The Effect of Corrugated Skins on Aerodynamic Performance

Y Xia (University of the West of Scotland), O Bilgen (Old Dominion University, USA) & MI Friswell (Swansea University)

Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, Vol. 25, No. 7, May 2014, pp. 786-794


Corrugated skins provide a good solution to morphing wings due to their highly anisotropic behavior. If the low stiffness corrugation plane is aligned in the chordwise direction the airfoil shape change is possible. In contrast to the traditional smooth skin of an airfoil, a corrugated skin influences both the local and global aerodynamics of a wing. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of a corrugated skin on the global aerodynamics of an airfoil, particularly lift and drag characteristics. First, the aerodynamic analysis of a NACA 0012 airfoil with a smooth profile is conducted, both in the wind tunnel and by CFD, at different Reynolds numbers, and compared to the data in the literature. The lift and drag coefficients at different angles of attack, between -10° and 10°, are considered. Next, two NACA 0012 airfoils with different sized corrugated profiles are investigated both experimentally and by numerical simulation. The effect of corrugation size and Reynolds number are analyzed, and quantified relatively to the standard NACA0012 airfoil with a smooth skin. Preliminary numerical results are validated using the experimental data.

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This material has been published in the Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, Vol. 25, No. 7, May 2014, pp. 786-794, the only definitive repository of the content that has been certified and accepted after peer review. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by the Sage.

Link to paper using doi: 10.1177/1045389X14521874

Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures