A flow separation model for hydrofoil, propeller and duct sections with blunt trailing edges

Research paper by Weikang Du, Spyros A. Kinnas

Indexed on: 20 Dec '18Published on: 25 Feb '19Published in: Journal of fluid mechanics


The panel method does not apply to hydrofoils, propellers and ducts with blunt trailing edges due to the flow separation downstream. In this paper, a model is proposed to represent the flow separation with an extension, and a low-order panel method coupled with a boundary layer solver is used. The criteria of zero lift and zero moment are adopted to determine the end of the extension zone, and flow separation criteria are used to determine the starting points on either side of the section. The model is applied to hydrofoil, bare duct and ducted propeller sections with blunt trailing edges. The pressure distributions and skin frictions along the hydrofoils and ducts correlate well with those from the Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes method. The thrust and torque of the propeller agree much better with experimental measurements when the extension is determined from this model rather than choosing random locations. This model requires much less computational effort while preserving high accuracy, and thus can be used reliably in designing and analysing hydrofoils and propeller ducts with blunt trailing edges.