the cut cell ap-
lid-driven cavity ow with uniform lid velocity: (a) Re = 100, (b) proach at Remax = 100 to study the grid convergence
Re = 1000 and (c) Re = 3200. Comparison between the present behaviour. Here, Remax is dened using the maximum
computation (line) and Ghia et al. [21] (symbol).
velocity on the driving lid. Further, to examine the pres-
ent method in a more general situation, the cavity was
rotated counterclockwise about its center such that the
a comparison with Ghia et al. [21]. The dierence be- top driving lid made an angle (b) of 30 with the hori-
tween the two results is smaller than one mesh size at zontal grid line.
Re = 100 and 1000 and about two mesh size at The method to determine the order of grid conver-
Re = 3200. Therefore, the code for the body-tted grid gence follows the work of Roache [22]. If the grid reso-
approach is preliminarily veried. lution is ne enough, the simulation result would fall

Table 1
Location of primary and rst vortices of lid-driven cavity ow with uniform lid velocity
Re Primary BL BR TL
100 (0.1151, 0.2386) [0.1172, 0.2344] (0.4640, 0.4637) [0.4687, 0.4609] (0.4417, 0.4370) [0.4453, 0.4375]
1000 (0.0344, 0.0699) [0.0313, 0.0625] (0.4187, 0.4277) [0.4141, 0.4219] (0.3619, 0.3848) [0.3594, 0.3906]
3200 (0.0164, 0.0375) [0.0165, 0.0469] (0.4246, 0.3740) [0.4141, 0.3906] (0.3069, 0.4220) [0.3125, 0.4141] (0.4388, 0.4037)
[0.4453, 0.3984]
(, ) and [, ] denote the location x, y predicted by the present body-tted grid approach and in the work of Ghia et al. [21], respectively. BL: bottom
left corner. BR: bottom right corner. TL: top left corner.
M.-H. Chung / Computers & Fluids 35 (2006) 607623 615

2.07 1X 2
f K:E:  ui v2i V cell;i . 37
2 i
1 (1/64) The simulation was carried out on four grids with
Kinetic Energy in Cavity (x10 -2)

2 h1 = 1/128 and r = 2. The time step size Dtm = 0.005 m

2.05 3 with m the grid index running from 1 to 4. Fig. 6 shows
the grid convergence curve with an asymptotic range.
Thus the order of convergence can be calculated by
2.04 Eq. (36) as q = 1.605, indicating a superlinear conver-
gence. It can also be interpreted as the order of accuracy
of the present simulator as a whole in computing real
complex ows. Note that the method of Ye et al. [12]
was declared second order accurate using a Stokes ow
2.02 as the verifying example.
In the following, the cases of Remax = 100, 400, and
3200 with b = 0 and 30 were simulated on the grid
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 with h = 1/128 and Dt = 0.005. The results are com-
Normalized Grid Spacing pared to those obtained by the body-tted grid ap-
Fig. 6. Grid convergence study of the present cut cell approach using proach using the same grid density or the numerical
four grids. The number in the bracket is the corresponding grid data of previous literature. Fig. 7 depicts steady-state
spacing. The test problem is a driven cavity ow with variable lid streamline patterns at three Reynolds numbers with
velocity at Remax = 100, b = 30. The abscissa is the grid spacing
b = 30. The streamline patterns predicted by the
normalized by the nest grid spacing.
body-tted grid approach and the cut cell approach with
b = 0, respectively are very similar to those in Fig. 7,
into an asymptotic range of convergence and the error
hence not shown here.
reduce as grid is rened.
For Remax = 100, Table 2 lists the locations of the
e f h  fexact Chq H:O:T:; 35 primary and the rst vortices. It is observed that the re-
where e is the error, f the observed quantity in the sim- sults of the cut cell approach with b = 0 are nearly the
ulation, h the grid spacing, C a constant, and q the order same as the body-tted grid approach and the maximum
of convergence. If simulation is performed on three grids dierence between the cut cell approach with b = 30
with h1 < h2 < h3 and r = h3/h2 = h2/h1, then q can be and the body-tted grid approach is about one and a
calculated as half mesh size. Table 3 compares the predicted maxi-
  mum absolute vorticity on the lid and the minimum hor-
f3  f2
q ln lnr. 36 izontal velocity on the vertical center line against three
f2  f1
previous numerical works [2325]. Also shown in the
For the cavity ow, the steady-state total kinetic table are the extreme vertical velocities on the horizontal
energy of uid in the cavity is a relevant choice of the center line predicted by the present three approaches.
observed quantity. The dierences in center line velocities between various

