Effects of compressibility and Reynolds number on the aerodynamics of a simplified corrugated airfoil

Alfonso Guilarte Herrero, Akito Noguchi, Kensuke Kusama, Tsuyoshi Shigeta, Takayuki Nagata, Taku Nonomura, Keisuke Asai

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Abstract: This study aims to isolate and evaluate the influence of a corrugation on flow structures and aerodynamics under compressible low Reynolds number conditions, and to compare it to simpler but well-known model: the flat plate. The simplified corrugated model was made by a flat surface with only two corrugations on the leading edge. The models only differ for the corrugations on the leading edge. Force values were measured at a Reynolds number ranging from 10,000 to 25,000 and at a Mach number from 0.2 to 0.6. Pressure sensitive paint was used at the same flow conditions and the pressure distribution over the models was obtained. Schlieren visualization was also conducted and flow characteristics were observed. Detailed analysis showed that the corrugated model experiences strong depression on the leading edge caused by the separation of the boundary layer. Because of the presence of the corrugation, the shear layer transitions to turbulent rapidly and reattaches to the surface before reaching the summit of the first corrugation, separating again at its peak. Instabilities in the shear layer were dissipated thanks to the shape of the corrugation allowing pressure recovery and discouraging flow separation. The flow reattaches before reaching the trailing edge. The results showed that the transition of the boundary layer was accelerated as the Reynolds number increases on corrugated model, leading to a stronger negative pressure zone in the leading edge. Due to pressure recovery being less effective, lead to similar performances for the range of studied Reynolds numbers. The compressibility effects resulted in a delay on the transition of the instability of the shear layer, negatively affecting the intensity of the pressure gradients as well as pressure recovery. This contributed to the variation in the performance of the wing. As a result, the corrugated model has a better aerodynamic performance compared to the flat plate at low Reynolds numbers, but not for higher Mach numbers. Graphic abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number63
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Apr


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