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Open AccessArticle

Fluid–Structure Interaction for Biomimetic Design of an Innovative Lightweight Turboexpander

Department of Mechanical Engineering, École Polytechnique de Montréal, Montréal, H3C 3A7, Canada
Biomimetics 2019, 4(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4010027
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 15 March 2019 / Accepted: 18 March 2019 / Published: 22 March 2019
Inspired by bird feather structures that enable the resistance of powerful aerodynamic forces in addition to their lower weight to provide stable flight, a biomimetic composite turbine blade was proposed for a low-temperature organic Rankine cycle (ORC) turboexpander that is capable of producing lower weight expanders than that of stainless steel expanders, in addition to reduce its manufacturing cost, and hence it may contribute in spreading ORC across nonconventional power systems. For that purpose, the fluid–structure interaction (FSI) was numerically investigated for a composite turbine blade with bird-inspired fiber orientations. The aerodynamic forces were evaluated by computational fluid dynamics (CFD) using the commercial package ANSYS-CFX (version 16.0) and then these aerodynamic forces were transferred to the solid model of the proposed blade. The structural integrity of the bird-mimetic composite blade was investigated by performing finite element analysis (FEA) of composite materials with different fiber orientations using ANSYS Composite PrepPost (ACP). Furthermore, the obtained mechanical performance of the composite turbine blades was compared with that of the stainless steel turbine blades. The obtained results indicated that fiber orientation has a greater effect on the deformation of the rotor blades and the minimum value can be achieved by the same barb angle inspired from the flight feather. In addition to a significant effect in the weight reduction of 80% was obtained by using composite rotor blades instead of stainless steel rotor blades. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomimetic composite blade; nature-inspired; organic Rankine cycles; computational fluid dynamics; finite element analysis; fluid–structure interaction; bird feather; fiber orientation; turboexpanders biomimetic composite blade; nature-inspired; organic Rankine cycles; computational fluid dynamics; finite element analysis; fluid–structure interaction; bird feather; fiber orientation; turboexpanders
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Gad-el-Hak, I. Fluid–Structure Interaction for Biomimetic Design of an Innovative Lightweight Turboexpander. Biomimetics 2019, 4, 27.

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