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American Institute of Physics



Book Review

Flow Around Circular Cylinders: Applications, Volume 2

M. M. Zdravkovich
Oxford University Press, New York, 2003
1,264 pp.
ISBN 0-19-856561-5

Reviewed by Anutosh Moitra

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book coverM. M. Zdravkovich has devoted almost 40 years of work to the study of flow phenomena associated with cylinders, and his three-volume series is a collection of insights gathered during the course of the author’s career. The first volume, published in 1997, dealt mainly with fundamentals of two-dimensional flow fields for cylinders and included theoretical treatments and basic mathematical models of fluid flow. The second volume, the subject of this review, covers the effects of geometric parameters. The yet-to-appear third volume will deal with unsteady flow phenomena.

The series is unique in that it is devoted to a single class of bluff bodies—the circular cylinder. Cylinders are ubiquitous in industrial applications and in nature, however, and are associated with a large class of complex flow phenomena.

The author’s approach is eclectic rather than didactic. The book provides readers with a wealth of experimental results constituting a thorough categorization of the effects of geometric parameters on surface-pressure coefficients, skin-friction coefficients, and states of boundary layers. The author catalogs the effects in terms of nondimensional similarity parameters as well as purely geometric parameters (e.g., aspect ratio, changing diameter, roughness, free ends, rotating cylinders, multiple cylinders, and proximity of cylinders to other surfaces). Although the author has presented mainly experimental results, references to empirical and theoretical data are included where applicable. Problems are defined by relevant parameters, and readers will benefit from a wide array of experimental data illustrating various flow phenomena associated with cylinders.

The large volume of data is the principal strength of the book. Flow visualization pictures accompany almost all of the fluid-cylinder configurations discussed. Methods used for visualization include the schlieren technique, dye injection, and smoke injection. The wealth of flow visualization and schematic diagrams will prove to be particularly useful. Unfortunately, the figures are often too small for the reader to discern all of the interesting flow phenomena that they illustrate. This problem is mitigated somewhat by the meticulous listing of references for each illustration.

The potential use of the book is as a source of data for validation of theoretical models used in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) methods and turbulence modeling. In that respect, it is surprising to note a complete absence of CFD data in comparison with experimental results. Nevertheless, this volume is a good reference for researchers in fluid mechanics, applied mathematicians, practicing engineers, and physicists.


Anutosh Moitra is a principal engineer at Boeing in Seattle, Washington, and works in the field of computational fluid dynamics.