Flow over seal whiskers: significance of geometricfeatures on force and frequency response

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Kathleen M LyonsJ. A. Franck


The complex undulated geometry of seal whiskers has been shown to significantly modify the turbulent structures directly downstream, resulting in a reduction of hydrodynamic forces as well as modified vortex-induced-vibration response when compared with smooth whiskers. Although the unique hydrodynamic response has been well documented, an understanding of the fluid flow effects from each geometric feature remains incomplete. In this computational investigation, nondimensional geometric parameters of the seal whisker topology are defined in terms of their hydrodynamic relevance, such that wavelength, aspect ratio, undulation amplitudes, symmetry and undulation off-set can be varied independently of one another. A two-factor fractional factorial design of experiments is used to create 16 unique geometries, each of which dramatically amplifies or attenuates the geometric parameters compared with the baseline model. The flow over each unique topology is computed with a large-eddy simulation at a Reynolds number of 500 and the effects on force and frequency are recorded. The results determine the specific fluid flow impact of each geometric feature which will inform both biologists and engineers who seek to understand the impact of...Continue Reading

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