3-D Airfoil, ANSYS Fluent CFD Simulation Training

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This project is going to study an incompressible isothermal air flow adjacent to a 3-D airfoil.

This product includes a Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie.

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An airfoil is the cross-sectional shape of a wing, blade of a propeller rotor or turbine, or sail as seen in cross-section.

An airfoil is a streamlined shape that is capable of generating significantly more lift than drag. Subsonic flight airfoils have a characteristic shape with a rounded leading edge, followed by a sharp trailing edge, often with a symmetric curvature of upper and lower surfaces. Foils of similar function designed with water as the working fluid are called hydrofoils.

In this study, a CFD solver is employed to test an airfoil for ourselves, and the drag and lift force values were calculated.


Project Description

This project is going to study an incompressible isothermal air flow adjacent to a 3-D airfoil. The geometry is a 1-meter airfoil inside a 20-meter wind tunnel. Also, the maximum speed of 10 m/s is selected for the inlet.

Geometry and Mesh

As a numerical study, the initial step towards the modeling is the production of the CAD geometry, depicted below. The blue face is considered as the inlet of the domain, while the red face on the other side is considered the outlet. airfoil


For the current problem, a mesh count of 724,682 elements was created to represent the geometry. Regarding the quality of the mesh, the maximum skewness of 0.93 with an average of 0.28 is a satisfactory mesh for the current problem. In addition, for an interested reader, the quality distribution of mesh is shown as follows. Also, 15 prism layers were added adjacent to both tunnel walls and the airfoil body to calculate the boundary layer accurately.


Simulation Settings

By importing the mesh into the ANSYS-FLUENT solver, the calculation procedure is started. The Details of the solution setup are as follows:

Table (1)- Solver Settings

Solver settings:
Type: Pressure-based
Time setting: Steady-state
Energy: On
Model: k-w-SST
Zone: fluid zone: Rectangular Box: default
Boundary conditions: AirFoil Walls: No-slip

Inlet: velocity inlet: 10 m/s

Outlet: pressure outlet

FarWalls: Symmetry

Solver Properties:
Solution methods: SIMPLE
Pressure interpolation scheme: Second-Order
Momentum: First -Order
Turbulence: First-Order
Relaxation: Default, Number of Iterations = 1000
Initialization: Standard > from inlet
Material used:
Fluid: Air – constant properties

Density: 1.225 kg/(m3)

Viscosity: 0.001003 (Pa.s)

Monitor: Drag Value of Plane wall in X-direction: 4.91 (N)

Lift Value of Plane wall in Y-direction: 19.61 (N)

 Results and Discussions

After the solution convergence, the can observe the results through post-processing. Meanwhile, as an assurance for a valid convergence, we monitor the drag and lift values during the solution iterations. In this study, the solution was a converged one when the drag force reached a constant rate, and the residuals were below 10-7 values.

Afterward, the results regarding the pressure and the velocity field are depicted in the below figures. Again, the maximum value of velocity was found at the top surface of the airfoil, while the maximum value of pressure was at the leading-edge where the velocity was minimum. Also, the streamlines were shown to give much insight into the problem.

Finally, we calculate the drag and lift force at 4.91 and 19.61 (N), respectively, which was accurate for a 1-meter airfoil with the noted specifications.

There are a Mesh file and a comprehensive Training Movie that presents how to solve the problem and extract all desired results.


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