Journal of
Mechanical Engineering Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Mech. Eng. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2383
  • DOI: 10.5897/JMER
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 119

Full Length Research Paper

Evaluation of the turbulence models for the simulation of the flow over a National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) 0012 airfoil

  Douvi C. Eleni*, Tsavalos I. Athanasios and Margaris P. Dionissios        
Department of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics, Fluid Mechanics Laboratory (FML), University of Patras, 26500 Patras, Greece.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 14 February 2012
  •  Published: 31 March 2012



The analysis of the two dimensional subsonic flow over a National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) 0012 airfoil at various angles of attack and operating at a Reynolds number of 3×10is presented. The flow was obtained by solving the steady-state governing equations of continuity and momentum conservation combined with one of three turbulence models [Spalart-Allmaras, Realizable  shear stress transport (SST)] aiming to the validation of these models through the comparison of the predictions and the free field experimental measurements for the selected airfoil. The aim of the work was to show the behavior of the airfoil at these conditions and to establish a verified solution method. The computational domain was composed of 80000 cells emerged in a structured way, taking care of the refinement of the grid near the airfoil in order to enclose the boundary layer approach. Calculations were done for constant air velocity altering only the angle of attack for every turbulence model tested. This work highlighted two areas in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) that require further investigation: transition point prediction and turbulence modeling. The laminar to turbulent transition point was modeled in order to get accurate results for the drag coefficient at various Reynolds numbers. In addition, calculations showed that the turbulence models used in commercial CFD codes does not give yet accurate results at high angles of attack.


Key words: Computational fluid dynamics (CFD), airfoil, aerodynamic coefficients, lift, drag, turbulence models, transition point.