Morphological considerations of fish fin shape on thrust generation

K. Kikuchi, Y. Uehara, Y. Kubota, O. Mochizuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we aimed to determine the relationship between thrust generation and fish fin shape. To compare the effect fin shape had on thrust generation, we categorized the morphological shapes of fish fins into equilateral polygonal shapes. Polygonal fins were used to generate thrust that depended only on shape. These fins were constructed of a hard elastic material to eliminate any influence of shape deformation. A servomotor with a reciprocal rotation moved a fin cyclically, and thrust was experimentally measured using a strain gage system. Thrust tended to be proportional to the inertia moment of a fin, which indicated difficulty with rotation. Moreover, this trend for thrust generation was directly related to the number of apexes of a polygonal fin. The force translated ratio, which was thrust divided by the force required for fin rotation, was evaluated to determine the hydrodynamic characteristics of fins. This finding showed that the force translated ratio of a fin increased with increased movable perimeter length. The greatest thrust was generated by a triangular fin rotated at its apex, which is often seen in general fish tail fins, whereas the hydrodynamic characteristics were the worst in polygonal fins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-632
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Fluid Mechanics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Fish fin shape
  • Morphology
  • Polygonal fin
  • Thrust generation


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