The Development of an Economical Fixture for Quantifying Viscous Drag Forces in an Aqueous Environment


Jose Freire, Joshua Hauser, Warner Tse


  • Marko Princevac, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering , University of California, Riverside
  • Campbell Dinsmore, Mentor, University of California, Riverside

The focus of this presentation is to discuss the process of designing a test fixture that performs drag measurements in a water channel. We concluded, after researching and evaluating other options such as using either a Particle Image Velocimetry device (PIV) or a single-unit system, that dividing, or segmenting, the fixture into subsystems would simplify the fabrication and minimize the cost of production. This led to the development of what we call the “segmented design strategy” that, in turn, led to the design of the fixture being divided into three sub-systems: the C-beam which supports the submerged sub-systems, the hydro-foil which supports the sting and minimizes its own impact on the flow field, and the sting which holds the test subject while actively measuring the fluid forces. Since these subsystems are currently being built, unanticipated issues, such as the introduction of extraneous forces that skew the measurements, must also be considered. Moreover, in order to fully experience the engineering process, we aspire to gain the necessary skills required to design and fabricate unique parts, rather than purchasing pre-made components. It is the primary intent that once this project is complete, the department’s faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students will have the capability, not currently available, to research phenomena where drag forces play a significant role.

Presented by:


Saturday, November 23, 2013




Poster Session 3 - Villalobos Hall

Presentation Type:

Poster Presentation