An experimental investigation on the flow control of the partially stepped NACA0012 airfoil at low Reynolds numbers

SEYHAN M., Akbıyık H.

Ocean Engineering, vol.306, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 306
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.oceaneng.2024.118068
  • Journal Name: Ocean Engineering
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Computer & Applied Sciences, Environment Index, ICONDA Bibliographic, INSPEC, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: Flow control, Lift coefficient, Oil flow visualization, Step flow structure, Stepped airfoil
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


An experimental study of flow control around a NACA0012 airfoil modified with fully and partially step geometry was conducted at Reynolds numbers of 6 × 104 and 1.2 × 105. Partially step geometries, the location of the step on the airfoil, and Reynolds number are varied to show their effect on aerodynamic performance and flow structures on the airfoil. Experimental results show that fully and partially step geometries are effective for flow control around the airfoil and aerodynamic performance enhancement. The maximum increase in lift coefficient is approximately 46%, and the stall angle is shifted about 1° by the SM4 model at Re of 6x104 while the step geometry is on the pressure side. For a Reynolds number of 1.2 × 105, the highest increase in the lift-to-drag ratio of the airfoil is observed about 17.1 at an angle of attack of 6° by the SM2 model when step geometry is placed on the pressure side of the airfoil. In the event of partially or fully stepped at the pressure side of the model, step flow structures, including the reattachment line, recirculation zone, and corner eddy, are obtained. However, even though the step geometry is at the suction surface of the model, the formation of a laminar to turbulent transition is observed. The overall results suggest that the partially stepped geometry length, Reynolds number, and step location side on the airfoil have an important role in flow control to improve aerodynamic performance for various angles of attack.