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Estimation of drag of a cylinder kept in a flow by use of pendulum method. Suspended cylinder is used which is hinged as a pendulum. The flow creates drag on cylinder which is measured by pendulum angular displacement.

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Aerodynamics Lab, Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology

Experiment was performed to calculate the drag force on the solid cylinder. Drag force

variation for different Reynolds numbers was also observed. Experiment was conducted at

low subsonic free stream velocities. Drag was observed to have increased with the increase

in free stream velocity of air.

Nomenclature

D

mb

mr

mc

rb

rc

g

m

CD

Dwc

S

Re

v

P

Patm

Tatm

Mair

R

Drag force, N

Mass of bob with pointer, Kg

Mass of pendulum rod, Kg

Mass of wooden cylinder, Kg

Length of pendulum rod, m

Wooden cylinder rod length, m

Acceleration due to gravity, m2 /s

Deflection angle

Inclination angle of manometer tubes

Coefficient of drag

Diameter of Wooden Cylinder, m

Projected area of cylinder in flow direction, m2

Reynolds Number

Velocity of air, m/s

Kinematic viscosity, m2 /s

Density of air, Kg/m3

Static Pressure of air, mm of ethanol

Atmospheric pressure, mm of Hg

Atmospheric temperature, C

Molecular mass of air, g/mole

Universal Gas Constant, J/kg.K

Subscripts

I.

Introduction

When a body is placed inside the flow domain of the fluid, fluid exerts force on the body and vice versa.

Generally this force is classified into lift and drag. Drag force is the force exerted by the fluid on the body

in the flow direction. Study of drag force is very crucial for aircrafts, rockets as well as vehicles. Most of the

times, main aim of design is to reduce drag.

Student,B.

Tech.

Tech.

Student,B. Tech.

Student,B. Tech.

Student,B.

5th

5th

5th

5th

semester,

semester,

semester,

semester,

Aerospace

Aerospace

Aerospace

Aerospace

Engineering,

Engineering,

Engineering,

Engineering,

SC13B022

SC13B023

SC13B024

SC13B025

1 of 10

Aerodynamics Lab Report, IIST

Here drag force on a cylinder was measured. A wooden cylinder was attached with a pendulum. And

the cylinder was placed inside the wind tunnel. The experimental set up has been covered in the later

portion of the report.

Cd , the drag co-efficient is given by the formula stated below:

CD =

D

1

2

2 v S

(1)

CD consists of two kinds of drag forces. Skin friction and pressure drag. Pressure drag is produced

because of differential pressure generated between upstream of the body and downstream of the body. Skin

friction, as name suggests, is caused by the friction (wall sheer stress) between body and the flow.

Skin friction dominates for low Re values (especially for stream lined bodies). Pressure drag becomes

dominating at high velocities and for blunt bodies. Flow fails to keep itself aligned with the surface and

separates. Separation in turn creates low pressure in the downstream of the body which contributes to

pressure drag.

II.

Background

The air flow over the cylinder exerts drag force on the cylinder causing it to rotate about the fixed shaft.

Depending on the amount of drag force the cylinder deflects to a particular angle till it comes to equilibrium

due to drag and weights of cylinder, rod and bob as shown in fig. 1. Thus by using force balance or moment

balance the drag force on the cylinder can be calculated if angle of deflection is known.

mb rb + mr2rb + mc rc g tan

(2)

D=

rc

Figure 1. Free body Diagram at equilibrium (Only required forces are shown)

The characteristic length for a circular cylinder or sphere is taken to be the external diameter D. Thus,

the Reynolds number is defined as Re = VD/ where V is the uniform velocity of the fluid as it approaches

the cylinder or sphere. The critical Reynolds number for flow across a circular cylinder or sphere is about

Recr 2 105 . That is, the boundary layer remains laminar for about Re . 2 105 and becomes turbulent

for Re & 2 105 .

2 of 10

Aerodynamics Lab Report, IIST

Figure 2. Average drag coefficient for crossflow over a smooth circular cylinder and a smooth sphere.1

The nature of the flow across a cylinder or sphere strongly affects the total drag coefficient CD . Both the

friction drag and the pressure drag can be significant. The high pressure in the vicinity of the stagnation

point and the low pressure on the opposite side in the wake produce a net force on the body in the direction of

flow. The drag force is primarily due to friction drag at low Reynolds numbers (Re < 10) and to pressure

drag at high Reynolds numbers (Re > 5000). Both effects are significant at intermediate Reynolds numbers.

Variation of CD with Reynolds number is shown in fig. 2 and visualisation of different regimes of flow are

shown in fig. 3

Figure 3.

For Re 6 1 and the drag coefficient decreases with increasing Reynolds number. There is no flow

separation in this regime.

3 of 10

Aerodynamics Lab Report, IIST

At about Re = 10, separation starts occurring on the rear of the body with vortex shedding starting

at about Re

= 90. The region of separation increases with increasing Reynolds number up to about

Re=103 . At this point, the drag is mostly (about 95 percent) due to pressure drag. The drag coefficient

continues to decrease with increasing Reynolds number in this range of 10 < Re < 103 .

