Submitted by Richard Smith on November 15, 2013 - 15:52
Looking to nature for inspiration (biomimicry) is nothing new. I've already covered turbine blades inspired by humpback whale fins and drag-reducing textures that mimic shark skin, so next up we have the elegant spinning maple seed.
CFD Simulation of a Spinning Maple SeedLeading edge vortex shown by streamlines
Submitted by Richard Smith on October 7, 2013 - 14:27
What difference will adding a rear wing to a car make? You can expect an increase in downforce, equivalent to a reduction in lift, and an increase in drag. To quantify these effects I simulated the aerodynamics of a BMW Z3 using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) without a wing and with a wing.
CFD Simulation of a Car with a Rear WingVelocity contours and streamline arrows
Submitted by Richard Smith on September 26, 2013 - 13:40
Given the availability of Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) analysis tools, such as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), it is a surprise that analysis tools are not used more by architects during building concept design, especially relative to the local environment around a building.
Submitted by Richard Smith on September 19, 2013 - 12:07
Researchers at the University of Southampton have tested a model of a Microraptor (a feathered, four-winged dinosaur) in a wind tunnel and found that it was optimized for slow gliding. Its multiple wings performed the same function as a modern-day, high-lift configuration used on airliners for takeoff and landing.
Submitted by Richard Smith on August 27, 2013 - 12:26
Often in a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) study you will find yourself repeating a series of operations that are prime candidates for automation. For instance, performing an angle of attack (alpha) sweep for an airplane configuration is a great example where automation can be a significant time saver as I will demonstrate.
CFD Simulation of an AirlinerAlpha = 6 degrees, velocity contours and arrows
Submitted by Richard Smith on August 15, 2013 - 12:35
Pitot tubes are critical devices used to determine the airspeed of an aircraft. In aerodynamics it is important to know the speed of an aircraft relative to the surrounding air to alert pilots to stall conditions. Pitot tubes are also used in wind tunnels to determine airspeed, sometimes using a manometer to measure the pressure difference between static pressure and total pressure to determine the dynamic pressure. I thought it would be interesting to see if we could simulate a pitot tube connected to a manometer (two-phase flow, air + water) using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and to share my findings with you.
CFD Simulation of a Pitot Tube and ManometerBlue is water and red is air
Submitted by Richard Smith on July 22, 2013 - 07:44
Welcome to the concluding episode of my two-part project to compare results between the virtual wind tunnel and free air using a series of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. Recall that the previous post outlined the free air tests and expectations for the comparison. Here I present the results and conclusions.
CFD Simulation of a Racecar in a Wind TunnelPressure contours on the racecar
Submitted by Richard Smith on July 16, 2013 - 08:22
Often the ultimate aim of performing a wind tunnel test on a scale model is to provide data on how the full size equivalent will behave in free air. This is especially true in motor racing (e.g., Formula 1) where teams use a combination of wind tunnels and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to guide what they hope is a winning racecar design. As a follow on to my project to build a virtual wind tunnel to test an open wheel racecar, here I start a two-part project to compare results between the virtual wind tunnel and free air using a series of CFD simulations.