Lock-in of elastically mounted airfoils at a 90 degrees angle of attack Academic Article uri icon


  • Reducing vortex-induced vibration (VIV) of elastically mounted cylinders has applications to petroleum, nuclear, and civil engineering. One simple method is streamlining the cylinder into an airfoil shape. However, if flow direction changes, an elastic airfoil could experience similar oscillations with even more drag. To better understand a general airfoil's response, three elastically mounted airfoil shapes are tested at a 90 angle of attack in a 3ft by 4ft wind tunnel. The shapes are a NACA 0018, a sharp leading- and trailing-edge (sharp-sharp) model, and a round leading- and trailing-edge (round-round) model. Mass-damping ranges from 0.96 to 1.44. For comparison to canonical VIV research, a cylinder is also tested. Since lock-in occurs near Rec=125103, the models are also tested with a trip strip. The NACA 0018 and sharp-sharp configuration show nearly identical responses. The cylinder and round-round airfoil have responses five to eight times larger. Thus, the existence of a single sharp edge is sufficient to greatly reduce VIV at 90 angle of attack. Whereas the cylinder and round-round maximum response amplitudes are similar, cylinder lock-in occurs over a velocity range three times larger than the round-round. The tripped cylinder and round-round models' response is attenuated by 70% compared to their respective clean configurations. Hysteresis is only observed in the circular cylinder and round-round models. Hotwire data indicates the clean cylinder has a unique vortex pattern compared to the other configurations. 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Ehrmann, R. S., Loftin, K. M., Johnson, S., & White, E. B.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Ehrmann, RS||Loftin, KM||Johnson, S||White, EB

publication date

  • January 2014