Measurements of the unsteady flow structure and force time history of pitching and plunging SD7003 and flat plate airfoils at low Reynolds numbers are presented. The airfoils were pitched and plunged in the effective angle of attack range of 2.4°–13.6° (shallow-stall kinematics) and −6° to 22° (deep-stall kinematics). The shallow-stall kinematics results for the SD7003 airfoil show attached flow and laminar-to-turbulent transition at low effective angle of attack during the down stroke motion, while the flat plate model exhibits leading edge separation. Strong Re-number effects were found for the SD7003 airfoil which produced approximately 25 % increase in the peak lift coefficient at Re = 10,000 compared to higher Re flows. The flat plate airfoil showed reduced Re effects due to leading edge separation at the sharper leading edge, and the measured peak lift coefficient was higher than that predicted by unsteady potential flow theory. The deep-stall kinematics resulted in leading edge separation that led to formation of a large leading edge vortex (LEV) and a small trailing edge vortex (TEV) for both airfoils. The measured peak lift coefficient was significantly higher (~50 %) than that for the shallow-stall kinematics. The effect of airfoil shape on lift force was greater than the Re effect. Turbulence statistics were measured as a function of phase using ensemble averages. The results show anisotropic turbulence for the LEV and isotropic turbulence for the TEV. Comparison of unsteady potential flow theory with the experimental data showed better agreement by using the quasi-steady approximation, or setting C(k) = 1 in Theodorsen theory, for leading edge–separated flows.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 22, 2012
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