Experiments on Flexible Filaments in Air Flow for Aeroelasticity and Fluid-Structure Interaction Models Validation

Fluids 2020 Volume 5, Issue 2, Article 90

Several problems in science and engineering are characterized by the interaction between fluid flows and deformable structures. Due to their complex and multidisciplinary nature, these problems cannot normally be solved analytically and experiments are frequently of limited scope, so that numerical simulations represent the main analysis tool. Key to the advancement of numerical methods is the availability of experimental test cases for validation. This paper presents results of an experiment specifically designed for the validation of numerical methods for aeroelasticity and fluid-structure interaction problems. Flexible filaments of rectangular cross-section and various lengths were exposed to air flow of moderate Reynolds number, corresponding to laminar and mildly turbulent flow conditions. Experiments were conducted in a wind tunnel, and the flexible filaments dynamics was recorded via fast video imaging. The structural response of the filaments included static reconfiguration, small-amplitude vibration, large-amplitude limit-cycle periodic oscillation, and large-amplitude non-periodic motion. The present experimental setup was designed to incorporate a rich fluid-structure interaction physics within a relatively simple configuration without mimicking any specific structure, so that the results presented herein can be valuable for models validation in aeroelasticity and also fluid-structure interaction applications.