UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Development of the tolerant wind tunnel for bluff body testing Hameury, Michel


In conventional wind tunnels the solid-wall or open-jet test section imposes on the flow field around the test model new boundary conditions absent in free air. Unless a small model is used, the solid-wall test section generally increases the loadings on the model while the open-jet boundary decreases the loadings compared to the unconfined case. However, the development of a low wall-interference test section and its successful demonstration would allow the testing of relatively large models without the application of often uncertain correction formulae. The Tolerant wind tunnel, which makes use of the opposite effects of solid and open boundaries, is a transversely slatted-wall test section designed to produce at an optimal wall open-area ratio (OAR) low-correction data for a wide variety of model shapes and sizes. Initially intended for low-speed airfoil testing, its use is theoretically and experimentally investigated here in connection with bluff body testing. A simple mathematical model based on two-dimensional potential flow theory and solved with the help of a vortex surface-singularity technique is used to estimate the best wall configuration. The theory predicts an optimum OAR of about 0.45 at which pressure distributions on flat plate and circular cylinder models of blockage ratios up to 33.3 % would differ from the free-air values by not more than 1 %. On the other hand, experiments performed with flat plate, circular cylinder and circular-cylinder-with-splitter-plate models indicate the existence of an optimum configuration around OAR = 0.6. The experiments also show a maximum allowable blockage in the Tolerant wind tunnel to be equivalent to the blockage created by a 33.3 %-blockage-ratio flat plate model.

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