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ziggo February 15, 2013 09:03

Modeling a thin sail in Fluent
I am trying to model a tetrahedral kite in CFD.
The model only consists of the sails, the aerodynamic influence of the frame is neglected.
To get started I'm now only trying to model one cell of the tetrahedral kite, so only two sails.

As the sail material is very thin I am wondering how to model this geometry for use in Fluent. The only way I can think of right now is a flat plate with a thickness to chord ratio of around 0.05%. However, this will require very fine meshing to capture the small thickness of the edges of the sail.
Is there some best practice to model thin sails?

diamondx February 16, 2013 08:38

Did you figure out how to solve your problem ????

ziggo February 16, 2013 09:34

No, unfortunately not. I'm still hoping someone here might know how to model this.

diamondx February 16, 2013 14:42

if what you want is a really really thin sail then you are talking about surface. zero thickness. you can do that in every CAD program, go with designmodeler.
create points or edges, then create a surface from those edges, for the surrounding fluid, you will have to create a body like a sphere or square around that surface.

ziggo February 16, 2013 15:49

And after that do I just proceed modelling as if I have a solid? So I would make an enclosure around the surface and then perform a boolean operation subtracting the surface from the enclosure body?

victoryv February 16, 2013 18:19

make a surface of the sail in designmodeler. Draw an enclosure around it . Use boolean op to subtract the volume. Change the volume to fluid. Mesh and solve. BASIC STEPS.

ziggo March 14, 2013 09:57

I have made a surface, drawn an enclosure around it but I could not perform a subtract boolean operation on the enclosure as this would create a non-manifold geometry. How do I subtract the zero-thickness sail from the volume? Or do I subtract it at all?

stuart23 March 14, 2013 19:02


If you are using Ansys DM, there is no need to do the boolean.Just select all the parts (fluid body and surfaces) in the object tree on the left side of the screen, right-click, and choose Form New Part.

This approach allows you to have surfaces "floating" in a solid.


Bdew8556 May 31, 2013 22:43

Hey guys

Does anyone know how to attach the base of a fin/sail to one side of the enclosure? ie cushion value = 0



stuart23 June 2, 2013 21:27


Not sure what you mean, does your geometry have a thin wall attaching to a wall (like a baffle)?


Bdew8556 June 2, 2013 22:43

Hey Stu,

im essentially wanting to join the base of a solid to one face of a flow enclosure. Does that make more sense?


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