January 13, 2023
Journal Article

Drag reduction and the Vogel exponent of a flexible beam in transient shear flows


Interactions between a flexible beam and a fluid in a channel is of great relevance to biological hairy surfaces, aquatic vegetation and many industrial systems alike. While steady state response of a beam to such flows are fairly well-explored, their behavior in the transient regime is not fully understood. A series of numerical simulations are performed to study the laminar Couette flow of an incompressible viscous fluid past an elastic beam in a two-dimensional channel. The flexible beam is perpendicular to the direction of flow, and its base is fixed to the stationary bottom of the channel. We measure the evolution of the Vogel exponent, drag reduction, and reconfiguration number during the transient and steady-state response of the fluid–structure system for different geometrical and physical properties. Our benchmark shows a good agreement between numerical and experimental observations. Our results show that the system's steady-state response at different bulk-fluid velocities can be reproduced by investigating the shear flow response during the transient regime. We define a new variable that characterizes the evolution of the local velocity profile in the proximity of the free end of the beam and use that to characterize the transient-regime response. The analysis yields insight into the competing effects of elasticity of the beam and non-linear flow response.

Published: January 13, 2023


Mehdizadeh Rahimi A., S.R. Lustig, J.P. Bardhan, and S. Jamali. 2022. Drag reduction and the Vogel exponent of a flexible beam in transient shear flows. Physics of Fluids 34, no. 10:Art. No. 104111. PNNL-SA-174506. doi:10.1063/5.0106700