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A computational fluid dynamic investigation of rowing oar blades

Coppel, Anna Louise (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis describes the application of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to model the flow regime around rowing oar blades. The two phase flow that was present at the surface between the water and the air was also incorporated into the CFD model. Firstly, a quasi–static method was applied, whereby the blade was held at a discrete number of angles of attack to the oncoming flow. The performance of the model was assessed by applying it to four scaled oar blade designs and validating results against an experimental data set. The results were encouraging with lift and drag coefficients acting on the blades being well predicted throughout. The scope was extended to include full size oar blades of designs typically found in competition rowing. A second approach to investigating the flow around oar blades was also adopted, where instead of being held stationary, the blades moved in the fluid domain. The unsteady effects induced by this rotational motion were found to be substantial, with a 72% and 67% increase in the lift and drag coefficients respectively. Finally, through coupling the CFD predictions of oar blade force coefficients with a mathematical model of rowing, it was possible to determine the influence of oar blade design on rowing performance, and also use the mathematical model to further validate the CFD predictions against on–water data. The results provided an accurate assessment of boat performance during the rowing stroke.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Gardner, Trevor and Caplan, Nicholas
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Sport and Exercise Science
Subjects:
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:793
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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