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Numerical Investigation of Flow Characteristics of a Slotted NACA 4414 Airfoil

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors

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Jacob Chapman

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Sanjivan Manoharan Grand Valley State University

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This paper focuses on enhancing the critical thinking and problem solving skills of an undergraduate Mechanical Engineering student. This is accomplished via an independent study where the student is tasked with a real life challenge and has to utilize the basic theory acquired during a traditional classroom setting to aid in solving it. To achieve this, the flow characteristics of a slotted NACA 4414 airfoil has been numerically investigated in this paper. When the airfoil angle of attack exceeds a critical value, boundary layer separation occurs which results in a sudden reduction in lift and an increase in pressure drag due to the larger wake zone. Mitigation of boundary layer separation is critical in improving airfoil performance and delaying stall, and this is the assigned task.

After a thorough literature review, the student chose a passive technique to aid in minimizing boundary layer separation and improve airfoil stability. The proposed passive airfoil design is unique since the slot does not fully separate the trailing edge from the airfoil (unlike Fowler or Slotted Flaps), thus reducing the mechanical complexity. The study was constructed in such a manner that exposed the student to the comprehensive problem solving cycle which aided in enhancing the critical thinking skills. The student’s performance was tracked throughout, and at certain places questions were asked to force the student to think out of the box. At the conclusion of the study, the student was highly appreciative of the project as it applied fundamental concepts to solve real world challenges, sharpened the critical thinking, and motivated the student to further engage in research by pursuing graduate studies.

Chapman, J., & Manoharan, S. (2019, June), Numerical Investigation of Flow Characteristics of a Slotted NACA 4414 Airfoil Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida.

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