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Effects of surface patterns on drag

Sivasubramanian, Amarnath (2015). Effects of surface patterns on drag. Master of Engineering Thesis, Charles Darwin University.

Document type: Thesis
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Author Sivasubramanian, Amarnath
Title Effects of surface patterns on drag
Institution Charles Darwin University
Publication Date 2015
Thesis Type Master of Engineering
0913 - Mechanical Engineering
Abstract Drag force is one of the primary concerns to any aircraft design engineer and aerodynamicist as it directly affects the speed and fuel efficiency of an aircraft. The shape and surface roughness are the physical parameters in an aircraft body that contribute to the drag force. This research project is aimed at studying on how hexagonal bumped patterns on the surface of a streamlined body can affect the drag force. This research contributes to the knowledge and understanding of differences in flow behaviour resulting from surface modification. The geometries chosen for the purpose of study are ogive cylinder and airfoil, which represent the fuselage and wings of an aircraft. The objective of the research is to analyse the drag force and drag coefficient of the chosen geometries against the patterned version of the same geometries, through intensive flow simulation using CFD software, FLOEFD, and wind tunnel testing. The choice of dimensions for the selected geometries was underpinned by the results reported in literature. The initiation stages of the project involved construction of 3D CAD models using solid works. Using CAD models as input 3D models were printed for wind tunnel experiment. The behaviour of fluid flow over the bodies has been visualized using FLOEFD software to understand and analyse the differences in flow pattern and drag force corresponding to different surface patterns. This research proves that hexagonal patterns aid in reducing both, pressure and skin friction drag components in an ogive cylinder. This conclusion is supported by results from flow simulation and flow imagery obtained from FLOEFD. This was further validated by carrying out wind tunnel experiments. However, in case on an airfoil, hexagonal protrusions produced contrasting results from numerical and experimental methods. The complex nature of an airfoil has presented the study with a few limitation and challenges in regards to computational power and time. Hence further study is needed to confirm the effect of the selected hexagonal pattern on airfoil.
Keyword Aerodynamics
Drag reduction
streamlined body

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