On the dynamics of flexible plates under rotational motions

Shifeng Fu, Yaqing Jin, Jin Tae Kim, Zhongyu Mao, Yuan Zheng, Leonardo P. Chamorro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The reconfiguration of low-aspect-ratio flexible plates, required power and induced flow under pure rotation were experimentally inspected for various plate stiffness and angular velocities ω. Particle tracking velocimetry (PTV) and particle image velocimetry (PIV) were used to characterize the plate deformation along their span as well as the flow and turbulence statistics in the vicinity of the structures. Results show the characteristic role of stiffness and ω in modulating the structure reconfiguration, power required and induced flow. The inspected configurations allowed inspecting various plate deformations ranging from minor to extreme bending over 90 between the tangents of the two tips. Regardless of the case, the plates did not undergo noticeable deformation in the last ∼30% of the span. Location of the maximum deformation along the plate followed a trend sm ∝ log(Ca), where Ca is the Cauchy number, which indicated that sm is roughly fixed at sufficiently large Ca. The angle (α) between the plate in the vicinity of the tip and the tangential vector of the motions exhibited two distinctive, nearly-linear trends as a function of Ca, within Ca ∈ (0, 15) and Ca ∈ (20, 70), with a matching within these Ca at Ca > 70, α ≈ 45. Induced flow revealed a local maximum of the turbulence levels at around 60% of the span of the plate; however, the largest turbulence enhancement occurred near the tip. Flexibility of the plate strongly modulated the spatial distribution of small-scale vortical structures; they were located along the plate wake in the stiffer plate and relatively concentrated near the tip in the low-stiffness plate. Due to relatively large deformation, rotational and wake effects, a simple formulation for predicting the mean reconfiguration showed offset; however, a bulk, constant factor on ω accounted for the offset between predictions and measurements at deformation reaching ∼60 between the tips.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3384
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • PIV
  • Plate oscillation
  • Rotation
  • Turbulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Control and Optimization
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'On the dynamics of flexible plates under rotational motions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this