Browse Publications Technical Papers 2017-36-0237

Wind Tunnel Balance 2017-36-0237

This paper relates to the wind tunnel balance design that aims to meet the need for reliable but more affordable equipment that could accurately perform Aerodynamic measurements and act on three axes, being a Multitasking device, adaptable for prototypes of aircrafts, automobiles, buildings, sports products design, etc., through digital control that will measure the drag, lift and the aerodynamic pitch moment. The main task is stimulating creativity, to solve real problems and reduce technology dependence. The composite tubes used in the fixation of the "Sting-Compound" were chosen to avoid inaccurate measurements and have high flexural strength, even with a small cross section. That's feature is justified because the terminal velocity of wind tunnel is 50 m/s (97 knots), enabling to search many different model sizes and subsonic Reynolds speed regime. The prototype made of wood has been modified several times to meet these requirements, where joints and parts have been modified in order to increase its functional reliability, to be later machined of aluminum without difficulties using CNC technology machine. The strain gauges used as standard equipment, are micro-extensometers transducers that send signals amplified and translated by the software with integrated platform open source Arduino, designed exclusively for that scale balance with coordinating the three axis movements. Therefore, the goal is achieve low cost manufacturing and maintenance, allowing any university to manufacture it, being this major of the main design requirements, creating devices that we are capable to design, construction and fix, without industrial secrets. The equipment was designed to be easily transported and disassembled besides being easily calibrated because sometimes it may be necessary to use them in different wind tunnel labs.


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