The Influence of Surface Roughness on the Flow Fields Generated by an Oscillating Cantilever
Stokes Laboratories, University of Limerick, Ireland
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Published online: 4 June 2018
With the current trend of miniaturisation of electronic devices, piezoelectric fans have attracted increasing interest as a means of inducing forced convection cooling, instead of traditional rotary solutions. Although there exists an abundance of research on various piezo-actuated flapping fans in the literature, the geometries of these fans all consist of a smooth rectangular cross section with thicknesses typically of the order of 100 μm. The focus of these studies has primarily been on variables such as frequency, amplitude and, in some cases, resonance mode. It is generally noted that the induced flow dynamics are a direct consequence of the pressure differential at the fan tip as well as the pressure driven ‘over the top’ vortices generated at the upper and lower edges of the fan. Rough surfaces such as golf ball dimples or vortex generators on an aircraft wing have proven to be beneficial by tripping the boundary layer and energising the adjacent airflow. This paper aims to examine the influence of surface roughness on the airflow generation of a flapping fan, and to determine if the induced wake can be manipulated or enhanced by energising the airflow around the fan tip. Particle-Image Velocimetry (PIV) is carried out on mechanically oscillated rigid fans with surfaces consisting of protruding pillars and dimples. A smooth rigid fan surface is also investigated as a control. No significant difference was noted between the smooth and roughened fans through observation of the induced flow fields. Both fans produced results that were largely consistent with the existing literature on oscillating cantilevers. The results of this paper may be used to inform the design of piezoelectric fans and to aid in understanding the complex aerodynamics inherent in flapping wing flight.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).