This work analyzes the effects of the interaction between an oscillating sphere and free surface flows through the reconstruction of the flow field around the body and the analysis of the displacements.
The experiments were performed in an open water channel, where the sphere had three different boundary conditions in respect to the flow, defined as h* (the ratio between the distance of the sphere upper surface from the free surface and the sphere diameter). A quasi-symmetric condition at h* = 2, with the sphere equally distant from the free surface and the channel bottom, and two conditions of asymmetric bounded flow, one with the sphere located at a distance of 0.003m from the bottom at h* = 3.97 and the other with the sphere close to the free surface at h* = 0, were considered. The sphere was free to move in two directions, streamwise (x) and transverse to the flow (y), and was characterized by values of mass ratio, m* = 1.34 (ratio between the system mass and the displaced fluid mass), and damping ratio, ζ = 0.004. The comparison between the results of the analyzed boundary conditions has shown the strong influence of the free surface on the evolution of the vortex structures downstream the obstacle.