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Fluid-solid interactions

Project B
Flow-induced damping of a translating wing profile
February 5, 2016
The goal of this exercise is to virtually take you to the laboratory. With the help of some experimental data,
you will estimate some characteristics of the lift force exterted on a wing profile by measuring the its damped
oscillations perpendicularly to a flow. The furnished experimental data have been obtained in our lab with the
help of a setup described in the following.
A photograph of the system under study is given on figure 1. It consists of a wing profile mounted on two
bars which serve a a rigidity to the system. The system is placed in a wind tunel. The profile is oriented such
that it has zero or small angle of incidence with the flow at equilibrium. Small amplitude perturbations are
considered so that it can be modelled by a simple damped mass-spring oscillator sketched on the right of figure
1. The mass, damping and stifness of this oscilaltor are respectively noted M , C and K.

Estimation of the structural parameters

Q 1.1 In absence of flow and neglecting still fluid effects on the dynamics (added mass, stiffness or damping...),
write the equation governing the displacement Y of the wing profile. Propose a solution for the following initial
conditions: Y (t = 0) = Y0 and Y (t = 0) = 0, where the dot () denotes derivation with respect to time.
Q 1.2 As visible on the photograph of figure 2, different masses are placed on the profile while the displacement
is measured. The resulting data is given in the table of figure 2. Note that Y is counted positive when the






Figure 1: Left: Photograph of the experimental setup: a wing profile (a) is mounted on two bars (b) and
placed in a flow whose velocity is equal to U . A laser sensor (c) allows to measure with great accuracy the
displacement of the profile. A pitot tube (d) is connected to a manometer (e) to measure the inlet flow velocity.
Right: If the length of the bar is large compared to the amplitude of the profiles displacement, a translating
profile of mass M mounted on a spring of stiffness K and a damper of dissipation constant C correctly models
the system.

Mass (g)

Y (mm)

Figure 2: Left: Photograph of the system with an additionnal mass of 30g. Right: Vertical displacement of
the profile for different values of the mass.
profile is displaced downwards. Use this dataset to calculate the stiffness K of the system (N/m) and explain
your method.
Q 1.3 The masses are next removed and free decay oscillations are measured. The resulting dataset is given
in the file The first column contains the time
in seconds, the second column the displacement in meters. Use this dataset to estimate the mass M and the
structural damping C and explain your method.

Estimation of the lift coefficient law from free decay measurements

in presence of flow

Q 2.1 The system is now placed in a flow at the velocity U , perpendicular to the direction of displacement of
the wing profile. The density of surrounding air is , the chord length L and the span A. The velocity of the
translating wing is denoted Y . Give the expression of the apparent angle between the direction of the flow and
the wing profile, denoted , as function of U and Y . (See lecture 5.3 around 3:00 if you need some help.)
Q 2.2 Give the expression of the vertical force exerted on the profile as function of the lift coefficient, the
fluids density, the chord and the span of the wing.
Q 2.3 Perform a Taylor expansion of the force calculated in the previous question around Y = 0 in order to
obtain an expression of the flow induced linear damping involving , U , A, L, CL and .
Q 2.4 The following files contain free decay measurements for the velocities U = 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 m/s.
As before, the first column contains the time in seconds and the second column contains the displacement Y in
meters. It is now asked to exploit these dataset to estimate the flow-induced damping. Plot this flow-induced
damping as funtion of the flow velocity and compare it to that obtained theoretically in question 2.3 for a thin
profile. Give a comment on the eventual good or bad agreement between the two.