Hydrodynamic Characteristics of an Electric Eel-Like Undulating Fin

Document Type : Regular Article


1 Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qingdao, 266590, China

2 Anhui Province Key Laboratory of Special Heavy Load Robot, Maanshan, 243032, China



Taking the electric eel as a bionic object, a long undulatory fin is designed. The turbulent model standard k-ε is used to solve the N‒S equation of a three-dimensional unsteady incompressible fluid. The hydrodynamic characteristics of the undulatory fin are studied, and the influence of the swing angle, wave frequency and ground effects on the propulsion performance of the undulatory fin are discussed. The mathematical models of the average thrust and average lateral force of the undulatory fin are established by using multiple linear regression. The results show that the thrust and lateral force of the undulatory fin increase with increasing swing angle and swing frequency, but in a motion period, the number of fluctuations of the thrust is approximately twice that of the lateral force. The relationship between the average thrust force and the average lateral force of the undulatory fin and the wave frequency and the maximum swing angle satisfies a specific exponential law. When the undulating fin moves near the wall (d ≤0.2 W), due to the coupling between the vortex at the lower edge and the tail vortex where part of the vortex is transferred to the two sides, the total thrust decreases, and the lateral force increases.


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