Numerical simulation of bluff body turbulent flows using hybrid RANS/LES turbulence models

Ricardo Franco, Cesar Celis, Luís Fernando Figueira da Silva

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1 Scopus citations


Many engineering applications involve turbulent flows around bluff bodies. Because of their intrinsically unsteady dynamics, bluff body characteristic flows feature unique turbulence-related phenomena, which makes their numerical modeling challenging. Accordingly, accounting for a circular bluff body flow configuration, three different turbulence modeling approaches are investigated in this work, (i) Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS), (ii) large eddy simulation (LES), and (iii) hybrid RANS/LES. Regarding the hybrid approaches, two variants of the detached eddy simulation (DES) one, delayed DES (DDES) and improved delayed DES (IDDES), are studied. As RANS model, the k - ωSST is utilized here. This RANS model is also used as the background one for both DDES and IDDES. Wall-adaptive local eddy viscosity (WALE) is used in turn as the sub-grid scale (SGS) model for LES. The velocity two-point correlation function is used to assess the mesh size requirements. When compared to experimental data, the obtained numerical results indicate that RANS overestimates the recirculating bubble length by over 18% and is not capable of describing the turbulent kinetic energy and the flow anisotropy in agreement with the experimental data. In contrast, LES, DDES, and IDDES are all within 1% of the recirculating bubble length while predicting both the Reynolds stress tensor components and the corresponding flow anisotropy in agreement with the measurements. Besides, normalized anisotropy tensor invariants maxima in the shear layer were reproduced by all scale resolving models studied here, but they failed to yield the local extrema measured within the wake recirculation region. A comparative analysis of the anisotropic Reynolds stress tensor invariances underscores the adequacy of the scale resolving models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number217
JournalJournal of the Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Bluff body
  • Detached eddy simulation
  • Large eddy simulation
  • Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes
  • Turbulence modeling


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