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RESEARCH PAPERS

Direct Full Surface Skin Friction Measurement Using Nematic Liquid Crystal Techniques

[+] Author and Article Information
D. R. Buttsworth, S. J. Elston, T. V. Jones

Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford, Parks Road, Oxford, United Kingdom

J. Turbomach 120(4), 847-853 (Oct 01, 1998) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2841798 History: Received February 01, 1997; Online January 29, 2008

Abstract

New techniques for the direct measurement of skin friction using nematic liquid crystal layers are demonstrated. Skin friction measurements can be made using a molecular rotation time technique or an equilibrium orientation technique. A mathematical model describing the molecular dynamics of the nematic liquid crystal layer has been introduced. Theoretical results from the proposed mathematical model are in excellent agreement with the current experimental measurements. It is thus demonstrated that the present model captures the essential physics of the nematic liquid crystal measurement techniques. Estimates based on the variance of the liquid crystal calibration data indicate that skin friction measurements to within ±4 percent should certainly be possible. The techniques offer the considerable advantage of simplicity, without any compromise on the accuracy, relative to other surface shear stress measurement techniques. The full surface measurement capacity of the equilibrium orientation technique is demonstrated by measuring the skin friction distribution around a cylindrical obstruction in a fully developed laminar flow.

Copyright © 1998 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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