Investigation of the aerodynamic effects of bio-inspired modifications on airfoil at low Reynolds number
Keywords:Airfoil, Aerodynamics, Bio-inspired airfoil, CFD, Corrugated, Dragonfly, Low-Reynolds number
A numerical study was performed to investigate flow behaviors around bio-inspired modified airfoils compared with NACA 4412 airfoil at Re=5.8x104 by solving the two-dimensional, RANS equations with k-ω STT turbulence model. The obtained results reveal a rather abrupt decrease of lift at stall for the NACA 4412 airfoil in contrast to the mild stall depicted by the top-modified airfoil. As compared to the experimental results of the profiled airfoil in the literature, the characteristic behavior of the variation in the lift coefficient shows resemblance. It is seen that from the velocity distribution results, fluid flowed smoothly along the streamlined nose of NACA 4412 airfoil until α=4⁰ and streamlines adhered well for both airfoils at low angles (0⁰, 2⁰). Smaller circulation bubbles were noticed to settle in the canyons of the corrugated cross-section of the top-modified airfoil. In the wake region of the modified airfoil, there is no obvious large flow separation or circulation region at low angles of attack. However, the blue regions of the dimensionless velocity over the NACA 4412 airfoil and bottom-modified airfoil were narrower than over the top-modified airfoil. The recirculation zone over the airfoil started to enlarge, and the rolling up of the trailing-edge vortex appeared. After α=12⁰, the adverse pressure gradient on the suction side of the airfoils became more intense. In the wake zones, it was seen that the circulation regions grew remarkably and became largest as the angle of attack rose to α=16⁰, which pointed out increased drag forces of airfoils.
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