ANALYSIS OF A SWIMMERS HAND AND ARM IN STEADY FLOW CONDITIONS USING COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DYNAMICS

  • B. Bixle
  • S. Riewald
Keywords: drag, lift, computational fluid dynamics, swimming, hand, arm

Abstract

As an alternative to the experimental determination of the hand and arm propulsive forces generated by swimmers, the numerical technique of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has been used to calculate the steady flow around a swimmer's hand and arm at various angles of attack. Significant boundary layer separation was seen, ruling out the use of Bernoulli's equation to mathematically describe the lift generated by a swimmer. Computation of 3D lift is necessary to describe the propulsion generated by the arm at all angles of attack and the hand near angles of attack of 90 degrees. Force coefficients computed for the hand and arm compared well with steady-state coefficients determined experimentally. Such comparisons validate the chosen CFD techniques, and are an important first step toward the use of CFD for determining swimming hydrodynamic forces in more realistic unsteady flow conditions.