University Of Tasmania

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Hydrodynamic response of a passive shape-adaptive composite hydrofoil

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 07:27 authored by Herath, MT, Phillips, AW, St John, N, Paul BrandnerPaul Brandner, Bryce PearceBryce Pearce, Prusty, G
The primary objective of this paper is to present cavitation tunnel tests performed on an optimised shape-adaptive composite hydrofoil and compare the results to other composite hydrofoils. The optimised composite hydrofoil was designed based on prior literature and was manufactured using an optimised ply orientation schedule and a pre-twist. In the same experiment schedule a composite hydrofoil that has a ply orientation that is opposite to the optimised hydrofoil was also tested. In addition to the cavitation tunnel experiments, the paper also presents results predicted from FEA and CFD simulations for the optimised hydrofoil and compares the results from numerical methods to experiments. The results show that the optimised hydrofoil has an improved L/D ratio and a delayed stall phenomenon compared to other hydrofoils. Furthermore, due to the pre-twisted optimised geometry, the hydrofoil does not suffer from loss of lift at low angles of attack. The experimental results demonstrated the importance of characterising the performance of flexible shape-adaptive hydrofoils based on the actual velocity of the flow in addition to the conventional characterisation based on Reynold's number. Additional numerical simulations were performed to investigate the hydrofoils observed load dependant deformation behaviour. These results clearly show that for the same Reynold's number, the hydrofoil can have an appreciably different response if the flow velocity is different.


Publication title

Marine Structures



Article number









Australian Maritime College


Elsevier Sci Ltd

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Emerging defence technologies; International sea freight transport (excl. live animals, food products and liquefied gas); Expanding knowledge in engineering