Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 14
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Shoele, Kourosh and Mittal, Rajat 2014. Computational study of flow-induced vibration of a reed in a channel and effect on convective heat transfer. Physics of Fluids, Vol. 26, Issue. 12, p. 127103.

    Shoele, Kourosh and Zhu, Qiang 2015. Drafting mechanisms between a dolphin mother and calf. Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 382, p. 363.

    Liu, Wendi Xiao, Qing and Cheng, Fai 2013. A bio-inspired study on tidal energy extraction with flexible flapping wings. Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, Vol. 8, Issue. 3, p. 036011.

    Shoele, Kourosh and Zhu, Qiang 2015. Performance of synchronized fins in biomimetic propulsion. Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, Vol. 10, Issue. 2, p. 026008.

    Wang, Shizhao Zhang, Xing He, Guowei and Liu, Tianshu 2014. Lift enhancement by dynamically changing wingspan in forward flapping flight. Physics of Fluids, Vol. 26, Issue. 6, p. 061903.

    Liu, Wendi Xiao, Qing and Zhu, Qiang 2016. Passive Flexibility Effect on Oscillating Foil Energy Harvester. AIAA Journal, Vol. 54, Issue. 4, p. 1172.

    Shoele, Kourosh and Mittal, Rajat 2016. Flutter instability of a thin flexible plate in a channel. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 786, p. 29.

    Shoele, Kourosh and Zhu, Qiang 2013. Performance of a wing with nonuniform flexibility in hovering flight. Physics of Fluids, Vol. 25, Issue. 4, p. 041901.

    Sotiropoulos, Fotis and Yang, Xiaolei 2014. Immersed boundary methods for simulating fluid–structure interaction. Progress in Aerospace Sciences, Vol. 65, p. 1.

    Uddin, Emad Huang, Wei-Xi and Sung, Hyung Jin 2015. Actively flapping tandem flexible flags in a viscous flow. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 780, p. 120.

    Shoele, Kourosh and Mittal, Rajat 2016. Energy harvesting by flow-induced flutter in a simple model of an inverted piezoelectric flag. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 790, p. 582.

    Kancharala, A K and Philen, M K 2016. Optimal chordwise stiffness profiles of self-propelled flapping fins. Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, Vol. 11, Issue. 5, p. 056016.

    Zhu, Xiaojue He, Guowei and Zhang, Xing 2014. How flexibility affects the wake symmetry properties of a self-propelled plunging foil. Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 751, p. 164.

    Bouzaher, Mohamed Taher Hadid, Mohamed and Semch-Eddine, Derfouf 2016. Flow control for the vertical axis wind turbine by means of flapping flexible foils. Journal of the Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences and Engineering,

  • Journal of Fluid Mechanics, Volume 693
  • February 2012, pp. 402-432

Leading edge strengthening and the propulsion performance of flexible ray fins

  • Kourosh Shoele (a1) and Qiang Zhu (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 12 January 2012

A numerical model of a ray-reinforced fin is developed to investigate the relation between its structural characteristics and its force generation capacity during flapping motion. In this two-dimensional rendition, the underlying rays are modelled as springs, and the membrane is modelled as a flexible but inextensible plate. The fin kinematics is characterized by its oscillation frequency and the phase difference between different rays (which generates a pitching motion). An immersed boundary method (IBM) is applied to solve the fluid–structure interaction problem. The focus of the current paper is on the effects of ray flexibility, especially the detailed distribution of ray stiffness, upon the capacity of thrust generation. The correlation between thrust generation and features of the surrounding flow (especially the leading edge separation) is also examined. Comparisons are made between a fin with rigid rays, a fin with identical flexible rays, and a fin with flexible rays and strengthened leading edge. It is shown that with flexible rays, the thrust production can be significantly increased, especially in cases when the phase difference between different rays is not optimized. By strengthening the leading edge, a higher propulsion efficiency is observed. This is mostly attributed to the reduction of the effective angle of attack at the leading edge, accompanied by mitigation of leading edge separation and dramatic changes in characteristics of the wake. In addition, the flexibility of the rays causes reorientation of the fluid force so that it tilts more towards the swimming direction and the thrust is thus increased.

Corresponding author
Email address for correspondence:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1.H. Ahn & Y. Kallinderis 2006 Strongly coupled flow/structure interactions with a geometrically conservative ALE scheme on general hybrid meshes. J. Comput. Phys. 219, 671696.

