The Three-Component Balance fits onto the working section of TecQuipment’s Subsonic Wind Tunnel (AF1300). It may also be used with other subsonic wind tunnels of similar design.
The Three-Component Balance provides an easy-to-use support system for wind tunnel models. It measures lift, drag and pitching moment exerted on the model.
The balance attaches to the vertical wall of the wind tunnel working section. It is designed for air flows from right to left when the balance is viewed from the front. The balance comprises a mounting plate secured to the wind tunnel working section. A triangular force plate is held on the mounting plate by a mechanism that constrains it to move in a plane parallel to the mounting plate only, while leaving it free to rotate about a horizontal axis. This arrangement provides the necessary three degrees of freedom.
Models for use with the balance are available from TecQuipment. Other models used with the equipment will need a mounting stem. The forces acting on the model are transmitted by cables to three strain gauged load cells. The output from each load cell is taken via an amplifier to a microprocessor-controlled display module. The display module mounts onto the wind tunnel control and instrumentation frame and includes a digital display to show the lift, drag and pitching moment directly.
The equipment is fully compatible with TecQuipment’s Versatile Data Acquisition System (VDAS®) and can quickly and conveniently connect to a frame-mounting interface unit (VDAS-F, not included). Using VDAS® enables accurate real-time data capture, monitoring, display, calculation and charting of all relevant parameters on a suitable computer.
The model support of the balance can be rotated by 360 degrees. This allows adjustment of the angle of incidence of the model to the direction of air flow. The model support is locked in the required position by a simple clamp after adjustment.
The Angle Feedback Unit (AFA4, available separately) fits onto the Three-Component Balance and transmits the rotational angle of the test model back to the automatic data acquisition unit.
Recently one of the USA’s largest engineering schools, Texas A&M University, invested in a new engineering education complex that would revolutionise the way they teach their 20,000 engineering students. One element of this new complex was a new model for laboratories that would allow them to fully utilise equipment and space by creating “common labs”, shared facilities within Zachry Engineering Education Complex completed in 2018. The new building was only part of the story; they invested heavily in new teaching equipment to be housed in this facility, including a vast range of practical engineering teaching products from TecQuipment.