Wake Frequency Calculator
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Wake Frequency Calculation
Wake frequency is a critical parameter in fluid dynamics and structural engineering, often related to vortex shedding around cylindrical structures. When the wake frequency matches the natural frequency of a structure, it can lead to resonance and potential structural failure, making it essential to monitor.
Calculation Formula
The formula to calculate the wake frequency based on the Strouhal number (St), flow velocity (v), and cylinder diameter (D) is:
\[ \text{Wake Frequency} = \frac{St \times v}{D} \]
Where:
 \(St\) is the Strouhal number (dimensionless), typically between 0.20.3 for cylindrical objects.
 \(v\) is the flow velocity in meters per second (m/s).
 \(D\) is the cylinder's diameter in meters.
Example Calculation
For a cylinder with a diameter of 0.5 m, a flow velocity of 10 m/s, and a Strouhal number of 0.21, the wake frequency is:
\[ \text{Wake Frequency} = \frac{0.21 \times 10}{0.5} = 4.2 \, \text{Hz} \]
This indicates the frequency of the vortices shedding off the cylinder in the flow.
Importance and Usage Scenarios
Understanding wake frequency is crucial in designing structures like chimneys, bridges, or offshore platforms that are exposed to flowing fluids such as air or water. Excessive vibration from resonance caused by vortex shedding can lead to fatigue and failure, which is why engineers monitor wake frequency during design.
Common FAQs

What is Strouhal number?
 The Strouhal number is a dimensionless number describing oscillating flow mechanisms, commonly used to calculate wake frequency.

Why is wake frequency important in engineering?
 If the wake frequency aligns with a structure’s natural frequency, it can lead to resonance, causing vibrations that may damage the structure over time.

How can wake frequency be reduced?
 Adjusting the structure’s geometry, increasing its rigidity, or controlling the flow conditions (e.g., by adding fins or baffles) can help reduce the wake frequency.
This calculator provides an essential tool for engineers to easily determine wake frequency and ensure structural safety against vortexinduced vibrations.