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THESELECTIONOFBLADESECTIONS

Althoughthecirculationtheoryoffersasatisfactoryexplanationof propeller action and provides a useful method of calculating propeller performance, it does not provide any means of selecting the most desirablebladeshapesforanyparticulardesign.Thetheoryleadsonlyto the conclusion that, in order for a section to produce a certain thrust, theproductoftheliftcoefficientandsectionlengthmusthavethevalue givenbyequationattheendofthetext.Presumablyanycombinationof these factors could be used to produce the required product, but practicalconsiderationgreatlyrestrictsthechoiceofthesefactors. Sinceoneoftheprimaryobjectivesinthedesignofapropelleris to achieve the maximum possible efficiency, it is evident that each section should be selected to have the minimum drag. In general, the drag of conventional sections decreases with decreasing thickness and decreasing angle of attack. Therefore, these values should be kept as lowaspossible.Thedragalsodecreaseswithdecreasingsectionlength but reduction of length requires a corresponding increase in the lift coefficients to maintain a constant product and also an increase in thicknesstomaintainthestrength,bothofwhichareaccompaniedbyan increase in the critical cavitation index, which, in turn, increases the possibilityofcavitation. Inthecaseoflowspeed,lightlyloadedpropellers,wherethereis little possibility of cavitation, the blades should be made as narrow as practicalandmeanwidthratiosaslowas0.20areusedfrequently.For propellers which are designed to operate at high speeds, where the possibilityofcavitationisgreater,thesectionlengthsmustbeincreased with an accompanying loss of efficiency. It has been found most convenient in practice to assume a blade outline based on experience with other propellers for similar applications. The critical cavitation number of each section then can be compared with the cavitation numberatwhicheachsectionoperates,basedontheresultantvelocity andsubmergence,and the sectionlengthsadjustedso that allsections haveanequalmarginofsafety. Thedeterminationofabladesectionshapetodevelopadesired lift coefficient can best be accomplished by reference to the extensive workdoneinthedevelopmentofairfoils.

It has been shown that an airfoil can be considered as the combination of a symmetrical thickness distribution and a camber line from which the offsets of the thickness distribution are plotted. Theoretically, at zero angle of attack, the lift coefficient is a function, primarily, of the camber, and, to a small degree, the thickness, but experiments have shown that for all practical purposes the lift coefficient can be considered as a linear function of the camber ratio alone. Theoretically, with an angle of attack the lift coefficient for infiniteaspectratioincreasesattherateof2perradianor0.1097per degree,whichisconfirmedbyexperiment. Since lift can be developed either by camber or angle of attack, thequestionarisesastowhichshouldbeusedorhowtheliftshouldbe distributedbetweenthetwo.Experimentshaveshownthattheincrease indragduetocamberinganairfoiltoprovideacertainliftcoefficientis less than the increase in drag caused by obtaining the same lift coefficient with an angle of attack. It can be shown also that, theoretically,thereductioninpressureonthebackofanairfoilisless(or, in other words, the critical cavitation index is lower) for a given lift coefficient when the lift is provided by camber than when the lift is providedbyangleofattack.Onthisbasis,itwouldappearthattheuse ofcamberalonewouldgivetheoptimumresults,but,inpractice,thisis notthecase. The characteristics of mathematically defined camber lines have been determined by transformations of the potential flow around cylindersinuniformflowinwhichtheviscosityhasbeenneglected.The effectoftheviscosityinarealfluidisareductionofthecirculationthata cambercurvewoulddeveloptheoreticallyinaperfectfluidand,hence,a reduction of lift. For circular arc camber lines, the experimentally determinedliftcoefficientisabout80percentofthetheoreticalvalue. The reduction of circulation also results in the shift of the stagnation pointfromtheendofthecamberlinetosomepointonthebackofthe section. It is possible, of course, to obtain a desired lift coefficient with circular arc camber by increasing the theoretically required camber by thefactor1/0.8.Thisisnotdesirable,however,fromthestandpointof cavitation,since,withthestagnationpointontheback,thepressureon the face near the leading edge is reduced greatly and danger of face cavitation is increased as has been demonstrated with tests of single sections. It is considered more desirable, therefore, to use an angle of attack to make up the difference between the theoretical and

