Experimental investigation of stall cells on NACA0015 airfoils

Dell'Orso, Haley
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Amitay, Michael
Letchford, C. W.
Oberai, Assad
Sahni, Onkar
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Aeronautical engineering
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A particular type of 3-D separation, known as a stall cell, was investigated experimentally on two NACA0015 airfoils with aspect ratios of AR = 4 and 2.67. A parametric map of the angles of attack and Reynolds number conditions under which stall cells form was created using oil flow visualization. It was observed that stalls cells form naturally under specific conditions when the Reynolds number exceeds a critical Reynolds number, Rec ≥ Recrit. Based on the work of Weihs & Katz, the formation of a stall cell requires sufficient 3-dimensionality in the flow field. Next, full and partial span trips (composed of either zig-zag tape or an artificial step) were added to the airfoil and it was found that the introduction of additional 3-dimensional disturbances reduced the value of Recrit. For full-span step trips, where no additional 3-dimensionalities were introduced to the flow field, a stall cell was not formed at conditions where one was otherwise not present. However, a partial step trip did cause the formation of a stall cell (under specific conditions) through the introduction of three dimensionalities associated with the trip’s ends. These results confirm that three dimensionalities need to be present in order for a stall cell to form.
August 2017
School of Engineering
Dept. of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
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