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Wind Tunnel

Unit: V


Classification of wind tunnels

1. subsonic Wind Tunnel
2.Supersonic Wind Tunnel
Tunnel layouts and their design features
1.Subsonic Wind Tunnel
2.Supersonic tunnels
Helium Tunnel
Gun tunnels
Shock tubes
Various methods of flow visualizations

Geometric similarity
One of the most important requirements of

models is that there should be geometric

similarity between the model and the prototype.

By geometric similarity it is meant that ratios of

corresponding dimensions in the model and the

prototype should be the same.

Dynamic similarity

important as the geometric

requirement of dynamic similarity.




In an actual flight, when the body moves through a medium,

forces and moments are generated because of the viscosity

of the medium and also due to its inertia, elasticity and
The inertia, viscous, gravity and elastic forces generated on

the body in flight can be expressed in terms of fundamental


important force ratios can be expressed as non

dimensional numbers.

For example,

Reynolds number (Re) = Inertia force/Viscous force

Mach number = Inertia force/Elastic force
Froude number = Inertia force/Gravity force
The principle of dynamic similarity is that a scale model

under same Reynolds number and Mach number will have

forces and moments on it that can be scaled directly.
The flow patterns on the full scale body and the model will be

exactly similar.
It is not necessary and may not be possible that all the

simultaneously in any experiment. Depending on the flow
regime or the type of experiments, certain non-dimensional
parameters are important.

For example, in a low speed flow regime,

simulation of Reynolds number in

experiments is important to depict
conditions of actual flight.


In a high speed flow, simulation of Mach

number is significant.
It may even be necessary and significant that

more than one non dimensional parameter are


principle of dynamic similarity is

applicable in other fields of engineering too.

Shock tube
A shock tube is a device for producing a flow at very

high Mach number for a very short time.

The device consists of a long tube of uniform cross

section and with uniform internal dimensions.

The diaphragm separates a region in which the air is

compressed to a
evacuated region.






When the pressure ration across it reaches a certain

value, the diaphragm burst (or it may be punctured by

a device incorporated in the tube) and air rushes at
very high speed into the evacuated region.

At the front of this body of air is a mixing region,

terminated by a normal shock wave, behind which

is a region of uniform flow at high Mach number.

passes over a model mounted at an

appropriate point in the initially evacuated region.

When the wave front reaches the end of the tube,

it is reflected back again and once it reaches the

model position the flow is spoilt.

the time for which the uniform flow is

achieved is extremely small, probably only a few
micro seconds.


of the flow properties is very

difficult and many of the problems created by
the use of shock tube have consisted in the
development of special instruments for making
such measurement on a very small time scale.

The shock tube itself is cheap and easy to


Gun Tunnel

The basic parts of the gun tunnel is

1. Driver section/ driver gas reservoir

2. Primary diaphragm
3. Piston
4. Driven Section/ test gas section or barrel
5. Secondary Diaphragm
6. Nozzle Section
7. Test section
During the experiment, diaphragms are put in the

respective locations.
The driver is initially filled with a high pressure,

high speed of sound gas, (typically air, helium,

The driven tube is initially filled with the test gas

usually air, CO2 or nitrogen at much lower pressure.

Continuous increasing the pressure in the driver

section bursts the diaphragm and the high pressure

driver gas rushes in the barrel or driver section
which sets piston in motion.
Due to motion of the piston the driven gas gets

compressed and



a shock wave is created which

compresses and heats the driven gas





When the generated shock reaches the end of

the driven tube, the second diaphragm at the

nozzle entrance is ruptured and the processed
test gas expands through the nozzle into the
test section.

The shock is reflected from the end of the

driven tube, and a constant property region with

the heated and Compressed gas behind the
reflected shock is generated for very short time.

expanded test gas attains hypersonic

conditions in the Mach number.

Shadowgraph Method


therearelarge density gradients, such as in the flow

across a shock wave.
This method is simpler, less expensive and easy to

operate compared to other methods, but it does not

provide any fine details of the density field, and
therefore is usedfor qualitative analysis.
A shadow system comprises a light source, a collimating

lens, and a viewing screen or photographic plate.

When the gas is not flowing through the test section,

there is no densitygradient
illuminated uniformly.





When the flow is established in the test section the

light beam will be refracted wherever there is a

density gradient. However, if the density gradient
were constant each ray will be deflected by the same
amount, and there would be no change in the
illumination on the screen.
If the density gradient varies there will be tendency

for the light rays to get diverge or converge. Bright

regions appear where the light rays converge, dark
regions where light rays diverge.The resulting image
on thescreen is thus aseries oflight and dark regions.
The shadow graph is particularly useful for viewing

shock waves.

Unit III


Governing equations
boundary conditions
Pressure coefficient, application to supersonic

airfoils, Lift, drag, pitching moment, symmetric

and asymmetric double wedge and biconvex
airfoils, General airfoil section, Second order
theory, Shock expansion technique.
Supersonic airfoils, flow, Airloads over wings of
finite span- supersonic leading edge and
subsonic leading edge, Delta wings, Method of
characteristics- application to supersonic
nozzle design