experimentalvalueoftheliftcoefficientassociatedwithagivencamber. Forexample,aliftcoefficientof1.0theoreticallyrequiresacirculararc camber ratio of 0.08. Actually this camber ratio would produce a lift coefficient of only 0.8, so that an angle of attack of 0.2/0.1097 = 1.82 degrees must be used in conjunction with the 0.08 camber ratio to develop the lift coefficient of 1.0. This incurs a slight increase in drag, which is considered less objectionable than the possibility of face cavitation. There are a considerable number of mathematically defined camber lines for which theoretical lift and pressure characteristics are available.Sofarasisknown,thesuitabilityofallofthesecamberlines forpropellershasnotbeeninvestigated,butone,inparticular,seemsto haveverydesirablecharacteristics.ThisistheNACAa=1camberwhich theoretically produces a uniform chordwise distribution of load and pressureand,hence,foragivenliftcoefficientthereductionofpressure onthebackofasectionistheminimumthatcanbeobtained. Turningnowtotheconsiderationofsectionthickness,itisfound thatmostinvestigationsofairfoilshavebeenmadewithsectionshaving thicknessratiosof0.06orgreaterand,therefore,areapplicableonlyto theinnersectionsofwidebladedpropellersand,toasomewhatgreater extent,tonarrowbladedpropellers.Theconclusionsthatcanbedrawn fromtheseinvestigationsare: 1. The drag increases with increasing thickness ratio above a thicknessratioof0.06atwhichitissomewhatlessthanthedrag ofaflatplate,whichhasnotbeenexplained;hence,forsections thinnerthan0.06,thedragprobablyincreasesagain. 2. Thedragincreaseswithincreasingcamberandangleofattack. 3. Thedragincreasesasthepositionofmaximumcamberismoved towardthetrailingedge,althoughtheincreaseissmalluntilafter the position of maximum camber passes the midpoint of the chord. The drag coefficient is also a function of Reynolds number, and, although there is little variation between a Reynolds number of 6x105 and6x106,belowthisrangethedragcoefficientincreasesrapidly.Above a Reynolds number of 6x106 the drag coefficient curves are practically paralleltothefrictionline. Recentaeronauticalresearchhas resulted in the development of severalthicknessdistributions.Incarefullyconductedwindtunneltests, the sections have shown very low drag coefficients (of the order of 50 percentofthefrictiondragofaflatplateatthesameReynoldsnumber)

overasmallangularrangeandasmallrangeofReynoldsnumber.Such thicknessdistributionshavebeenusedforpropellersbuthaveresulted inlittleifanygaininefficiencyprobablybecauseofthehighturbulence inthewake.Itisbelievedthatforagiventhicknessratioanyreasonably wellshaped thickness distribution will have approximately the same drag. Figure 12 shows the variation of drag coefficient of airfoils with thicknessandangleofattackderivedfromtheexperimentsofGutsche. The Reynolds number at which the experiments were conducted is within the range (2.5x105 to 7.0x105) at which model propellers are ordinarily tested, but ship propellers run at higher Reynolds numbers and,therefore,thesedragcoefficientsaresomewhathigherthanwould be obtained for smooth fullscale propellers. The drag coefficient of ogivalsectionsisappreciablylargerthanthevaluesshownhere. The pressure distributions around the newer type laminar flow sectionsbasedupontestsintwodimensionalflowarebelievedtooffer definite advantages over the older type sections, due to the lower pressure variation for a given thickness ratio and to the shifting of the minimumpressurepointfartherfromtheleadingedgewhereitisnotso much affected by an angle of attack. A comparison of the pressure distribution on the back of two sections is shown in Figure 11, from whichtheeffectofthicknessdistributioncanbeseen.Itisapparentalso that, with the new type sections, it is particularly desirable to use camber in preference to angle of attack. It must be remembered, however, that for a section of a propeller in a greatly varying wake an angle of attack cannot be avoided over part of the circumference and, hence, under these conditions, the maximum thickness should be well forwardofthemidpointandtheleadingedgewellrounded. Itshouldbenotedthatthetrailingedgeofmostairfoilsistoothin for propeller work. The edge thickness can be increased to a practical value,withoutappreciablyaffectingtheperformanceofthesections,by adding an additional thickness distribution over the after portion on bothsidesofthecamberline.

Where: CL=Liftcoefficient. c=Chordlength. D=Diameter. Z=Numberofblades. x=Ratiooflocalradiustotipradius. =Goldsteinfactor. =Advanceangle. i=Hydrodynamicpitchangle.