Potential flow around a cylinder

Update: June 1, 2017
OpenFOAM 4.x

Case directory



Potential flow around a cylinder (perfect fluid flow without vortices) \boldsymbol{v} = \nabla \phi will be solved

The fluid flows in from the left (blue) region with velocity (1, 0, 0) and out from the right (red) region. symmetry conditions are set for the upper and lower surfaces (green, yellow, and gray) in the Y direction, and the calculation is performed as a two-dimensional problem with a single mesh in the Z direction.

Boundary regions Boundary regions

The meshes are as follows.

Mesh Meshes

After the potential flow calculation, the flow function is calculated and output. To visualize the stream function, check the "streamFunction" checkbox in the "Properties" tab on ParaView.

Check the streamFunction Check the "streamFunction"

The calculation result is as follows.

Flow velocity (U) and flow vector Flow velocity (U) and flow vector
Pressure (p) Pressure (p)
Stream function Stream function

Since it is a potential flow, no vortex is generated.


cp -r $FOAM_TUTORIALS/basic/potentialFoam/cylinder cylinder
cd cylinder

cp -r 0.orig 0
potentialFoam -withFunctionObjects -writePhi -writep


The boundary conditions are in the 0.orig directory, and the calculation results are overwritten in the 0 directory.

The solver arguments specify the use of functionObjects (-withFunctionObjects), output of the flow potential field (-writePhi), and output of the pressure field (-writep).

After the calculation, the utility streamFunction is used to calculate and output the stream function.

Calculation time

--- *Single, Core(TM) i7-2600 CPU @ 3.40GHz 3.40GHz