On the effect of velvet structures on trailing edge noise: Experimental investigation and theoretical analysis

Peng Zhou, Siyang Zhong, Xin Zhang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


This study is inspired by the velvety structures on an owl's upper wing surface. Anechoic wind tunnel experiments were conducted to study the effect of the velvety structures on trailing edge noise as well as the boundary layer flow of a flat plate model. The tests were conducted in The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology low-speed wind tunnel, ultra-quiet noise injection test and evaluation device (UNITED). It was found that the trailing edge noise spectra are significantly modified by the velvety structures. In general, the velvety structures increase the low-frequency noise below a cross-over Strouhal number but reduce the spectral level at higher frequencies. The velvety surface also changes the boundary layer characteristics in terms of the boundary layer thickness, non-dimensional velocity distribution and turbulence distribution. Vortex shedding is suppressed by the velvety coating despite the blunt trailing edge. An analytic model is proposed for the trailing edge noise of a flat plate, including the effect of finite trailing edge thickness and velvety structures on the flat plate surface. The model uses the near wake distribution of the mean and fluctuating velocities in the streamwise direction as the input. The predictions, which require no empirical corrections, match well with the experiments for both the baseline and velvet-coated configurations. With a detailed non-dimensional analysis, this study proposes a potential aeroacoustic function of velvet structures, i.e. noise control through manipulation of boundary layer statistics.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA11
JournalJournal of Fluid Mechanics
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • aeroacoustics
  • noise control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'On the effect of velvet structures on trailing edge noise: Experimental investigation and theoretical analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this