Experimental Investigation of the Effect of Wall Adaptation on Flow Over a Cylinder in a Modernized Adaptive-Wall Wind Tunnel
Bishop, Michael Joseph
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A renovation of an adaptive-wall wind tunnel was completed to improve flow quality, automate data acquisition, integrate a three-axis traversing mechanism, and regain functionality of an adaptive-wall test section. Redesign of the settling chamber significantly improved flow quality, with the resulting turbulence intensity of 0.3% and flow uniformity of ±0.6% matching characteristics of research-grade wind tunnels. The functionality of the adaptive-wall test section was tested by analyzing the effect of wall adaptation on flow development over a circular cylinder. Experiments were carried out for a Reynolds number (Red) of 57,000 for three blockage ratios: 5%, 8%, and 17%. Measurements were made in three wall configurations: geometrically straight walls (GSW), aerodynamically straight walls (ASW), and streamlined walls (SLW). Solid blockage effects were clearly evident in cylinder surface pressure distributions for the GSW and ASW configurations, manifested by an increased peak suction and base suction. Upon streamlining the walls, pressure distributions for each blockage ratio matched distributions expected for low blockage ratios. Wake blockage limited wake growth in the GSW configuration at 7.75 and 15 diameters downstream of the cylinder for blockages of 17% and 8%, respectively. This adverse effect was rectified by streamlining the walls with the resulting wake width development matching that expected for low blockage ratios. Wake vortex shedding frequency and shear layer instability frequency increased in the GSW and ASW configurations with increasing blockage ratio. Invariance of the near wake width with wall configuration suggests that frequency increase is caused by the increased velocity due to solid blockage effects. For all the blockage ratios investigated, the increased wake vortex shedding frequency observed in the ASW and GSW configurations was corrected in the SLW configuration, with the resulting Strouhal numbers of about 0.19, matching that expected for low blockage ratios at the investigated Red.