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Section 6
Geometry of the Screw Propeller
6.1 Genaral Characteristics. The general characteristics of screw propellers have been discussed briefly in Section 2.5, and a typical design with definitions of certain terms is shown in Fig. 8. To be able to design a propeller it is necessary to go somewhat further into the geometry involved.
The design of a screw propeller almost invariably start with a helicoidal surface, which either forms the face of the blade or serves as a reference frame from which offsets are measured to describe the blade. This helicoidal surface may be a true one or more generally a warped helicoidal surface having the properties to be described.
As stated in Section 2.5, a helical surface is that surface swept by a straight line AB, Fig. 7, one end of which, A, advances at uniform speed along an axis 00’ while the line itself rotates about the point A with uniform angular speed ω radians in unit time. The space curves that are traced by the various points of the generating straight line are called helices. These helices lie on the surfaces of circular cylinders coaxial
with the line 00’, and all have the same advance per revolution, that is, the same pitch P. Therefore, the true helicoidal surface can be defined as a surface of double curvature, each line element of which is a helix of a constant pitch.
If the helical-line elements have different pitches, or if the radial line is curved, a more general surface is obtained which, while it cannot be described mathematically, is fully and definitely described by giving the shape of the radial reference line and the pitches of a number of helices at various distances from the axis of rotation 00’. This general surface, when used as a reference frame, enables us to describe any type of screw propeller likely to be used in practice. It is called the pitch surface of the propeller and the line elements, which are true helices, the pitch lines.
6.2 Geometry of Helix. The motion of the point on the cylindrical surface may be expressed in mathematical form, using rectangular coordinates x, y, and z, where the axis of z coincides with 00’, the axis of revolution, Fig. 24.
If a cylinder of radius r is unrolled to form a flat surface, the helix will develop into a straight line, the pitch angle ϕ being given by
If the angle θ and the time t are measured from the instant when the generating line r is in the vertical position, then θ = ωt. The pitch P is the distance which r advances while it makes a complete revolution, i.e.,
when θ changes by 2ir. For any other value of θ, r will advance a distance equal to P θ /2π.
The ordinates of a point on the helix are therefore
x = Pθ /2π
y = r sin θ
z = r cos θ
The expanded length of a portion of the helix such as ac in Fig. 24 can be found by developing the cylinder to a flat surface, as in Fig. 9. The triangle abc will then have sides
ab = r θ
bc = P θ /2π
the angle bac being equal to the pitch angle ϕ.
The side ac will be given by
It also can be proved that the radius of curvature of the helix is given by
6.3 Propeller Drawing. The design drawing for a propeller usually consists of four parts, which are illustrated in Fig. 25. These show, respectively, a side elevation of the propeller (a), an expanded blade outline with details of the section shapes (b), the pitch distribution if it is not uniform (c), and a transverse view(d).
For simplicity, we will assume in the first instance the propeller has sections with flat faces. The choice of the blade outline will depend on a number of design features, and we will assume that for the present this has already been chosen.
The side elevation shows the rake of the propeller (the fore-and-aft slope of the generating line) and a hypothetical section showing the variation of maximum blade thickness from tip to root. It also shows the projected outline of the blade shape on a centerline longitudinal plane.
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The general characteristics of screw propellers have been discussed briefly in Section 2.5, and a typical design with definitions of certain terms is shown in Fig. 8. To be able to design a propeller it is necessary to go somewhat further into the geometry involved. The design of a screw propeller almost invariably start with a helicoidal surface, which either forms the face of the blade or serves as a reference frame from which offsets are measured to describe the blade. This helicoidal surface may be a true one or more generally a warped helicoidal surface having the properties to be described. As stated in Section 2.5, a helical surface is that surface swept by a straight line AB, Fig. 7, one end of which, A, advances at uniform speed along an axis 00’ while the line itself rotates about the point A with uniform angular speed ω radians in unit time. The space curves that are traced by the various points of the generating straight line are called helices. These helices lie on the surfaces of circular cylinders coaxial with the line 00’, and all have the same advance per revolution, that is, the same pitch P. Therefore, the true helicoidal surface can be defined as a surface of double curvature, each line element of which is a helix of a constant pitch. If the helical-line elements have different pitches, or if the radial line is curved, a more general surface is obtained which, while it cannot be described mathematically, is fully and definitely described by giving the shape of the radial reference line and the pitches of a number of helices at various distances from the axis of rotation 00’. This general surface, when used as a reference frame, enables us to describe any type of screw propeller likely to be used in practice. It is called the pitch surface of the propeller and the line elements, which are true helices, the pitch lines. 6.2 Geometry of Helix. The motion of the point on the cylindrical surface may be expressed in mathematical form, using rectangular coordinates x, y, and z, where the axis of z coincides with 00’, the axis of revolution, Fig. 24.

25. as in Fig. The choice of the blade outline will depend on a number of design features. The triangle abc will then have sides ab = r bc = P /2π the angle bac being equal to the pitch angle ϕ. a side elevation of the propeller (a). then = ωt. 24 can be found by developing the cylinder to a flat surface. and a transverse view(d). the pitch distribution if it is not uniform (c). respectively.3 Propeller Drawing. The pitch P is the distance which r advances while it makes a complete revolution. and we will assume that for the present this has already been chosen. . For any other value of .e. an expanded blade outline with details of the section shapes (b). when changes by 2ir. The side ac will be given by It also can be proved that the radius of curvature of the helix is given by 6. the pitch angle ϕ being given by If the angle and the time t are measured from the instant when the generating line r is in the vertical position. These show.If a cylinder of radius is unrolled to form a flat surface. the helix will develop into a straight line. which are illustrated in Fig. The design drawing for a propeller usually consists of four parts. r will advance a distance equal to P /2π. The ordinates of a point on the helix are therefore x = P /2π y = r sin z = r cos The expanded length of a portion of the helix such as ac in Fig. 9. i. we will assume in the first instance the propeller has sections with flat faces.. For simplicity.

The side elevation shows the rake of the propeller (the fore-and-aft slope of the generating line) and a hypothetical section showing the variation of maximum blade thickness from tip to root. It also shows the projected outline of the blade shape on a centerline longitudinal plane. The section shapes are shown in view (b) with their .

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