Fig. 7. Steady-state streamline patterns of the lid-driven cavity ow with variable lid velocity predicted by the cut cell approach with b = 30:
(a) Remax = 100, (b) Remax = 400 and (c) Remax = 3200.
616 M.-H. Chung / Computers & Fluids 35 (2006) 607623

Table 2
Location x, y of primary and rst vortices of lid-driven cavity ow with variable lid velocity at Remax = 100, predicted in the present work
Approach Primary BL BR
Body-tted grid 0.1111, 0.2266 0.4672, 0.4640 0.4499, 0.4421
Cut cell approach (b = 0) 0.1109, 0.2271 0.4661, 0.4645 0.4488, 0.4425
Cut cell approach (b = 30) 0.1066, 0.2329 0.4695, 0.4698 0.4380, 0.4311

Table 3
Predictions of maximum absolute vorticity on the lid and the extreme velocities on the vertical and horizontal center lines for lid-driven cavity ow
with variable lid velocity at Remax = 100
Contribution jxjmax(x, 0.5) umin(0, y) vmin(x, 0) vmax(x, 0)
Bontoux [23] 13.31 0.163
Elsaesser and Peyret [24] 13.16 0.162
Peyret and Taylor [25] 13.14 0.159
Present body-tted grid 13.23 0.179 0.243 0.165
Present cut cell approach (b = 0) 13.21 0.179 0.243 0.165
Present cut cell approach (b = 30) 13.07 0.180 0.224 0.158

contributions are limited to 2% of the maximum driving u

-1 -0.75 -0.5 -0.25 0 0.25 0.5 0.75 1
velocity. 1 0.5
For Remax = 400, the steady-state center-line velocity 0.4
proles u(0, y) and v(0, x) for the three approaches are 0.75

presented in Fig. 8. Table 4 lists the locations of the pri- 0.3

mary and the rst vortices. Also shown in the gure and 0.2
the table are the previous numerical results [23,25,26]. 0.25
Again, the present three approaches agree well with each 0.1

other. Note that lower grid resolutions were used in 0 0


those previous numerical works.
For Remax = 3200, the steady-state center-line veloc- -0.25
ity proles u(0, y) and v(0, x) for the three approaches -0.2
-1 -0.75 -0.5 -0.25 0 0.25 0.5 0.75 1
1 0.5 -1 -0.5
-0.5 -0.4 -0.3 -0.2 -0.1 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
0.4 x
0.3 Fig. 9. Steady-state center-line velocity proles u(0, y) and v(0, x) of the
0.5 lid-driven cavity ow with variable lid velocity at Remax = 3200.
0.2 Comparison between body-tted grid (), cut cell approach with
0.25 b = 0 (- - -) and cut cell approach with b = 30 (  ).

