Stream function vorticity revisited

C. A J Fletcher*, K. Srinivas

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    A three-level consistent time-split group finite element formulation is described for a stream function vorticity representation of incompressible laminar separated flow. A consistent time-splitting is achieved by explicitly extracting directional mass and difference operators. It is shown that application of linear rectangular elements to the convective terms with a non-uniform grid introduces an artificial viscosity, but that a simple modification removes this effect. The three-level fully implicit marching algorithm is shown to converge to the steady solution faster than a Crank-Nicolson scheme when combined with a banded Gauss elimination procedure along each grid-line in turn. The present method is applied to the flow past rearward- and forward-facing steps for which the vorticity solution is known to be singular at the sharp corners. To isolate the sharp corners from the computational domain a surface layer is introduced across which the computational solution is matched to an analytic solution for the corner flow. A one-dimensional integration of the energy function and transverse extrapolation is used to obtain the pressure distribution on the body. Results, for a range of step-height Reynolds numbers of up to 250, demonstrate good agreement with corresponding experimental results.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)297-322
    Number of pages26
    JournalComputer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1983


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