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Sound Generation on Airfoil CFD Simulation

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The present problem simulates sound pressure waves around an airfoil using ANSYS Fluent software.

This product includes Mesh file and a Training Movie.

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Sound Generation Project Description

The present problem simulates sound pressure waves around an airfoil using ANSYS Fluent software. In general, sound waves within a fluid are caused by vibrations and reciprocating movements of the fluid layers. For example, when a layer of air moves forward in a certain direction, the next fluid layer pushes itself forward and the layer itself returns to its original position. These reciprocating movements of the air layers must continue until the energy within the air flow is depleted. Now if this number of reciprocating movements reaches more than 16 times per second, sound is produced.

In fact, when we hit the surface of a solid object with our hand, the layers of air between our hand and the surface begin to move back and forth, if the number of these round trips exceeds 16 times per second, the sound is produced by our hand hitting a solid surface. Topics related to sound waves are very important in aerospace applications and fields; Because the sound waves produced in aerospace devices such as airfoils are very high. This project examines the sound waves generated around the body of an airfoil. In this project, acoustic model in Fluent software has been used to simulate and analyze sound or acoustic waves. The Broadband Noise Sources model has also been used to define the type of acoustic model of the present work.

Sound Generation Project Description

Definitive density is equivalent to air density, ie 1.225 kg / m3, and sound speed is equivalent to sound speed in air, ie 340 m / s, and the reference acoustic power is equal to 1e-12 pascal. In this modeling, the NACA0012 type airfoil is designed and the air flow moves towards this airfoil with a speed equal to 68 m.s-1. This project has been done in three modes; So that the angle of attack of the airfoil in these three cases is equal to 0, 7, and 14 degrees, respectively. In fact, the angle of attack is equal to the direction of the wind direction with the airfoil chord.

For the present simulation, it is assumed that the airfoil is horizontal in all cases and changes only in the direction of the incoming air flow in terms of angle; So that the sine and cosine of the desired angle are used to define the components for the direction of the input wind velocity from the input boundary of the surrounding environment.

angle of attack x-component of flow direction = cosɵ y-component of flow direction = sinɵ
0° 1 0
7° 0.992546 0.121869
14° 0.970295 0.241921

Geometry & Mesh

The present model is designed in two dimensions using Design Modeler software. The model includes an NACA0012 airfoil that is located inside a computing environment with a maximum length and width of 400 m and 200 m. The length of the airfoil chord is equal to 1 m and it is designed horizontally. To simulate airfoils, you should use the Airfoil Tools website and receive the set of coordinates of the constituent parts of the airfoil body in the form of point cloud and import it into the Design Modeler software.


The meshing of the model has been done using ANSYS Meshing software, and the mesh type is structured. The element number is 231840. The following figure shows the mesh.


Sound Generation CFD Simulation

We consider several assumptions to simulate the present model:

  • We perform a pressure-based solver.
  • The simulation is steady.
  • The gravity effect on the fluid is ignored.

The following table represents a summary of the defining steps of the problem and its solution:

Viscous   Transition SST
Acoustics Model   Broadband Noise Sources
  far-field density 1.225 kg.m-3
  far-field sound speed 340 m.s-1
  reference acoustic power 0.000000000001 W
Inlet   Velocity Inlet
  velocity magnitude 68 m.s-1
Outlet   Pressure Outlet
  gauge pressure 0 pascal
Airfoil Wall   Wall
  wall motion stationary wall
Pressure-Velocity Coupling   SIMPLE
  Pressure second order
  momentum second order upwind
  turbulent kinetic energy second order upwind
  specific dissipation rate first order upwind
  intermittency first order upwind
  momentum thickness Re first order upwind
Initialization methods   Standard
  gauge pressure 0 pascal
  x-velocity 65.98011 m.s-1
  y-velocity 16.45069 m.s-1
  z-velocity 0 m.s-1

Results & Discussion

At the end of the solution process, two-dimensional contours related to pressure and velocity, as well as diagrams of changes in velocity and acoustic power level in all three states are obtained from different attack angles.


The figures show the amount of change in acoustic power level (dB) or the amount of sound pressure in terms of location in the longitudinal direction. This location indicates a few meters before the location of the airfoil body and then on the surface of the airfoil body and finally a few meters after the airfoil body. As it turns out, the sound wave is generated after the airflow hits the airfoil body. According to the figures, it can be said that when the angle of attack of the airfoil is zero, the sound is propagated at a greater distance after the airfoil, but the more the angle of attack, the amplitude indicates the sound is more limited.

There is a mesh file in this product. By the way, the Training File presents how to solve the problem and extract all desired results.


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