0 0 are presented in Fig. 9. The present three approaches


-0.1 agree well with each other. Table 5 lists the locations
of the primary and the rst vortices. The dierences be-
tween the three approaches are within one mesh size for
-0.3 all the vortices except the bottom right (BR) one for
-0.75 which the dierence of the cut cell approach with
b = 30 from the body-tted grid approach keeps no
-0.5 -0.4 -0.3 -0.2 -0.1 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
-0.5 greater than two mesh size. Fig. 10 shows the steady-
x state streamline patterns of corner vortices predicted
by the three approaches. The shapes and sizes of the rst
Fig. 8. Steady-state center-line velocity proles u(0, y) and v(0, x) of the
vortices predicted by the three approaches are in good
lid-driven cavity ow with variable lid velocity at Remax = 400.
Comparison between body-tted grid approach (), cut cell approach agreement with each other. For the second vortices at
with b = 0 (- - -), cut cell approach with b = 30 (  ), Hawken et al. two bottom corners, the cut cell approach with b = 0
[26] (d), Peyret and Taylor [25] (j), and Bontoux [23] (m). almost duplicates the results of the body-tted grid ap-
M.-H. Chung / Computers & Fluids 35 (2006) 607623 617

Table 4
Location x, y of primary and rst vortices of lid-driven cavity ow with variable lid velocity at Remax = 400, predicted in the present work
Contribution Primary BL BR
Bontoux [23] 0.10, 0.15
Peyret and Taylor [25] 0.10, 0.15
Hawken et al. [26] 0.05, 0.10
Present body-tted grid 0.0635, 0.0943 0.4549, 0.4550 0.3968, 0.3807
Present cut cell approach (b = 0) 0.0631, 0.0947 0.4540, 0.4554 0.3955, 0.3808
Present cut cell approach (b = 30) 0.0614, 0.1008 0.4548, 0.4577 0.3815, 0.3734

Table 5
Location x, y of primary and rst vortices of lid-driven cavity ow with variable lid velocity at Remax = 3200, predicted in the present work
Approach Primary BL BR TL
Body-tted grid 0.0209, 0.0403 0.4196, 0.3861 0.3193, 0.4117 0.4220, 0.4024
Cut cell approach (b = 0) 0.0206, 0.0404 0.4188, 0.3866 0.3183, 0.4118 0.4209, 0.4025
Cut cell approach (b = 30) 0.0175, 0.0398 0.4190, 0.3923 0.3070, 0.4093 0.4163, 0.4012

Fig. 10. Steady-state streamline patterns of corner vortices in the lid-driven cavity ow with variable lid velocity at Remax = 3200, predicted in this
work by the body-tted grid approach (top), cut cell approach with b = 0 (middle), and cut cell approach with b = 30 (bottom).
618 M.-H. Chung / Computers & Fluids 35 (2006) 607623

u/y = 0, v = 0


Outflow B.C., Eq. (18)-(21)

u = 1, v = 0



-15 -10 -5 0 5 10 15
u/y = 0, v = 0 x
Fig. 11. Geometry, grid, and boundary conditions of ow over a
circular cylinder at Re = 20, 40, and 100. One fourth mesh lines is
shown in both directions.

Fig. 12. Streamline patterns of ow over a xed circular cylinder at

proach. The cut cell approach with b = 30 also captures Re = 20, 40, and 100. The instantaneous streamlines at t = 90 is shown
these vortices, though the geometric characteristics for Re = 100.
change a little. Note that the size of the second vortex
is only 4 mesh size or less.
Thus, the present cut cell approach has been veried stream velocity, and m the kinematic viscosity. All the
by the test examples in this subsection. simulations have been performed in a large 30 30
domain so as to reduce the inuence of the outer
5.3. Flow past a xed circular cylinder boundary. A non-uniform grid with resolution of
221(x) 157(y) is used. The mesh distribution near the
To further validate the present method, the un- cylinder surface is uniform with h = 0.03. The time step
bounded, uniform ow past a xed circular cylinder size Dt = 0.01 for all three Reynolds numbers. At the
with Re = 20, 40, and 100 have been calculated and inlet plane the free stream velocity is specied. At the
the results compared with previous experimental and outlet plane the outow boundary conditions, Eqs.
simulation data. The Reynolds number is dened as (18)(21), are applied. The top and bottom boundaries
Re = U1d/m with d the cylinder diameter, U1 the free are impermeable. The geometry, grid, and boundary

