Drag coefficient and strouhal number analysis of cylindrical tube in two phase flow

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Center of Excellence in Design and Optimization of Energy Systems, School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, P.O. Box 11155-4563, Tehran, Iran

2 School of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 School of Petroleum Engineering, Texas University at Austin, Austin, Texas, USA


In many industrial equipment such as boilers and heat exchangers, the cylindrical tubes are exposed to the gas- liquid two phase flow. For any immersed body in flow field vortex shedding is created with a frequency that may be constant or variable, according to conditions such as flow rates, geometry of body, and etc. The failure will happen in the equipment, when this frequency is close to one of the natural frequencies of them. This can cause noise and flow induced vibration problem which is one of the main defects in the heat exchangers. Therefore considering these flows can play a significant role in long-term reliability and safety of industrial and laboratory equipment. In this study Eulerian–Eulerian approach is employed to simulate two-phase flow around the cylindrical tube. Since the Reynolds Stress Model (RSM) accounts for the effects of streamline curvature, swirl, rotation, and rapid changes in strain rate in a more rigorous manner than other turbulence models, it has greater potential to give accurate predictions for complex flows. So in this study the RSM is used to recognize behavior of vortex shedding in the flow. Drag coefficient, Strouhal number, vortex shedding behind cylinder, void fraction and pressure coefficient distribution were investigated in air-water two phase flows. In order to verify validity of CFD model, inlet void fraction was set to zero, Strouhal number and it’s relation with low Reynolds number (100-3000) in single phase flow were compared with experimental and numerical result of available literatures. The results show a good agreement between them. Having reasonable judgment of fluctuating lift force frequency, fast Fourier transform (FFT) was applied to lift coefficient of cylinder. The FFT produces averaged spectral coefficients that are independent of time and are useful to identify dominant frequencies in a signal. Some remedies were introduced to reduce vortex frequency of cylindrical tube subjected in gas-liquid two phase flows and protect tube from hard vibrations. For this purpose, some geometrical modifications were applied and results showed that in all cases drag coefficient and Strouhal number reduce.