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Fluid Dynamics

CAx Tutorial: Supersonic 2-D Wedge

Outline Tutorial #2

Deryl O. Snyder
C. Greg Jensen
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602

Special thanks to:

PACE, Fluent, UGS Solutions, Altair Engineering;

and to the following students who assisted in the creation of the Fluid Dynamics tutorials:

Leslie Tanner, Cole Yarrington, Curtis Rands, Curtis Memory, and Stephen McQuay.
Supersonic 2-D Wedge
2D Flow
In this tutorial, Fluent will be used to solve and analyze the flow problem. The geome-
try and mesh will be created in Gambit. Fluent will be used to analyze the flow to
compare with analytical solutions.

The methods expressed in these tutorials represent just one approach to modeling, defining and
solving 2D problems. Our goal is the education of students in the use of CAx tools for model-
ing, constraining and solving fluids application problems. Other techniques and methods will be
used and introduced in subsequent tutorials.

A wedge with a leading and trailing edge angle of 40

degrees travels through air at a Mach number of 2.0.
Calculate the shock wave angle and the corresponding
Mach number, pressure, and density change at the leading
edge. At the trailing edge calculate the initial angle of the
Prandtl-Meyer expansion as well as the Mach number, pres-
sure, and temperature change.

Supersonic 2-D Wedge
Creating Geometry
Begin by creating a face bounded by the
following points:

-3 0
-0.8 0
-0.5 0.109
0.5 0.109
0.8 0
8 0
8 7
-3 7

If problems were encountered in creating the

geometry, the full geometry can be loaded from
the file “2DWedge_Geometry.dbs”.

Supersonic 2-D Wedge
Meshing Geometry
The edge meshes on the three lines making
up the object have the following properties:
Sucessive Ratio = 1.0, and Interval Spacing
= 0.04.

The two horizontal lines extending from

the leading and trailing edges have the fol-
lowing values:

Left edge
First Length = 0.04
Interval Count = 12.

Right edge
First Length = 0.04
Interval Count = 35.

The face mesh consists of tri elements with

an Interval Size = 0.5.

The mesh should resemble the image to the


Create boundary conditions as follows:

This problem will be computed with the

inviscid viscous model so no special treat-
ment is necessary for the edges extending
from the leading and trailing edges.
Therefore, all the edges forming the bottom
wall can be grouped together as one WALL
in the Boundary Types window.

The left, top, and right edges of the flow

domain are grouped as PRESSURE FAR

Save and export the 2-D mesh.

If problems were encountered in creating the

mesh, the complete Gambit and Fluent mesh
files are “2DWedge_Meshed.dbs” and
“2DWedge_Meshed.msh” respectively.

Supersonic 2-D Wedge
Defining the Problem
After reading in and checking the mesh,
specify the Solver settings.

Select Coupled under Solver and leave the

other default values alone.

Enable the Energy Equation.

Ensure the Inviscid viscous model is select-

ed and change the operating pressure to
the following location: (-2,2).

The properties of the fluid (in this case air)

need to be modified.

Change Density in the Materials window

to ideal-gas and save the change.

Now set the boundary conditions for the


Change the pressure-far-field settings for

the outer boundary as follows: Mach
Number = 2 and ensure the X-Component
of Flow Direction is 1.0.

Change the Solution Parameters.

Enter a value of 3.0 for the Courant

Number and select Second Order Upwind
for the flow discretization.

Supersonic 2-D Wedge
Defining the Problem
Initialize the flow domain using the pres-
sure-far-field conditions. Verify that the X-
Velocity is roughly 694 m/s. Click Init.

Enable residual plotting and turn off the

automatic convergence checks.

The problem is now ready to be iterated.

Begin with 200 iterations.

At this point Fluent will be used to modify

the mesh around areas of large property
gradients in order to better visualize com-
pressibility effects.

Adapt > Gradient...

Enter the Controls... window and make

sure that Hanging is selected under Type.
Return to the adaption window.

Uncheck Coarsen under Options and select

Gradient under Method. Select Gradients
Of Velocity.... Just below that select Mach
Number. Set Refine Threshold to 0.05 and
click on Mark. In the main Fluent window
an indication of the number of cells to be
modified should appear. It should be
around 639. Click Adapt and then Yes to
the query window that will appear. When
Fluent finishes, exit and re-display the grid.

