Nature-inspired passive flow control using various coatings and appendages

Respondent Huvudhandledare Bihandledare Datum
Ugis Lacis Shervin Bagheri Fredrik Lundell 2015-01-29

Christophe Eloy, Ecole Centrale Marseille, France



There is a wide variety of tails, fins, scales, riblets and surface coatings, which are used by motile animals in nature. Since organisms currently living on earth have gone through millions of years of evolution, one can expect that their design is optimal for their tasks, including locomotion. However, the exterior of living animals has range of different functions, from camouflage to heat insulation; therefore it is a very challenging task to isolate mechanisms, which are beneficial to reduce the motion resistance of the body. There are two general categories of mechanisms existing in locomotion and flow control. The first is active flow control, when an organism is actively moving some parts or the whole body (exerts energy) in order to modify the surrounding flow field (for example, flapping bird wings). The second is passive flow control, in which an organism has an appendage or a coating, which is not actively controlled (no energy is spent), but is interacting with surrounding flow in a beneficial way. Our aim is to find novel mechanisms for passive flow control. We start by looking at a simple model of an appendage (splitter plate) behind a bluff body (circular cylinder). If a recirculation region forms behind the body, already in this simple system there is a symmetry breaking effect for sufficiently short plates, which passively generates turn and drift of the body. We have found that this effect is caused by the pressure forces in the recirculation region, which pushes the plate away from the vertical in a manner similar to how a straight inverted pendulum falls under the influence of gravity. In order to investigate this symmetry breaking, we developed an extension of the immersed boundary projection method, in which the rigid body dynamics and fluid dynamics are coupled implicitly. The method is capable of solving for particle motion in a fluid for very small density ratios. We also explain our findings by a simple yet quantitative reduced-order model and soap-film experiments. To extend our work, we investigate flow around bodies, which are coated by a porous and elastic material. We have analysed various theoretical approaches to modeling a coating in a continuous manner. We aim to solve the governing equations numerically. We have selected multi-scale expansion approach, of which we present some initial results.
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