2.S. Alben , P. G. A. Madden & G. V. Lauder 2007 The mechanics of active fin-shape control in ray-finned fishes. J. Royal Soc. Interface 4, 243256.

3.P. Anagnostopoulos & P. W. Bearman 1992 Response characteristics of a vortex-excited cylinder at low Reynolds numbers. J. Fluids Struct. 6, 3950.

5.J. M. Birch & M. H. Dickinson 2001 Spanwise flow and the attachment of the leading-edge vortex on insect wings. Nature 412, 729733.

9.R. W. Blake , J. Li & K. H. S. Chan 2009 Swimming in four goldfish Carassius auratus morphotypes: understanding functional design and performance employing artificially selected forms. J. Fish Biol. 75 (3), 591617.

10.I. Borazjani , L. Ge & F. Sotiropoulos 2008 Curvilinear immersed boundary method for simulating fluid structure interaction with complex 3D rigid bodies. J. Comput. Phys. 227, 75877620.

11.S. A. Combes & T. L. Daniel 2003a Flexible stiffness in insect wings. Part 1. Scaling and the influence of wing venation. J. Expl Biol. 206, 29792987.

12.S. A. Combes & T. L. Daniel 2003b Flexible stiffness in insect wings. Part 2. Spatial distribution and dynamic wing bending. J. Expl Biol. 206, 29892997.

14.M. H. Dickinson 2005 The initiation and control of rapid flight maneuvers in fruit flies. Integr. Compar. Biol. 45 (2), 274281.

18.E. G. Drucker & G. V. Lauder 2003 Function of pectoral fins in rainbow trout: behavioral repertoire and hydrodynamic forces. J. Expl Biol. 206 (5), 813826.

19.E. G. Drucker , J. A. Walker & M. W. Westneat 2006 Mechanics of pectoral fin swimming in fishes. In Fish Biomechanics (ed. R.E. Shadwick & G.V. Lauder ), vol. 23. pp. 369423. Elsevier Academic.

20.C. P. Ellington 1984 The aerodynamics of hovering insect flight. Part IV. Aerodynamic mechanisms. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B 305, 79113.

21.D. Goldstein , R. Handler & L. Sirovich 1993 Modelling a no-slip flow boundary with an external force field. J. Comput. Phys. 105, 354366.

22.E. Guilmineau & P. Queutey 2002 A numerical simulation of vortex shedding from an oscillating circular cylinder. J. Fluids Struct. 16 (6), 773794.

23.S. Heathcote & I. Gursul 2007 Flexible flapping airfoil propulsion at low Reynolds numbers. AIAA J. 45 (5), 10661079.

24.W. X. Huang , S. J. Shin & H. J. Sung 2007 Simulation of flexible filaments in a uniform flow by the immersed boundary method. J. Comput. Phys. 226, 22062228.

25.K. Isogai , Y. Shinmoto & Y. Watanabe 1999 Effects of dynamic stall on propulsive efficiency and thrust of flapping airfoil. AIAA J. 37 (10), 11451151.

27.K. Kim , S. J. Baek & H. J. Sung 2002 An implicit velocity decoupling procedure for incompressible Navier–Stokes equations. Intl J. Numer. Meth. Fluids 38, 125138.

28.D. Kim & H. Choi 2006 Immersed boundary method for flow around an arbitrarily moving body. J. Comput. Phys. 212, 662680.

29.J. Kim , D. Kim & H. Choi 2001 An immersed boundary finite-volume method for simulations of flow in complex geometries. J. Comput. Phys. 171, 132150.

30.J. Kim & J. Moin 1985 Application of a fractional-step method to incompressible Navier–Stokes equations. J. Comput. Phys. 59, 308323.

31.M. C. Lai & C. S. Peskin 2000 An immersed boundary method with formal second-order accuracy and reduced numerical viscosity. J. Comput. Phys. 160, 705719.

32.C. Lee 2003 Stability characteristics of the virtual boundary method in three-dimensional applications. J. Comput. Phys. 184, 559591.

34.M. N. Linnick & H. F. Fasel 2005 A high-order immersed interface method for simulating unsteady incompressible flows on irregular domains. J. Comput. Phys. 204, 157192.

35.P. Liu & N. Bose 1997 Propulsive performance from oscillating propulsors with spanwise flexibility. Proc. Math. Phys. Eng. Sci. 453, 17631770.

