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This paper presents a new flow control approach to suppress the vortex shedding in the wake of a circular cylinder through high-frequency oscillation. The circular cylinder is forced to oscillate in the streamwise direction at high-frequency and low amplitude, corresponding to a high Stokes number ( β = 100-1000) and low Keulegan-Carpenter number (KC = 0.001-4). Two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) direct numerical simulations of an oscillating circular cylinder in steady current have been carried out in the parameter space of KC, Rec, and β. Our numerical results show that when the flow remains in the two-dimensional vortex shedding regime, the cylinder wake sequentially experiences transitions from the vortex shedding regime to the suppression of the vortex shedding regime and finally to the symmetry breaking regime, with increasing KC. Corresponding wake characteristics and variations of hydrodynamic forces over the three wake regimes are explored. Three quantities that represent shear-layer characteristics, including the length of separating shear layers, the circulation of shear layers and wake recirculation length, reach maxima at the onset of suppression. The physical mechanisms for the suppression of vortex shedding and occurrence of symmetry breaking are also explained. Once the flow becomes 3D, vortex shedding from the cylinder cannot be suppressed, primarily because the outer shear layers induced by the steady approaching flow are enhanced in 3D flows. The cylinder oscillation over the frequency range investigated in the present study delays wake transition to 3D. The cylinder oscillation alters the 3D vortical structure and its spanwise wavelength significantly.
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