Aerodynamic Forces on fixed and rotating plates

P Martinez-Vazquex, Christopher Baker, Mark Sterling, Andrew Quinn, Peter Richards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


Pressure measurements on static and autorotating flat plates have been recently reported by Lin et al. (2006), Holmes, et al. (2006), and Richards, et al. (2008), amongst others. In general, the variation of the normal force with respect to the angle of attack appears to stall in the mid attack angle range with a large scale separation in the wake. To date however, no surface pressures have been measured on autorotating plates that are typical of a certain class of debris. This paper presents the results of an experiment to measure the aerodynamic forces on a flat plate held stationary at different angles to the flow and allowing the plate to auto-rotate. The forces were determined through the measurement of differential pressures on either side of the plate with internally mounted pressure transducers and data logging systems. Results are presented for surface pressure distributions and overall integrated forces and moments on the plates in coefficient form. Computed static force coefficients show the stall effect at the mid range angle of attack and some variation for different Reynolds numbers. Normal forces determined from autorotational experiments are higher than the static values at most pitch angles over a cycle. The resulting moment coefficient does not compare well with current analytical formulations Which suggest the existence of a flow mechanism that cannot be completely described through static tests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-144
Number of pages18
JournalWind and Structures
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • debris
  • wind effects
  • aerodynamic force coefficients
  • fluid-structure interaction
  • autorotation
  • windborne debris
  • CFD


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