An experimental study of flow separation control on a low-Re c airfoil was presently investigated using a newly developed leading-edge protuberance method, motivated by the improvement in the hydrodynamics of the giant humpback whale through its pectoral flippers. Deploying this method, the control effectiveness of the airfoil aerodynamics was fully evaluated using a three-component force balance, leading to an effectively impaired stall phenomenon and great improvement in the performances within the wide post-stall angle range (22°–80°). To understand the flow physics behind, the vorticity field, velocity field and boundary layer flow field over the airfoil suction side were examined using a particle image velocimetry and an oil-flow surface visualization system. It was found that the leading-edge protuberance method, more like low-profile vortex generator, effectively modified the flow pattern of the airfoil boundary layer through the chordwise and spanwise evolutions of the interacting streamwise vortices generated by protuberances, where the separation of the turbulent boundary layer dominated within the stall region and the rather strong attachment of the laminar boundary layer still existed within the post-stall region. The characteristics to manipulate the flow separation mode of the original airfoil indicated the possibility to further optimize the control performance by reasonably designing the layout of the protuberances.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 3, 2014
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