A new optical sensor technique based on a sensor film with arrays of hair-like flexible micropillars on the surface is presented to measure the temporal and spatial wall shear stress field in boundary layer flows. The sensor principle uses the pillar tip deflection in the viscous sublayer as a direct measure of the wall shear stress. The pillar images are recorded simultaneously as a grid of small bright spots by high-speed imaging of the illuminated sensor film. Two different ways of illumination were tested, one of which uses the fact that the transparent pillars act as optical microfibres, which guide the light to the pillar tips. The other method uses pillar tips which were reflective coated. The tip displacement field of the pillars is measured by image processing with subpixel accuracy. With a typical displacement resolution on the order of 0.2 μm, the minimum resolvable wall friction value is τ w≈20 mPa. With smaller pillar structures than those used in this study, one can expect even smaller resolution limits.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 17, 2005
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