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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(11), 1120;

Study on the Hydrodynamic Performance of Typical Underwater Bionic Foils with Spanwise Flexibility

College of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian 271018, China
State Key Laboratory of Robotics and System, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin 150001, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 September 2017 / Revised: 25 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 30 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Mechanical Engineering)
PDF [6435 KB, uploaded 31 October 2017]


Bionic foils are usually similar in shape to the locomotive organs of animals living in fluid media, which is helpful in the analysis of the motion mode and hydrodynamic mechanisms of biological prototypes. With the design of underwater vehicles as the research background, bionic foils are adopted as research objects in this paper. A geometric model and a motion model are established depending on the biological prototype. In the model, two typical bionic foils―a NACA foil and a crescent-shaped foil―are chosen as research objects. Simulations of the bionic foils are performed using a numerical method based on computational fluid dynamics software. The hydrodynamic forces acting on the foils and flow field characteristics behind the foils are used to analyze the propulsion performance and hydrodynamic mechanism. Furthermore, a spanwise flexibility model is introduced into the motion model. Next, the hydrodynamic mechanism is further analyzed on the basis of hydrodynamic forces and flow field characteristics with different spanwise flexibility parameters. Finally, an experimental verification platform is designed and built to verify the reliability of the numerical results. Agreement between the experimental and numerical results indicates that the numerical results are reliable and that the analysis of the paper is reasonable. View Full-Text
Keywords: bionic foil; propulsion performance; biological swimming; flow field characteristics bionic foil; propulsion performance; biological swimming; flow field characteristics

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Zhou, K.; Liu, J.; Chen, W. Study on the Hydrodynamic Performance of Typical Underwater Bionic Foils with Spanwise Flexibility. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 1120.

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