39.K. V. Rozhdestvensky & V. A. Ryzhov 2003 Aerohydrodynamics of flapping-wing propulsors. Prog. Aerosp. Sci. 39 (8), 585633.

41.W. W. Schultz & P. W. Webb 2002 Power requirements of swimming: Do new methods resolve old questions? Integr. Compar. Biol. 42 (5), 10181025.

42.S. J. Shin , W. X. Huang & H. J. Sung 2008 Assessment of regularized delta functions and feedback forcing schemes for an immersed boundary method. Intl J. Numer. Meth. Fluids 58, 263286.

44.K. Shoele & Q. Zhu 2009 Fluid–structure interactions of skeleton-reinforced fins: performance analysis of a paired fin in lift-based propulsion. J. Expl Biol. 212, 26792690.

46.K. Shoele & Q. Zhu 2010b Numerical simulation of a pectoral fin during labriform swimming. J. Expl Biol. 213, 20382047.

47.W. Shyy , H. Aono , S. K. Chimakurthi , P. Trizila , C. K. Kang , C. E. S. Cesnik & H. Liu 2010 Recent progress in flapping wing aerodynamics and aeroelasticity. Prog. Aerosp. Sci. 46 (7), 284327.

48.E. M. Standen 2008 Pelvic fin locomotor function in fishes: three-dimensional kinematics in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). J. Expl Biol. 211, 29312942.

49.J. L. Tangorra , S. N. Davidson , I. W. Hunter , P. G. A. Madden , G. V. Lauder , H. Dong , M. Bozkurttas & R. Mittal 2007 The development of a biologically inspired propulsor for unmanned underwater vehicles. IEEE J. Ocean. Engng 32, 533550.

50.J. L. Tangorra , G. V. Lauder , I. W. Hunter , R. Mittal , P. G. A. Madden & M. Bozkurttas 2010 The effect of fin ray flexural rigidity on the propulsive forces generated by a biorobotic fish pectoral fin. J. Expl Biol. 213, 40434054.

51.A. K. Tornberg & M. J. Shelley 2004 Simulating the dynamics and interactions of flexible fibers in Stokes flows. J. Comput. Phys. 196, 840.

52.M. S. Triantafyllou , A. H. Techet & F. S. Hover 2004 Review of experimental work in biomimetic foils. IEEE J. Ocean. Engng 29 (3), 585594.

53.K. K. Y. Tsang , R. M. C. So , R. C. K. Leung & X. Q. Wang 2008 Dynamic stall behavior from unsteady force measurements. J. Fluids Struct. 24 (1), 129150.

54.M. Uhlmann 2005 An immersed boundary method with direct forcing for the simulation of particulate flows. J. Comput. Phys. 209, 448476.

55.J. J. Videler 1993 Fish Swimming. Chapman & Hall.

57.J. A. Walker 2004 Dynamics of pectoral fin rowing in a fish with an extreme rowing stroke: the threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). J. Expl Biol. 207, 19251939.

61.M. Westneat 1996 Functional morphology of aquatic flight in fishes: mechanical modeling, kinematics, and electromyography of labriform locomotion. Am. Zool. 36, 582598.

62.M. Westneat , D. H. Thorsen , J. A. Walker & M. Hale 2004 Structure, function, and neural control of pectoral fins in fishes. IEEE J. Ocean. Engng 29, 674683.

63.C. H. K. Williamson & R. Govardhan 2004 Vortex-induced vibrations. Annu. Rev. Fluid Mech. 36, 413455.

64.C. H. K. Williamson & A. Roshko 1988 Vortex formation in the wake of an oscillating cylinder. J. Fluids Struct. 2 (4), 355381.

65.S. Xu & Z. J. Wang 2006 An immersed interface method for simulating the interaction of a fluid with moving boundaries. J. Comput. Phys. 216 (2), 454493.

66.Q. Zhu 2007 Numerical simulation of a flapping foil with chordwise or spanwise flexibility. AIAA J. 45 (10), 24482457.

67.Q. Zhu & K. Shoele 2008 Propulsion performance of a skeleton-strengthened fin. J. Expl Biol. 211, 20872100.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of Fluid Mechanics
  • ISSN: 0022-1120
  • EISSN: 1469-7645
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-fluid-mechanics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *