Unsteady aerodynamic characteristics of symmetric airfoil at low Reynolds numbers

Güney, Mertcan
Reynolds number (Re) has a dominant effect on the aerodynamic characteristics of airfoils specifically at low Reynolds number flows. In particular, low Reynolds number flows (Re<100,000) where viscous forces are dominant compared to the inertial forces, resulting in a laminar boundary layer that is more prone to separation and transition to turbulence. To understand the boundary layer physics of the low Re flows, the two-dimensional (2D) unsteady numerical simulations were conducted on a NACA 0012 airfoil with changing Reynolds numbers from 40,000 to 100,000. Moreover, the numerical simulations also involved varying angles of attack from 0° to 20° with 1° increments by using different turbulence models. The results showed that the flow separation occurred earlier at higher angles of attack and lower Reynolds numbers. The location of the separation point also affected the aerodynamic characteristics of the airfoil, with earlier separation resulting in a decrease in lift coefficient and an increase in drag coefficient.
Citation Formats
M. Güney, “Unsteady aerodynamic characteristics of symmetric airfoil at low Reynolds numbers,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2023.