Table 6
Hydrodynamic parameters of ow over a xed circular cylinder
Contribution Re = 20 Re = 40 Re = 100
CD Lw/d CD Lw/d CD St
Relf [30]a 2.16 1.62 1.396
Weiselsberger [31]a 2.05 1.64 1.429
Roshko [32]a 0.167
Taneda [33]a 0.90 2.10
Tritton [34]a 2.08 1.59 1.267 0.164b
Coutanceau and Bouard [35]a 0.93 2.13
Dennis and Chang [27] 2.05 0.94 1.52 2.35
Ta Phoc Loc [28] 0.94 2.14
Fornberg [29] 2.00 0.91 1.50 2.24
Ye et al. [12] 2.03 0.92 1.52 2.27
Present 2.05 0.96 1.54 2.30 1.392 0.172
Means experimental data.
Denotes the low speed mode of Tritton [34].
M.-H. Chung / Computers & Fluids 35 (2006) 607623 619

conditions are shown in Fig. 11. It is important to have

an initial ow eld that includes a solenoidal velocity.
To ensure that this is the case, the guessed velocity eld,
u*,0 = 1 everywhere, is projected as in Eq. (10). Then the
initial pressure is established and the divergence-free
velocity can be found by Eqs. (11) and (12). Because
the cylinder wake is stable to perturbations in the ow
regime below Re = 46 1, the ow will eventually reach
a steady state for Re = 20 and 40. The calculated nondi-
mensional steady-state wake length Lw (the distance

Fig. 14. Instantaneous streamline patterns of ow over a rotating

circular cylinder at Re = 100: (a) a = 0.1, t = 60 and (b) a = 1, t = 57.

from the cylinder trailing edge to the reattachment

point) and the drag coecient C D 2D=qU 21 d with
D drag force are compared with previously established
The steady-state streamline patterns in Fig. 12 show
the recirculation regions behind the cylinder at
Re = 20 and 40, respectively. Further, the current results
of wake length and drag coecient are compared to the
numerical simulations [12,2729] and experimental data
[30,31,3335] in Table 6. It is found that they agree well
with each other.
For the simulation at Re = 100, a rotational motion
about the cylinder axis with a = 0.1 is applied to the
cylinder for a short period of time (t < 1) and then the
rotation ceases. Here a is the angular speed nondimen-
sionalized by the cylinder radius and the free stream
velocity. This initial disturbance is designed for trigger-
ing the vortex shedding mechanism inherent at this
Reynolds number. Two asymmetric vortices at t = 90
can be seen in Fig. 12. Note that this instant has well
fallen within the duration in which vortices are shed
periodically. The computed mean drag coecient
C D 2D=qU 21 d is 1.392. The Strouhal number, de-
ned by St = fd/U1 with f the vortex-shedding fre-
quency, is estimated from the periodic variation of the
Fig. 13. Steady-state streamline patterns of ow over a rotating lift coecient as 0.172. Both agree well with the experi-
circular cylinder at Re = 20: (a) a = 0.1, (b) a = 1 and (c) a = 2. mental values [3032,34] as shown in Table 6.
620 M.-H. Chung / Computers & Fluids 35 (2006) 607623

Table 7
Hydrodynamic parameters of ow over a rotating circular cylinder at Re = 20
Contribution CL CD
a = 0.1 a=1 a=2 a = 0.1 a=1 a=2
Badr et al. [37] 0.276 2.740 1.990 2.000
Ingham and Tang [36] 0.254 2.617 5.719 1.995 1.925 1.627
Present 0.258 2.629 5.507 2.043 1.888 1.361