In the moderate range of 103 < Re < 105 , the drag coefficient remains relatively constant. This

behavior is characteristic of blunt bodies. The flow in the boundary layer is laminar in this range, but

the flow in the separated region past the cylinder or sphere is highly turbulent with a wide turbulent

wake.

There is a sudden drop in the drag coefficient somewhere in the range of 105 < Re < 106 (usually,

at about 2 105 ). This large reduction in CD is due to the flow in the boundary layer becoming

turbulent, which moves the separation point further on the rear of the body, reducing the size of the

wake and thus the magnitude of the pressure drag. This is in contrast to streamlined bodies, which

experience an increase in the drag coefficient (mostly due to friction drag) when the boundary layer

becomes turbulent.1

III.

The experimental set-up consists of a blower type wind tunnel. Wind tunnel had radially blowing fan

which was driven by a motor whose RPM could be changed vary the air speed. There were tapping at entry

of contraction cone and test section for measurement of static pressure. A multi-tube manometer kept at

45 deg inclination was used to measure these pressures. A spirit level was also provided to make sure that

ethanol in the manometer tubes was at same level initially. A wooden cylinder was suspended in test section;

Pointer attached to the pendulum was used to find deflection angle of cylinder from the scale as shown in

fig.4.

Figure 4. Test-section of experimental set-up for drag on a cylinder using pendulum method experiment

Before starting the experiment, the formula to find the drag on the cylinder using the angle of deflection

was found out.

It was checked that cylinder was hanging vertically and the levels of ethanol in manometer tubes was

same.

Motor was switched on and rpm of the motor was changed gradually and for some deflection of cylinder

its corresponding angle, pressure were measured using the pointer attached to the pendulum and

manometer tubes respectively.

This was repeated upto 12 of deflection.

4 of 10

Aerodynamics Lab Report, IIST

While noting down the deflection values, the oscillations of the cylinder were observed and correspondingly angle of oscillation was also noted.

From the observed values, Reynolds number and coefficient of drag were calculated and were plotted.

IV.

Results

At steady state a flow field forms around the object, force and coefficients changes with different flow

parameters. For incompressible flows Reynolds number is an important parameter that decides pressure

distribution over an object, hence aero dynamic force on a body.

C o e f f ic ie n t o f D r a g

2 .4

2 .2

2 .0

C o e ffic ie n t o f D r a g

1 .8

1 .6

1 .4

1 .2

1 .0

0 .8

0 .6

0 .4

0 .2

0 .0

2 0 0 0 0

3 0 0 0 0

4 0 0 0 0

5 0 0 0 0

6 0 0 0 0

7 0 0 0 0

R e y n o ld s N u m b e r

1. When compared to reference ideal graph (refer plot 2), the plot of CD Vs Re shows slight variation.

Value of CD is almost constant for 2/3rd of the readings.

1 .2

1 .0

D ra g (N )

0 .8

0 .6

D ra g

0 .4

0 .2

0 .0

2 0 0 0 0

3 0 0 0 0

4 0 0 0 0

5 0 0 0 0

6 0 0 0 0

R e y n o ld s N u m b e r

5 of 10

Aerodynamics Lab Report, IIST

7 0 0 0 0

2. Initially at lower values of Re, oscillations of pendulum were negligible. At higher Re values, both

frequency and aptitude of oscillations increased, causing significant error.

D ra g

1 .2

1 .0

D ra g (N )

0 .8

0 .6

0 .4

0 .2

0 .0

0

1 0 0

2 0 0

3 0 0

V e lo c ity ^ 2 ( m

Figure 7.

4 0 0

2

5 0 0

/s 2)

Plot of Drag vs v2

3. Plot 6 and plot 7 shows that Drag is proportional to Re and square of velocity for the experimantal

range of data.

1 .2

1 .0

D ra g (N )

0 .8

0 .6

D ra g

0 .4

0 .2

0 .0

0

1 0

1 2

A n g u la r D e fle c tio n ( D e g r e e )

4. Drag force varies linearly with the angular deflection of the cylinder as shown in fig.8.

V.

Conclusion

With increasing Reynolds number variation of CD of the cylinder is not exactly monotonic. The fluctuations are due to different degree of turbulence and fluctuating form drag over the cylinder.

1. Reynolds no. varies from 21000 to 69000 in this regime the flow is a region where the vortex sheet is

fully turbulent refer fig 3. Its a turbulent region some fluctuations are expected and inherent.

2. For this kind of fully turbulent flow, the value for Cd is relatively constant.

6 of 10

Aerodynamics Lab Report, IIST

3. As CD is nearly constant in the experimental range of Re values, hence drag force is found to be

proportional to square of the velocity as expected from equation 7.

4. The drag force on the cylinder is proportional to tan which implies that drag force increases with the

increase in angular deflection. For small of deflection tan is linear this explains linear nature of plot

8.

