Since October 2010, TotalSim have been designing an in house wind tunnel facility to add to our toolset for designing the world’s fastest skinsuit. Our experience and success designing the British Cycling skinsuits for the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Olympics led us to launch a 3 year R&D programme, in collaboration with Cranfield University, to commercialise and exploit our expertise, making it accessible to the public.
The tunnel is a product of a years’ worth of design, working with experts in aerodynamics at Cranfield University and 1000s of hours of CFD simulations to meet the design requirements of the project.
The tunnel has been designed specifically for the application of fabric samples, with the ability to house 3 sizes of cylinder, to simulate a range of body parts. A modular force balance measures the drag and lift coefficient on the cylinder whilst also having the ability to adapt to other test pieces if required.
The facility is a small scale, open return wind tunnel with a 0.5 x 0.5m adapted wall working section and a footprint of 6m by 5m. The tunnel has been validated using high quality calibration equipment and test data collected in the 7’ x 5’ wind tunnel at the University of Southampton. Hotwire measurements show the maximum turbulence intensity of 0.18% across the entire speed range of 6 – 23m/s.
With the flexibility of having our own facility, we are able to conduct comprehensive testing and produce an extensive database which can be searched and compared to give the optimum low drag performance for the end user.
This knowledge is used to create the most aerodynamic skinsuit which will be on the market in the not too distant future.
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