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Experiment 1 (a): Flow visualization over streamlined

and bluff bodies.

Objectives: To study the flow patterns over streamlined and bluff bodies.

In a moving body, there are two kinds of drag offered to their motion, frictional drag
and pressure drag. Pressure drag is caused by the air particles being more compressed
(pushed together) on the front-facing surfaces and more spaced out on the back
surfaces. Friction force refers to forces acting opposite to the relative motion of any
object by the fluid moving with respect to a surrounding fluid. Some bodies have higher
frictional drag while others have greater pressure drag. A streamlined body is the one
which lowers the friction drag between a fluid and itself when moving in the fluid. Bluff
body is the one which when moving in a fluid offers more of pressure drag due to
separation of flow in between.

1. Smoke tunnel: Open circuit type wind tunnel. Fan produces high velocity flow.
Ahead of it is a big settling chamber which reduces the disturbances generated
by the fan. Honeycomb structured screens makes the flow uniform and further
reduce its turbulence level.
2. Smoke generator: Kerosene is heated such that the vapour formed is mixed
with cooler air stream to produce the appropriate mist. Rake is used to introduce
smoke in the flow.
3. Angle changing Mechanism: A hollow rod is connected with the model. Rod is
connected to a gear which in turn is driven by a motor for changing the angle of
4. Models: Symmetric air foil, cambered air foil (streamlined body), Isosceles
triangle, cylinder (bluff body).
5. Measuring scale, Angle measuring device.
6. Smoke rake

1. Mount model in test section.
2. Measure angle which it makes with the flow.
3. Start smoke generator.
4. Change the flow velocity using dial setting.
5. Visualize the flow and take the photograph of the same.
6. Change the angle and observe the changes in the flow. Observe keenly the angle
where the flow separates and measure it.

Flow is moving from left to right.


1. Symmetric airfoil: 40 cm chord length.

2. Cambered airfoil: 30 cm chord length.
3. Diameter of cylinder: 15 cm.
4. Side length of Isosceles triangle: 16 cm, 16 cm, 22.5 cm.
Reynolds number= (Density*Velocity of flow*D)/Viscosity of fluid

Velocity= 2.1 m/s; Density of air=1.225kg/m3; Viscosity of air=1.98X10-5 Pa s

Reynolds number of the flow for:

1. Symmetric airfoil: 51890 (for D=.4 m i.e. chord of the symmetric airfoil)
2. Cambered airfoil: 38918 (for D=.3 m i.e. chord of the cambered airfoil)
3. Cylinder: 19459 (for D=.15 m i.e. diameter of the cylinder)
4. Isosceles triangle: 25360 (for D=.195 m i.e. height of the isosceles triangle)

1. Symmetric airfoil model placed at an angle 12.8 degrees.

2. Symmetric airfoil model placed at an angle 29 degrees (flow separation).
3. Symmetric airfoil model placed at an angle -29.1 degrees (flow separation).

Stagnation point Flow separation

Flow separation

1. Cambered airfoil model placed at an angle 6.2 degrees.

2. Cambered airfoil model placed at an angle 37 degrees (flow separation).
3. Cambered airfoil model placed at an angle -7.3 degrees (flow separation).

In both the streamlined flow, flow separates happens only at high angle else the floe remains
streamlined. Thus the body offers low drag which is due to friction drag.

Bluff body (Cylinder) is placed in the flow path. In the first case, the flow separates at 60 degrees
while the flow separates at an angle 78 degrees in the second case. It has a pin attached to its
surface which delays the flow separation.

1. Stagnation point is at the vertex of the isosceles triangle (0 degree).

2. Stagnation point shifts downwards with respect to the vertex of the triangle (21.3 degrees).
In both the bluff bodies (Cylinder and Isosceles triangle), the flow separates in a small distance and
vortices are formed behind. Thus if offers a high drag due to large pressure drag.

Flow over streamlined and bluff body has been explained.

Potential flows are irrotational, non-viscous flow whereas real flows have viscosity and are

Reynolds number of flow varies in the range of 19459-51890. It is in the range of
turbulent flow.

Streamlined body shows low pressure drag and high frictional drag whereas bluff
bodies higher pressure drag and low frictional drag.
Experiment 1 (b): Dye flow visualization over
Streamlined and bluff Bodies in Hele-Shaw Apparatus.
To study the potential flow patterns over streamlined and bluff bodies.
2. To study the viscous flow at low Reynolds number (Re)

Reynolds number depends on density, velocity, body dimensions and the
viscosity of the fluid. Flow separation occurs at smaller angle of attack for flow
with high Reynolds number and vice versa. First part of the experiment deals
with flow with high Reynolds number and its effects are observed. Now flow
with low Reynolds needs to be analysed.

Model (Cambered airfoil in my case), Hele-Shaw apparatus, Water and Dye mixture,
Measuring cylinder, Stopwatch, Measuring scale.

Two parallel glass plated 2 mm distance apart is placed and the model in between it.
From the top, dye and water mixture is poured from two different containers with rake.
Below the glass plate is placed a tube which could be controlled using valve. Ten open
the tap and the bottom, take images, and measure the volume flow rate. Repeat the
experiment changing angle of attack and volume flow rate and finally get the Reynolds

Hele-Shaw apparatus dimension: 2mmX85mmX100mm. KMnO4 is used as dye.

We observe the flow to be streamlined for even a high angle of attack. This is due to
very low Reynolds number.

10 ml of fluid pours in the cylinder in 100 sec.

Volume flow rate= 10/100= 0.1 ml/sec.

Velocity of fluid= 0.0588 cm/ sec.

Density of fluid=1000kg/m3 (Approx.); Viscosity of fluid: 1 cP; D=30 mm;

Reynolds number= 17.64

Reynolds number is 17.64. Flow is laminar. Therefore unlike in the previous experiment, flow
remains streamlined even at high angle of attack.