5. Cd not only depends on the flow velocity but will also depend upon flow direction, object position,

object size, fluid density and fluid viscosity.

6. The oscillation of the pendulum at higher velocities of air may be because of the change of flow from

laminar to turbulent regime. Oscillatory behaviour of the cylinder is combine effect of shedding vortexes

in the wake region and mechanical vibration of motor.

Causes of variation and uncertainty

The wooden cylinder is misaligned with the flow .

Manometers base is not aligned to the ground.

The ideal Cd plot (Refer fig. 2) was a 2D case (or infinite cylinder) but in experiment its a 3D object

(Finite cylinder) will have some finite shear forces(boundary layer effects) acting on the side walls

which will contribute to drag.

Mechanical Vibration of motor is causes the cylinder to oscillate causing error in reading. Oscillations

started around 800 rpm. At higher rotational speeds, the amplitude of oscillations were fluctuating,

possible reason being the fully turbulent nature of vortex sheet (as shown in fig 3).

It was a subsonic experiment so any disturbance in aft field can also causes variation in result. Also

the rod used for suspending the cylinder will have some contribution in variation in readings.

Steady state may not have be achieved due to variable velocity and pressure distribution.

The leakage in wind tunnel causes the internal pressure to drop and induces disturbances in the flow

which consequently reduces the drag force experienced by the cylinder.

Due to prolonged uses the tube of manometer is having some deposited residue around 5 cm from the

base so that might contribute to error due variation in density of fluid . The blue coloured substance

can be CuSO4 usually added in industrial Ethanol.

Uncertainty Analysis

Error analysis is done for = 5o . Drag on the cylinder is given by the following moment balance equation:

mb rb + mr2rb + mc rc g tan

D=

(3)

rc

The above equation has only one variable in the form of deflection. Therefore uncertainty in drag is given

by:

D

LMr

2LM

= sec2 g (2m +

+

)

l

l

= 12.22

Net uncertainty is given by:

D

= 1.236477

7 of 10

Aerodynamics Lab Report, IIST

Re =

V D

Uncertainty in Reynolds number depends on velocity of flow which is dependent on rise of ethanol on the

multi-tube manometer. Uncertainty in Reynolds number due to h1 is given by:

289694.117 1

Re

=

h1

2 h2 h1

Therefore total error due to h1 is given by:

Re

h1

h1

Re

= 0.02132

Re

h2

h2

Re

s

e

2

( R

h1 h1 )

Re

= 0.02132

e

2

( R

h2 h2 )

Re

0.021322 0.021322

= 0.03015

Similarly error in Cd can be found out. The parameters effecting the uncertainty in Coefficient of drag are

deflection and the height of the rise in ethanol level in the multi-tube manometer.

Maximum uncertainty value for CD was obtained as 0.572 while the minimum value was 0.061. Similarly

maximum uncertainty in calculation of Reynolds number was 0.145 and minimum value was 0.014.

Appendix

Sample Calculation

Experiment is well within the incompressible regime of fluid flow (i.e. Mach no. less than 0.3), So Bernoullis

equation is valid.

Patm

Tatm

Mair

R

750 mm of Hg

314.15 K

29.1 gm/mole

8.314 J/(kg.K)

By using Bernoullis equation for two points at the same height, we have:

1

1

P1 + ((v1 )2 ) = P2 + ((v2 )2 )

2

2

(4)

=

PM

RT

=

8.314 304

8 of 10

(5)

Measurement

rb

rc

Dwc

Wwc

mr

mc

mb

m

Values

260 mm

130 mm

50 mm

45 mm

111 gm

58 gm

225 gm

45 Degrees

= 1.152kgm3

Drag force on the given cylinder is calculated using moment balance

mb rb + mr2rb + mc rc g tan

D=

rc

(6)

= 5o ; D = 9.81 tan(5)(2 0.058 +

+

)

0.130

0.130

D = 1.0625kgms2 ;

(0.166 0.142) sin45 9.81 789 =

1

1.152 v 2

2

v = 15.454m/s

CD =

D

1

2

2 v S

(7)

CD = 1.2697

Acknowledgments

We would like to acknowledge all the people involved directly or indirectly in completion of this experiment

and report. We would like to thank our lab supervisor Dr. B. R. Vinoth for providing us an opportunity to

experimentally understand various aspects of aerodynamics. We would also like to thank our instructors Mr.

Roshan Kumar and Ms. Prasanthi for providing us the needful guidance for conducting the experiment.

References

1 Yunus A. Cengel, John M. Cimbala, FLUID MECHANICS: FUNDAMENTALS AND APPLICATIONS, SI Units, 1st

Edition, Mc Graw Hill Education, chapter 11, pp 583-586

2 Sunden, Bengt Tubes, Crossflow Over, Article, Thermopedia

DOI: http://www.thermopedia.com/content/1216/

9 of 10

Aerodynamics Lab Report, IIST

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