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New Approach to Surface Oil-Flow Visualization


Vladimir Mosharov, Anatoly Orlov, Vladimir Radchenko Central Aero-Hydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI), Zhukovsky, 140180 Russia
Abstract-New approach to surface oil-flow visualization is suggested. This method can be called as Particle Image Surface Flow Visualization. The idea of new method is to mark an oil film applied on the model surface with contrast hard particles and to measure particles displacements. At least two images of particles distribution on the model surface with some time interval are acquired for each investigated regime. The pairs of images are processed with cross-correlation analysis similarly to analysis used in Particle Image Velocimetry method to obtain the parameters of particle movement. Direction of particles shift is coincident with the direction of surface streamline and allows to restore surface streamlines pattern. Magnitude of particles shift is proportional shear stress value and can visualize separation zones, shock waves and boundary layer transitions on investigated surface. Since only small shift of oil film is analyzed the multiple tests with different airflow parameters can be made using one model preparation. The results of method application for airfoil tests at low Reynolds numbers are presented.
I.

regime. The pairs of images are processed with crosscorrelation analysis similarly to analysis used in Particle Image Velocimetry method to obtain the parameters of particles movement. Direction of particles shift is coincident with direction of surface streamline and allows to restore surface streamline pattern. Magnitude of particle shift is proportional to shear stress value and can visualize separation zones, shock waves and boundary layer transitions on investigated surface. Since only small shift of oil film is analyzed the multiple tests with different airflow parameters can be made during one wind tunnel run.
II. PHYSICAL BACKGROUND

INTRODUCTION

Oil film of thickness h and oil viscosity [t under an action of shear stress X caused by external airflow is moving with about linear velocity profile (Fig. 1) having velocity V of free boundary of the film determined by equation:
= =[ T[

Surface flow visualization plays important part in understanding of flow physics and interpretation of loads measurements. One of the widely used surface flow visualization method is oil film method. Oil film method consists of the coating of investigated surface with a layer of oil in which powdered pigment is seeded. Kerosene, diesel oil or their mixtures are the common basis. Soot or fluorescent powders are used as a pigment. Under an action of airflow the oil flows on the surface forming the traces along surface streamlines and accumulating in the regions of flow separation. Ideally the oil should to flow only after the flow speed has reached its required value, but really it begins to flow immediately after wind tunnel start. In practice it means that oil viscosity must be large enough to exclude essential oil movement during start phase and test duration must be much longer than start phase. All oil must be carried away by airflow from investigated surface during the test to exclude an effect of stopping phase on oil pattern. Oil film method is very simple and efficient, but is quite time and energy consuming since it needs separate model preparation and separate rather long wind tunnel test for each investigated regime. New approach to surface oil-flow visualization is suggested. This method can be called as Particle Image Surface Flow Visualization (PISFV). The idea of new method is to mark an oil film applied on the model surface by contrast hard particles and to measure particles displacements. At least two images of particles distribution on the model surface with some time interval are acquired by CCD camera for each investigated

dV dy

V h

(1)

If the oil contains some optically contrast particles (on the surface or inside the oil film) and they are moving with the oil the shift of the oil can be detected. Two images of particles distribution on a model surface are acquired at some time interval At. Particles displace in this interval on a distance I dependant on share stress, oil viscosity and depth of the particles in the oil filmy (0 < y < h):

l=TYAt.

(2)

Figure 1. Oil motion on a model surface.

0-7803-9096-2/05/$20.OOC2005 IEEE.

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Processing of this pair of images with cross-correlation analysis results in the vectors of particles shifts. Correlation data processing deals with small interrogation window of images containing some number of particles; individual particles are not analyzed. Number of particles must be rather small to form modulated image. Particles have some distribution on oil film depth and correlation date processing gives average shift. This average shift is also proportional to the shear stress x. Correlation date processing allows to determine particle shift with sub pixel accuracy. It means that the shift of the particles on several pixels only is sufficient for flow pattern reconstruction. Expression (2) shows that three parameters can be adjusted for required share stress value. Thus minimal time interval is determined by wind tunnel construction. Increasing of the time interval is disadvantageous. Oil film thickness can't be too large to exclude its influence on the flow. Reasonable thickness is about 20:40 ptm. Oil viscosity varies in large range and can be adjusted to expected share stress. Thus different airflows from low speed to hypersonic flows can be investigated. The most difficult task is to investigate low speed flows where share stress value is comparable with gravity. In classical oil-soot visualization method the pigment particles generally don't move with the oil. Only oil moves along surface remaining riverbeds in the pigment (see Fig.2). The particles must be rather small and inert to the surface material to move with the oil. Our experience shows that large particles go down fast and adhere to the surface. It is desirable to use particles of the equal with the oil density. Ordinary the size of particles is less than the size covered by individual pixel of CCD array on the investigated surface. The luminescent particles can be used to increase their contrast on the image, for example, crystal phosphors powders. Excitation light source and CCD camera should be equipped with appropriate crossed optical filters. III. SURFACE FLOW VISUALIZATION ON AIRFOIL AT LOW
REYNOLDS NUMBERS

