Bluff body drag prediction remains a challenging subject for numerical investigators, with important industrial applications in aero- and hydrodynamics. A typical configuration of general interest is that of a confined axial cylinder. Experimental data for this geometry is scarce. In this paper, drag forces on this configuration were investigated using the commercial CFD solver Fluent 6. The work includes results with various mesh densities and different Reynolds numbers. Several common turbulence models as available in Fluent were applied. Good agreement to experiments was obtained with the realizable k-ε model and with the Reynolds stress transport model. The standard k-ε model was found to be inappropriate. Increased blockage (confinement) of the cylinder resulted in a corresponding increase in the drag force. This increase is shown to be a function of the mean velocity at the smallest cross-section of the channel.

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