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Dr. Hui Hu
Department of Aerospace Engineering
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa 50011, U.S.A
Lecture # 11: Flow Visualization techniques:
AerE 344 Lecture Notes
Index of refraction:
Depend on variation of index of refraction
in a transparent medium and the resulting
effect on a light beam passing through the
test section
Shadowgraph systems: are used to indicate
the variation of the second derivatives
(normal to the light beam) of the index of
refraction.
Schlieren Systems: are used to indicate
the variation of the first derivative of the
index of refraction
1 /
0
> = =

v c n
shadowgraph depicting the flow generated by a bullet
at supersonic speeds. (by Andrew Davidhazy )
Schlieren images of the muzzle blast and
supersonic bullet from firing a .30-06 caliber
high-powered rifle (by Gary S. Settles )
often used in shock waves and flame
phenomena, in which density gradient is
quite big.
While these techniques are mostly used for
qualitative flow visualization, they can be
used to determine pressure, density or
temperature measurements theoretically.
These techniques are often used to
determine the integrated quantity over the
length of light beam.
shadowgraph image of plumes during solidification
process (by Lum Chee)
Schlieren image
Introduction-3
Index of refraction is a function of thermodynamic state (density) for homogeneous
medium:
Lorenz-Lorentz relationship:
When n~1, for gaseous flow:
at standard condition, with n
o
and
o, :
When first and second derivative is determined as in Schlieren and shadowgraph
apparatus:
const
n
n
=
+

2
1 1
2
2

const
n
const
n 1 1
= =

1
1
) 1 ( 1
1
0
0
0
0 0
0

=
= =

n
n
n n const
n

2
2
0
0
2
2
2
2
2
2
0
0
1
1
1
1
y
n
n y y
n
const y
y
n
n y y
n
const y
c
c

=
c
c

c
c
=
c
c
c
c

=
c
c

c
c
=
c
c

Introduction-4
Application of the Schlieren and shadowgraph techniques:
Compressible flow with shock waves density changes
Natural convective flow density changes
Flame and combustion system: density changes
Temperature changes inside flows:
For low speed flow with heat transfer:
P = constant
] ) (
2
[
1
1
1 1
/
2
2 2
2
0
0
2
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
y
T
T y
T
T
n
y
n
y
n
n
T
y
T
y
T
T
n
y
n
y
n
y
T
T y
T
RT
P
y
RT P
c
c
+
c
c

=
c
c

c
c

=
c
c

c
c
=
c
c
=
c
c

c
c
=
c
c
=
c
c
=

Fundamentals of Schlieren System
According to definition of index of refraction,
the light velocity will be V=C
o
/n.
The slope of the wave front of the light:
If the angle is quite small.
dy
n d
dz
y d
dz
dy
n d
dz
dy
dn
n
dz
dy
dn
n
n dz
dy
n
d
n d
dz
dy
Z y
n
n
y
Z
y y
n
C Z Z Z
n
C
Z
y y
) (ln
) (ln
) (
1
] [
1
]
)
1
(
[ '
) / )
1
( ( '
) / )
1
( (
2
2
2
2
0
2
0
=
= = = = =
A A A =
A
A
= A
A A A A = A A = A
A = A
A +
o
o
t
t
Ay
AZ
y
Z
Parallel lights
dz
dy
A
2
Z
' o A
' o A
' o A
} }
=

~
=
= = = =
dz
dy
dn
n
dz
dy
dn
n
dz
dy
n d
dz
dy
dn
n
dz
dy
dn
n
n dz
dy
n
d
n d
'
1
) (
1
'
) (ln
) (
1
] [
1
]
)
1
(
[ '
2
o o
o
1 /
0
> = =

v c n
Fundamentals of Schlieren System
For a gas flow with density change:
L
dy
d n
a
f
I
I
L
dy
d n
a
f
I
I
n
dz
dy
d n
a
f
I
I
y
n
n y
dz
dy
dn
a
f
I
I
dz
dy
dn
a
f
I
I
K k
K k
K k
K k
K k

o
o
0
0 2
0
0 2
0
0 2
0
0
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
'

=
A

=
A
~

=
A

c
c

=
c
c
=
A
=
=
A
}
} }
L
y
T
T
n
a
f
I
I
const
y
T
T
n
n if
dz
y
T
T
n
a
f
dz
dy
dn
a
f
I
I
y
T
T
n
dy
dn
K k
K K k
c
c
c
c
=
A

~
c
c
c
c

c
c
c
c
= =
A
c
c
c
c
=
} }
2
2 2
1
Visualization of shock wave in a transonic/supersonic nozzle
using Schlieren technique
Before turning on the Supersonic jet
Aftyer turning on the Supersonic jet
Alternative Schlieren system
A. Setup with one
converging and one
plane mirror
A. Setup with one
converging mirror
}
}

=
A

=
=~
A

~
A
=

A
A
=

=
A
+ A = A
A
A
=
dz
dy
n d
n
Z
I
I
dz
dy
dn
n
dy
d
Z
I
I
dy
d
Z
y
d
Z
y
y
I
I I
I
I
d Z y y
I
y
y
I
a
sc
a
sc
sc
sc
sc
sc
sc
sc sc
sc
sc
2
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
since
1
o
o
o o
o
Sensitive is proposal to Z
sc
Experimental setup with one converging mirror
Experimental setup without lens or mirror
Point Source
Bubble of high
density gas
Shows light ray displacement
Contrast level responds to
No knife edge used
Schlieren
Displays a focused image
Shows ray refraction angle, c
Contrast level responds to
Knife edge used for cutoff
y
n
c
c
2
2
y
n
c
c
Examples
Examples: Shlieren Photography
A cough
The firing of an AK-47. A simulated explosion in an airplane cabin.
An invisible gas leak
A hair dryer's effects
A glass of warm water
.
ISUs Z-type Schlieren System
1
st
Field Mirror
2
nd
Field Mirror
Screen/Instrument Panel
Light Source
Test Section
Knife Edge
Light Source
Lamp
Condenser Lens
Section A-A
A-A
Setting Up The Schlieren System
Step 1: Find the focal length of the field mirrors
Focal Length
Setting Up The Schlieren System
Step 2: Set up the first field mirror
1
st
Field Mirror
Light Source
Test Section
Setting Up The Schlieren System
Step 3: Set up the second field mirror
1
st
Field Mirror
Light Source
Test Section
2
nd
Field Mirror
Screen/Instrument Panel
Setting Up The Schlieren System
Step 4: Set up the knife edge
Focus the
source image
on the knife
Obtain a uniform
darkening of the image