Figure 3. Experimental setup of a low speed airfoil tests.

A.

First approval of new method of Particle Image Surface Flow Visualization was made on the simplest laboratory setup: interaction of a jet from flat nozzle with flat surface [1]. After these positive results the method was tested in small wind tunnel on airfoil model.

Experimental setup and modelpreparation Tests were carried out in small low speed wind tunnel with closed test section of 200x200 mm cross-section. Two walls of the test section were made from plexiglas (see Fig.3). Maximal flow speed in this wind tunnel is 60 m/sec that corresponds to Reynolds number 42000 cm-'. The most of the tests were made at flow speed 25 m/sec that corresponds to Reynolds number 88000 calculated with airfoil chord. One of the reasons of such flow speed choice was to understand low speed limit for PISFV method. Airfoil model of 50 mm chord and 190 mm span was tested. Airfoil cross-section is shown in Fig.4. Airfoil had side support and was installed vertically on bottom wall. Thus a 10 mm space was between airfoil tip and test section wall. Only about 60 mm of the airfoil tip was investigated to obtain good spatial resolution. Investigated region is shown in Fig.3. Angle of attack was changed manually. Model preparation began from the covering of the model surface by ordinary white paint to increase light reflection. After that a set of luminescent markers (small luminescent spots firmly fixed on model surface) was applied on airfoil surface. These markers were used to compensate model displacement caused by vibration of a model or wind tunnel. Also markers can be used for transformation of obtained 2D flow visualization pattern on 3D geometry of the model. For this transformation real 3D coordinates of the markers are needed. Silicone oils were used in all our tests. Silicon oils have at list three attractive features: * Viscosity of silicone oils is low sensitive to temperature. * Oils with different viscosity can be mixed to change

viscosity. Silicone oils are not glowing under UV illumination. During preliminary tests oil viscosity was selected. For flow speed of 25 m/sec oil viscosity of 5000 cSt is optimal.
*

Figure 2. Classical Oil flow visualization.

Figure 4. Cross-section of the tested airfoil.

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Figure 5. Image of the model under UV light excitation.

Figure 6. Oil shift vectors, flow from right to left, oc=30

Silicon oil was seeded by grains of crystal phosphor before application on the model surface. Size of crystal phosphor grains was 3-5 rtm. Crystal phosphor was used to increase the contrast of particles images due to its bright luminescence under UV excitation. Silicon oil with crystal phosphor grains was diluted with toluene for application by air gun. Mixture was shaken up during application to prevent precipitation of the particles. Model surface was covered with oil film of 20-40 ptm thickness. Model was illuminated by UV flash lamp. Electrical power of the lamp was about 150 J and flash duration was less than 2 msec. Distance from the lamp to the model was about 0.6 m. Model images were acquired by digital CCD-camera of 1360x1024 pixels resolution. Camera had electronic shatter and was synchronized with flash lamp that permitted to acquire images at ambient light. Lens of the camera was equipped with blue glass filter crossed with UV filter of the flash lamp. Image of the model under UV light excitation is presented in Fig.5. Large white points are the markers used to compensate airfoil shift as a whole. Small points are the grains of crystal

sensitivity first of all on the leading edges while all the other surface is still working. Pairs of acquired images were processed with crosscorrelation analysis similar to analysis used in PIV method to obtain the parameters of particles movement. In this analysis the maxima of cross-correlation function for interrogation windows (32x32 pixels) of images were calculated with subpixel resolution. Step of image analysis was 16x16 pixels. These maxima represent the most probable shift vectors of small spots of image (sum of oil film shift and model displacement). Areas of markers were excluded from calculation. The displacement vector of the model as a whole was calculated separately using model marker coordinates. Array of oil shift vectors was calculated as a vector difference of particles shifts and model displacement. Oil shifts vector field is shown in Fig.6 as an example. This field corresponds to fully separated flow at Angle of Attack (AOA) oc=300.

phosphor.

