An immersed boundary finite difference method for LES of flow around bluff shapes

Chi Wai Li, L. L. Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


A three-dimensional numerical model using large eddy simulation (LES) technique and incorporating the immersed boundary (IMB) concept has been developed to compute flow around bluff shapes. A fractional step finite differences method with rectilinear non-uniform collocated grid is employed to solve the governing equations. Bluff shapes are treated in the IMB method by introducing artificial force terms into the momentum equations. Second-order accurate interpolation schemes for all sorts of grid points adjacent to the immersed boundary have been developed to determine the velocities and pressure at these points. To enforce continuity, the methods of imposition of pressure boundary condition and addition of mass source/sink terms are tested. It has been found that imposing suitable pressure boundary condition (zero normal gradient) can effectively reproduce the correct pressure distribution and enforce mass conservation around a bluff shape. The present model has been verified and applied to simulate flow around bluff shapes: (1) a square cylinder and (2) the Tsing Ma suspension bridge deck section model. Complex flow phenomena such as flow separation and vortex shedding are reproduced and the drag coefficient, lift coefficient, and pressure coefficient are calculated and analyzed. Good agreement between the numerical results and the experimental data are obtained. The model is proven to be an efficient tool for flow simulation around bluff bodies in time varying flows.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-107
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2004


  • Fractional step methods
  • Immersed boundary method
  • Large eddy simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics


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