CFD ANALYSIS OF A SWIMMER'S ARM AND HAND, ACCELERATION AND DECELERATION

  • S. Riewald
  • B. Bixler
Keywords: acceleration, computational fluid dynamics, unsteady flow, drag, lift, propulsion

Abstract

The numerical technique of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has been used to determine the effect of arm and hand acceleration and deceleration on the propulsive forces generated by swimmers. Relationships developed to predict hand and arm forces as a function of both velocity and acceleration show these forces can be significantly different from those calculated using the quasi-steady approach. Simple equations that provide a correction factor to forces calculated using the quasi-steady approach are provided. The analyses showed that drag and axial forces (along length of the arm) were affected more by unsteady flow than were the lift forces. Also, arm forces were affected more than were hand forces. And finally, maximum propulsion was obtained from the hand when it faced directly backwards towards the feet, even though the stroke itself may be moving diagonally.