Flow around a propeller

Update: June 1, 2017
OpenFOAM 4.x

Case directory



We will calculate the flow around a rotating propeller with an axis along the main flow for 0.1 second.

Model Model

The fluid flows in from the region "inlet" at (0, -5, 0) m/s and out from the region "outlet". The propeller rotates with the Y axis at 158 rad/s. The rotation area, axis, and speed are specified in the file constant/dynamicMeshDict as follows.

dynamicFvMesh   solidBodyMotionFvMesh;
motionSolverLibs ( "libfvMotionSolvers.so" );
    cellZone        innerCylinderSmall;

    solidBodyMotionFunction  rotatingMotion;
        origin      (0 0 0);
        axis        (0 1 0);
        omega       158;

Include the files system/forces and system/surfaces in the file system/controlDict to output "forces and moments" and "values for specified surfaces", respectively.

The meshes are as follows, and the number of mesh is 903254.

Mesh (entire) Mesh (entire)
Mesh (XZ-plane) Mesh (XZ-plane)
Mesh (near AMI) Mesh (near AMI)
Mesh (propeller) Mesh (propeller)

The calculation result is as follows.

Flow velocity (U)
Flow velocity at final time (U) Flow velocity at final time (U)
Pressure at final time (p) Pressure at final time (p)
Pressure at blade surface (p) Pressure at blades surface (p)


cp -r $FOAM_TUTORIALS/incompressible/pimpleDyMFoam/propeller propeller
cd propeller

cp $FOAM_TUTORIALS/resources/geometry/propellerTip.obj.gz constant/triSurface/

snappyHexMesh -overwrite
renumberMesh -overwrite
rm -rf 0

topoSet -dict system/createInletOutletSets.topoSetDict
createPatch -overwrite

cp -rf 0.orig 0

mpirun -np 4 pimpleDyMFoam -parallel


Calculation time

  • Meshing (single): 6 minutes 2.53 seconds
  • Calculation (4-parallel): 4 hours 25 minutes 34.1 seconds

*Inter(R) Core(TM) i7-2600 CPU @ 3.40GHz 3.40GHz