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Flow Visualization Seminar Report

Fluid flow is an important field of research. It has very wide applications. Gaseous flows are studied for the development of cars, aircraft and spacecraft, and also for the design of machines such as turbines and combustion engines. Liquid flow research is necessary for naval applications, such as ship design and is widely used in civil engineering projects, chemistry, medicine and so on. In all kinds of fluid flow research, the visualization is an important tool in experimental fluid mechanics, which can provide the overall picture of the flow field. Experimental flow visualization techniques are applied for several reasons:
− To get a picture of fluid flow around a scaled model of a real object, without any calculations;
− To develop or verify new and better theories of fluid flow or models.
Flow visualization is the art of making flow patterns visible. Most fluids (air, water, etc.) are transparent, thus their flow patterns are invisible to us without some special methods to make them visible. Historically, such methods included experimental methods, like say spilling ink into water. With the importance of computer models in all kinds of engineering growing and huge amounts of data collected from simulating flow processes (e.g. the distribution of air-conditioned air in a new car), purely computational methods have been developed.

In experimental fluid dynamics fluid flows are visualized mainly by three methods. They are,
- Surface flow visualization
- Particle tracer method
- Optical method
Surface flow visualization includes colored oil applied to the surface of a wind tunnel model, here oil responds to the surface shear stress and forms a pattern. In particle tracer method colored particles such as smoke are added to a flow to trace the motion. We can illuminate the particles with a sheet of laser light in order to visualize a slice of a complicated fluid flow pattern. Assuming that the particles faithfully follow the streamlines of the flow, we can not only visualize the flow but also measure its velocity using the particle image velocimetry or particle tracking velocimetry methods. Some flows reveal their patterns by way of changes in their optical refractive index. These are visualized by optical methods known as the shadowgraph, schlieren photography, and interferometry. Interferometry relies on the changes in the refractive index in the physical region and hence the changes in the optical path length relative to a known (reference) region. Schlieren measures the small angle of deflection of the light beam as it emerges from the test section. Shadowgraph measures deflection as well as displacement of the light beam at the exit plane of the apparatus.

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