Date of Award

Spring 5-1996

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

A. Tom Roper

Second Advisor

Robert Dillon

Third Advisor

Yoshi Shibberu


The use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is increasingly evident in the design of yacht keels and hulls. The complexity associated with the software, unfortunately, puts it out of reach of the average user. To lower this degree of difficulty, a package needed to be fully explored and documented with a simple, two-dimensional model. This research was conducted to validate results from Algor, a commercially available FEA I CFD package, and to evaluate the feasibility of it as an undergraduate tool. The theory behind the code was not discussed as it is beyond the scope of this research. The solutions obtained from Algor compared well to experimental data. Basic inviscid and viscous behavior of airfoil sections is presented and used to calibrate the finite element model of the flow field. The results of the calibration are then applied to a different model to verify robustness. This research revealed that, with appropriate boundary definitions and meshing technique, Algor can predict the lift coefficients with a moderate degree of confidence. The drag coefficients, however, could not be dependably predicted. It was also determined that Algor is appropriate for undergraduate classroom use. A users manual, based on the airfoil calibration, was developed to augment the literature provided by Algor.