5.4. Flow past a rotating circular cylinder is about 16% dierence in CD between the present calcu-
lation and Ingham and Tang [36] at a = 2. To the
This example is used to test the capability of the pres- authors knowledge, there is very few published data
ent cut cell approach in treating solid boundaries mov- of CD at this Reynolds number and angular speed.
ing in the local tangential direction. The unbounded, The predicted CD in this work is listed for future
uniform ow past a rotating circular cylinder with reference.
Re = 20 and 100 have been calculated and the results For Re = 100, ows induced by two angular speeds
compared with previous simulation data. The computa- a = 0.1 and 1 have been computed. Fig. 14 shows the
tional domain, grid, boundary conditions, and time step predicted instantaneous streamline patterns. For
size are the same as in the xed cylinder simulations ex- a = 0.1, Table 8 lists the calculated hydrodynamic
cept that tangential velocities are prescribed on the solid parameters and makes a comparison against Tang and
boundary segments approximating the cylinder surface. Ingham [38] and Kang et al. [39]. The dierence is
For Re = 20, ows induced by three angular speeds acceptable with Kang et al. [39] but large with Tang
a = 0.1, 1, and 2 have been computed. Fig. 13 shows and Ingham [38]. As pointed out in Kang et al. [39],
the predicted steady-state streamline patterns. They are the discrepancy is due to the fact that Kang et al. [39]
very similar to those in Ingham and Tang [36]. Table 7 computed unsteady ows by solving time-dependent
lists the calculated lift and drag coecients and makes governing equations as in the present work, while Tang
a comparison against Ingham and Tang [36] and Badr and Ingham [38] computed steady ows by solving time-
et al. [37]. The lift coecient C L 2L=qU 21 d with L independent governing equations. For a = 1, Table 9
lift force. It can be seen that the dierence is acceptable lists the calculated hydrodynamic parameters and makes
for CL at the three as and for CD at a = 0.1 and 1. There a comparison against Badr et al. [37], and Kang et al.

Table 8
Hydrodynamic parameters of ow over a rotating circular cylinder at Re = 100 and a = 0.1
Contribution St CL CD C 0L C 0D
Tang and Ingham [38] 0.179 1.054
Kang et al. [39] 0.1645 0.248 1.320 0.325 0.016
Present 0.1724 0.236 1.395 0.376 0.021
C 0D 12C D;max  C D;min ; C 0L 12C L;max  C L;min .

Table 9
Hydrodynamic parameters of ow over a rotating circular cylinder at Re = 100 and a = 1
Contribution St CL CD C 0L C 0D
Tang and Ingham [38] 1.973 0.983
Badr et al. [37] 0.1600 2.600 1.333 0.3763 0.1007
Kang et al. [39] 0.1655 2.488 1.104 0.3631 0.0993
Present 0.1732 2.405 1.189 0.4427 0.1195

Table 10
Hydrodynamic parameters of ow over a stationary/oscillating circular cylinder at Re = 185
Case Contribution St CD C 0D C 0L
Stationary Lu and Dalton [40] 0.192 1.300 0.045 0.616
Present 0.184 1.375 0.037 0.588
Oscillating Lu and Dalton [40] 0.154 1.250 0.063
Present 0.147 1.278 0.058 0.108
M.-H. Chung / Computers & Fluids 35 (2006) 607623 621

Fig. 15. Streamline patterns of ow over a transversely oscillating circular cylinder at Re = 185 with Ae = 0.2, fe/f0 = 0.8.

