Assessment of Turbulence Models for Unsteady Separated Flows Past an Oscillating NACA 0015 Airfoil in Deep Stall

Document Type : Regular Article


1 Laboratory of Green and Mechanical Development-LGMD, Ecole Nationale Polytechnique, B.P. 182, El-Harrach, Algiers, 16200, Algeria

2 Department of mechanical engineering, Université de Sherbrooke, 2500 Boulevard de l’Université, Sherbrooke, Québec, J1K2R1 Canada



This paper provides 2D Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) investigations, using OpenFOAM package, of the unsteady separated fully turbulent flows past a NACA 0015 airfoil undergoing sinusoidal pitching motion about its quarter-chord axis in deep stall regime at a reduced frequency of 0.1, a free stream Mach number of 0.278, and at a Reynolds number, based on the airfoil chord length, , of . First, eighteen 2D steady-state computations coupled with the SST model were carried out at various angles of attack to investigate the static stall. Then, the 2D Unsteady Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (URANS) simulations of the flow around the oscillating airfoil about its quarter-chord axis were carried out. Three eddy viscosity turbulence models, namely the Spalart-Allmaras, Launder-Sharma , and  SST were considered for turbulence closure. The results are compared with the experimental data where the boundary layer has been tripped at the airfoil’s leading-edge. The findings suggest that the  SST performs best among the other two models to predict the unsteady aerodynamic forces and the main flow features characteristic of the deep stall regime. The influence of moving the pitching axis downstream at mid chord was also investigated using URANS simulations coupled with the  SST model. It was found that this induces higher peaks in the nose-down pitching moment and delays the stall onset. However, the qualitative behavior of the unsteady flow in post-stall remains unchanged. The details of the flow development associated with dynamic stall were discussed


Main Subjects

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Volume 16, Issue 8
August 2023
Pages 1544-1559
  • Received: 15 December 2022
  • Revised: 05 March 2023
  • Accepted: 02 April 2023
  • Available online: 31 May 2023