Computational fluid dynamic validation of a two-dimensional marine propeller blade

Long H. Poon, David Knezevic, Aaron J.H. Baker, Stuart J. Wildy, John Codrington

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The use of composites for the fabrication of marine propellers has gained significant interest within the maritime industry. Using composite materials will improve the hydrodynamic efficiency and energy consumption of vessels while reducing the manufacturing and maintenance costs of the propellers (Young 2008). However, composite marine propeller blades have been limited due to the complexity required for numerical simulation, which includes the combination of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Finite Element Analysis (FEA), establishing an exciting field of study known as Fluid Structural Interactions (FSI). Unfortunately, analysing a 3D propeller is complex and computationally expensive. Therefore, a validation of CFD simulation of hydrodynamic forces acting on a 2D profile is required. <br /><br /> This paper presents an investigation of CFD using Ansys Fluent to simulate the incompressible viscous fluid flow on NACA0012 geometry. A key issue within the CFD process is achieving an accurate numerical representation, which involves a fundamental understanding of the Reynolds number. The NACA0012 geometry was chosen to validate the CFD process due to the availability of published numerical and experimental aerofoil test data. The lift and drag coefficients were validated using the mesh convergence before comparing against published data. The CFD results show a good alignment with unaffected lift and drag coefficients when the fluid mediums were changed from air to seawater by maintaining a constant Reynold number. <br /><br /> The hydrofoil was considered as a blade, static and non-rotating throughout this study. The acting body forces on the hydrofoil was the main finding, which was considered at various angles of attack. These body forces will then be applied to future FEA processes to develop an FSI simulation, leading to further studies using smart structures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACAM10
Subtitle of host publication10th Australasian Congress on Applied Mechanics
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherEngineers Australia
Number of pages11
ISBN (Print)9781925627596
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021
Event10th Australasian Congress on Applied Mechanics - Held online
Duration: 29 Nov 20211 Dec 2021
Conference number: 10th


Conference10th Australasian Congress on Applied Mechanics
Abbreviated titleACAM10
OtherACAM provides an international forum for delegates to share their experiences, present their research on the wide-ranging topics in applied mechanics.
Internet address


  • Hydrodynamics--Experiments
  • Propellers--Testing
  • Energy consumption
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Finite element method--Data processing
  • Composite materials--Reliability


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