[39]. The dierence is tolerable except that Badr et al. similar to those of the above two subsections except that
[37] predicted extraordinarily higher time-mean coe- the outlet plane is moved downstream by 15 unit length
cients. The steady-ow results of Tang and Ingham from the original position and the number of mesh
[38] are listed but not involved in comparison due to points increases to 241(x) 159(y). The boundary condi-
the reason stated above. tions, and time step size are the same as in the xed cy-
linder simulations except that the cylinder surface moves
according to the following equation:
5.5. Flow past a transversely oscillating circular
xc 0; y c Ae cos2pfe t; 38
cylinder at Re = 185
where (xc, yc) is the location of the center of cylinder, Ae
This example is used to test the capability of the pres- and fe the excitation amplitude and frequency, respec-
ent cut cell approach in treating moving-body problems. tively, nondimensionalized by the cylinder diameter
The computational domain and grid layout are very and the free stream velocity.
622 M.-H. Chung / Computers & Fluids 35 (2006) 607623

The same problem has been simulated and studied by the CPU time taken by one line-SOR iteration. In their
Lu and Dalton [40]. In their work, the values of fe inves- work, a low Reynolds number ow past a circular cylin-
tigated come close to f0, the vortex-shedding frequency der was used as the test example and the calculation was
from the stationary cylinder, and fe/f0 is an important performed on a 100 100 uniform grid with an unshown
parameter to analyze their results. Thus, in this work, time step size. Note that an intermediate Reynolds num-
the case of stationary cylinder has been simulated rst ber ow was simulated on a nonuniform grid in this
to determine f0 followed by the case of oscillating cylin- work and the number of mesh cells is 3.8 times as many
der with Ae = 0.2 and fe/f0 = 0.8. The calculated Strou- as theirs. In addition, the operation count of multiplica-
hal numbers (based on the variation of lift coecient), tions/divisions in one SIP sweep is less than about 1.5
mean drag coecients, and amplitudes of drag and times that by one line-SOR. Thus the present method
lift coecients are listed in Table 10, compared to the could be comparable to Ye et al. [12] in terms of conver-
results of Lu and Dalton [40]. It is shown that the vor- gence rate of the pressure equation. At t = 121, when the
tex-shedding frequency (or Strouhal number) of the time-periodic ow has been fully developed, it needs
oscillating case is exactly the frequency of excitation. about one thousand iterations to nish the solution
The mean drag decreases with an increased drag ampli- under the prescribed stopping criterion, 105.
tude compared to the stationary case. On the contrary, Meanwhile, the CPU time per cell per time step is
the lift amplitude reduces dramatically. Fig. 15 depicts 1785 ls at the rst time step and 264 ls averaged over
the streamline patterns of the oscillating case at eight one period of vortex shedding. The simulations were
consecutive time instants. Note that the patterns at performed on a Pentium IV CPU 2.4 GHz under the
t = 114 is nearly the same as those at t = 121 because Microsoft Windows XP Professional operating system.
the elapsed time, 7, is almost equal to the oscillating The code was written in Fortran 90/95 compiled by
period, 6.803. Compaq Visual Fortran Professional Edition 6.1.0 with
Because the moving-body problem is what the cut cell all real numbers declared as double precision.
approach is designed mainly for, the computational e-
ciency is demonstrated in this example. In view of the
fact that solution of the pressure Poisson equation is 6. Conclusions
the most time-consuming part of the whole computa-
tion, the convergence history of this equation at the rst The present Cartesian grid method with cut cell ap-
time step and at t = 121 are reported and depicted in proach has been proved to be capable of simulating
Fig. 16. At the rst time step, the convergence rate is two dimensional unsteady viscous incompressible ows
about 6 orders in 3000 SIP sweeps. In Ye et al. [12], with rigid bodies of arbitrary shape. The investigated
the convergence rate at the rst time step is about 6 or- Reynolds number ranges from 20 to 3200. The proposed
ders in 1000 work units. They dened one work unit as philosophy of cell merging process will keep the resolu-
tion of body shape as before merging. Due to the sys-
4 tematization of cell merging process, the present
method can be extended very easily to three dimensional
The first time step space, either in notion or in practical implementation.
t=121 The observed order of accuracy in the spatial discretiza-
10 tion is superlinear, though not quadratic. Especially, the
simulation results of ow over an transversely oscillating
circular cylinder demonstrate the capability of the pres-
ent method in handling moving-body problems.

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