Supersonic 2-D Wedge
Solving the Problem
Zoom in on the geometry. The modified
mesh should show a refined grid around
the shock wave and expansion fan.

Any flow property can be used for grid

adaption. Mach number was chosen in this
case to focus on the region near the shock

Adaption was perfocmed for two reasons:

aiding Fluent in converging on a correct
solution and facilitating shock angle meas-

Re-initialize the flow and continue with

another 300 iterations.

Adapt the mesh further with the same val-

ues as before, re-initialize the flow and per-
form 600 more iterations.

If problems were encountered in setting up or

solving this problem in Fluent, the complete
case and data can be loaded from the file

Supersonic 2-D Wedge
Analyzing the Solution
Enable the mouse probe option.

Display > Mouse Buttons...

Select on next to Probe:. This feature

allows the user to get specific X,Y locations
and corresponding flow conditions from
contour plots with MB3.

Display un-filled contours of Absolute

Pressure with 30 Levels of detail.

Display > Contours...

Zoom in on the leading edge. The probe

function will be used to find the angle of
the shock wave.

Pick a location on one of the contours close

to the middle of the shock and a small dis-
tance from the leading edge and click with
MB3. The section of contour closest to the
mouse will highlight and the probe func-
tion will report X, Y, and Z (Z will be 0 for
this 2D case) coordinates and a value of the
absolute pressure at that control surface in
the main Fluent window. Repeat the pro-
cedure on the same contour at a point fur-
ther up the shock wave. Stay on the
straight-line portion of the wave.

Acutal points obtained will vary from those

in this tutorial because of variations in grid
adaption and mouse inputs.
⎛ dy ⎞ ⎛ − 0.771 + 0.636 ⎞
Taking the inverse tangent of the ratio of tan −1 ⎜ ⎟ = tan −1 ⎜ ⎟ = 53.2

the differences between the two points ⎝ dx ⎠ ⎝ 0.042 − .0223 ⎠

should reveal an angle of roughly 53
degrees. This is exactly the value obtained
from a standard oblique shock properties

Supersonic 2-D Wedge
Analytical Solution
Finding the normal component of the flow
M n1 = M 1 sin( β ) Eq. 1
with respect to the shock wave (Eq. 1) and
using the normal shock equation (Eq. 2),
the post-shock wave Mach number, pres-
sure, and density can be found. The fol- Eq. 2
lowing values were obtained from the
equations on the right and by probing con- M n2
tour plots in Fluent (γ = 1.4, β = 53, θ = 20): M2 = Eq. 3
sin( β − θ )

Mach Number (Eq. 3)

Analytical: 1.23 p2 2γ
= 1+ ( M n21 − 1) Eq. 4
Fluent: 1.21 p1 γ +1

Pressure (Eq. 4)
Analytical: 281965 Pa ρ2 (γ + 1) M n21
= Eq. 5
Fluent: 285355 Pa ρ1 (γ − 1) M n21 + 2

Density (Eq. 5)
Analytical: 2.46 Kg/m^3
Fluent: 2.41 Kg/m^3

The angle of the forward Mach line shown

with the mouse pointer in the image to the
right, can be found in the same manner as
the shock wave. With this angle (shown
below) and the pre-expansion Mach num-
ber, the Prandtl-Meyer function can be
used to find the following flow conditions:

Forward Mach Line Angle (Eq. 6) γ +1 γ −1

(M ) = tan −1 ( M 2 − 1) − tan −1 M 2 − 1 Eq. 6
Analytical: 31.3 γ −1 γ +1
Fluent: 29.8
θ 2 = ν 2 −ν 1 Eq. 7
Mach Number (Eq’s. 6,7)
Analytical: 2.73 γ /( γ −1)
Fluent: 2.66 p1 ⎡1 + (γ − 1) M 22 / 2 ⎤
=⎢ ⎥
p2 ⎣1 + (γ − 1) M 12 / 2 ⎦ Eq. 8
Pressure (Eq. 8)
Analytical: 29069 Pa T1 1 + (γ − 1) M 22 / 2
Fluent: 32903 Pa = Eq. 9
T2 1 + (γ − 1) M 12 / 2
γ = ratio of specific heats
Temperature (Eq. 9) β = shock wave angle
Analytical: 217 K θ = obstruction angle
Fluent: 223 K ν = mach line angle