Laminar flow around sharp and curved objects: The lattice Boltzmann method

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The lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) is a relatively new computational method to model fluid flows by tracking collision, advection, and propagation of mesoscopic fluid particles. LBM originated from the cellular automata combined with kinetic theory and the Boltzmann equation. The method is used to solve the explicit finite-difference scheme lattice Boltzmann equations which are second order in space and first order in time. LBM does not attempt to solve the Navier-Stokes equations directly; however, it obeys the equations. The two-dimensional flows around square and circular cylinders are simulated with uniform and nonuniform grid structures using the LBM. The boundary layer growth and wake region physics are captured with small-scale details, and the results are validated by comparison with laboratory experiments for the Reynolds numbers between 50 and 350. Compatibility of the method in simulating flow around hydrofoil geometries and a combination of objects is also provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)361-374
Number of pages14
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Part M: Journal of Engineering for the Maritime Environment
Issue number4
Early online date12 Sep 2011
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


  • BGK collision term
  • Bluff body flows
  • Cartesian and curvilinear coordinate system
  • Lattice Boltzmann method
  • Vortex shedding
  • Wake region


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