B. Data processing and experimental results. After wind tunnel start and flow speed stabilization the sets of four images were acquired with time interval of 30 sec between them at each of eight investigated angles of attack (-5, 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30). Measurements were made without interruption of airflow. Overall duration of the test was about 20 min. Inspection of airfoil model after the test shows that only leading edge of airfoil (about 5 mm) became dry (practically free of oil) while the other surface contained sufficient amount of oil to make more measurements. It is quite evident result since the oil is blown out most effectively from the regions of high share stress values, first of all from the leading edge. It means that suggested method loses its

Figure 7. Surface streamlines and share stress field, oc = 300

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shock waves. On the other hand the flow separation and reattachment lines should be visualized more clearly by surface streamlines. Various pairs of images from each image set were processed. Pairs with small time interval (30 sec) gave principally the same surface flow pattern as the pairs with large time interval (90 sec) except the shift magnitude values were proportional to time interval between images (Fig.8). Laminar separation bubble is clearly visible at the -50 AOA, then it transforms into the trailing edge separation at the bigger AOA (Fig.9). Separation line is clearly visible near the middle of airfoil at the -50, 00, 50 AOA. At 150 AOA the reattachment line appears near the leading edge that indicates the presence of leading edge babble. This reattachment line coincides well with a step of share stress value indicated by false-color map of shift magnitude. Similar step of shift magnitude also presents at small AOA but it is caused by blowing out of the oil from the leading edge. Most problematic is interpretation of shift magnitude step near the leading edge at 100 AOA. On the one hand it looks too large for the region of oil blowing out in respect with other images, but surface streamlines do not indicate reattachment line clearly. Later investigation of this regime with traditional oil film method indicated leading edge babble at the 100 AOA. Probably the reattachment line occurs quite close to oil blowing out boundary so discussed method did not succeed to indicate it. At 200 and larger AOA the whole upper surface of airfoil occurs in separation zone. Also the flow structure on airfoil tip is clearly visible at all AOA. Intensity of tip vortex increases with the increase of AOA. Obtained results show high potential of PISFV method. IV. CONCLUSIONS
New method of surface flow visualization is suggested. Method can be called as Particle Image Surface Flow

At=30 sec

Visualization (PISFV). Method was tested in small wind tunnel on airfoil model at == f f i sec = : ~~~~~~~~At=90 25 m/s flow speed. Figure 8. Surface streamlines and share stress fields on airfoil at oc=00 PISFV method has the next advantages in respect with calculated from pairs of images with different time interval. traditional surface oil-flow visualization: Some artifacts can be found on presented image, namely the * Several airflow regimes can be investigated during one extremely large vectors and vectors of non-physical directions wind tunnel run; in some points. Most of these artifacts are a processing * Results of visualization are insensitive to start and stop algorithm imperfection. Nothing means were made in used phases of wind tunnel operation; image-processing algorithm to analyze and to exclude artifacts. * Results look more informative than traditional Few artifacts were caused by dust threads attached to the visualization; model surface and pulled oil down the flow. Improved * Numerical nature of visualization results makes further presentation of surface flow pattern can be made as restored calculations and comparison with CFD easy. surface streamlines in combination with false-color field of No fundamental restrictions are observed to apply this shift vector magnitudes that presents share stress distribution method in large wind tunnels and at trans-, super- and hyperon investigated surface (Fig.7). Although obtained share stress sonic speeds. distribution is quite relative since neither oil film thickness nor Method is patent pending. depth of phosphor grains in the oil film are taken into account REFERENCES in presented data processing, it should to visualize abrupt in of share stress value that takes changes place boundary layer [1] V.E. Mosharov, A.A. Orlov, V.N. Radchenko, "Application of Correlation Analysis in Surface Flow Visualization with Oil Film", transition and, in a case of transonic and supersonic flows, in
OMFI-2005, 28June-lAugust 2005 Moscow, Russia, Proceedings.

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Figure 9. Surface streamlines and share stress fields on airfoil at 25 m/sec flow speed and Re=88000

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