Propeller Design

Propeller Design

Propeller design is a key component for the performance of a ship or aircraft. Propellers convert rotary motion from an engine, turbine, or electric motor into linear thrust that pushes the vehicle forward. Their blades come in a large variety of shapes, which are typically defined by airfoil sections and how they change in radial direction. This largely determines the propeller’s properties with respect to efficiency, structural strength, or noise generation. As the geometric parameters can encompass rather large design spaces, often in combination with conflicting objectives, automated workflows are usually the only feasible approach for a thorough design investigation.

Propeller Design with CAESES Software

CAESES’ Propeller Design Capabilities

CAESES® is a dedicated CAD and automation environment for exploring and optimizing complex and performance-critical geometries (see also this overview on turbomachinery applications). In particular, it brings along several key capabilities for designing cutting-edge propeller geometries:

  • Fully parametric modeling of any type of marine and aeronautic propeller, including unconventional types such as surface-piercing, high-skew, tip-rake, ducted, and low-noise submarine propeller designs.
Propeller Design Types
  • Alternatively, powerful and flexible morphing capabilities for imported geometries.
Propeller design morphing of imported geometry.
  • High level of customization, i.e., no black box models, and full freedom to set up user-defined workflows.
  • High robustness and flexibility of parametric models for automated design studies and optimization.
  • Dedicated functionality to close propeller tips with a smooth surface, as well as for the fillet creation between hub and blade (fixed and variable-radius fillets).
  • Ability to import and write specialized formats, such as PFF files. Read in ASCII files with your sectional data and automatically generate a parametric propeller model including tip and hub – all with a single click, in just a few seconds. Such a model is ready for being manufactured, but also for further studies in combination with CFD and stress analysis.
  • Create custom parametric airfoil definitions and control them using radial parameter distribution functions, or import airfoil point data from a database, interpolate, and parameterize as needed.
Propeller design airfoil
  • Include energy-saving or noise reducing features such as propeller boss cap fins, serrations, or tip fences.
  • Full interfacing to external analysis, such as CFD or structural analysis. Generation of simulation domains, including potential flow panel meshes and geometry-adapted support structures for volume meshing.

Learn More about Propeller Design

Propeller Design with CAESES – Do it yourself!

1. Test the online design tools based on the Wageningen B-Series.

2. Download CAESES®, register for a trial license, and open the propeller sample file that comes with the software.

3. Create a geometry from scratch with the propeller modeling tutorials in CAESES®.

Case Studies and Blog Posts for Propeller Design

Automated Generation of Parametric Propeller Models
Automated Generation of Parametric Propeller Models

In this blog post, we'll take a quick look into an automated workflow for the fast and flexible design of propeller CAD models that are also suited for automated shape optimization with CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics).

Automated Generation of Parametric Propeller Models
Propeller Design at Berg Propulsion
Propeller Design at Berg Propulsion

Propeller Design at Caterpillar Propulsion In 2014, Caterpillar Propulsion introduced CAESES® for the design of propeller blades. When we started on a project basis, the overall idea was to implement CAESES® as some sort of workbench that integrates and controls…

Propeller Design at Berg Propulsion
Drone Propeller Design at Parrot
Drone Propeller Design at Parrot

Drone Propeller Design and Shape Optimization at Parrot The French company Parrot SA uses CAESES® as a customized design framework for drone propellers. Being one of the leading companies in the drone market, the engineers’ motivation for introducing CAESES® came from the goals of…

Drone Propeller Design at Parrot
Linear Jet Design at Voith
Linear Jet Design at Voith

Design and Optimization of the VOITH Linear Jet The VOITH Linear Jet (VLJ) combines the best properties of propellers with the best properties of waterjets. For this product, one of the most important design challenges is to maintain a high…

Linear Jet Design at Voith
Design of an efoil Propeller
Design of an efoil Propeller

Have you ever come across an efoil? Actually, that’s a pretty cool sort of surfboard which almost makes you fly above the water. One of our CAESES® users, David Vukovic, recently approached us in the context of the propeller design for…

Design of an efoil Propeller
How to Create a Propeller Blade Tip
How to Create a Propeller Blade Tip

In our propeller design projects for maritime applications (i.e. ship and boat design), we use a special feature for creating the blade’s tip surface. This is a tricky region because there is a singularity, and as a designer you need…

How to Create a Propeller Blade Tip
Propeller Design with OpenFOAM
Propeller Design with OpenFOAM

Propeller Design with OpenFOAM CAESES® is used by several customers for the design and automated shape optimization of marine propellers. Besides comprehensive methods to design parametric 2D profiles and efficient 3D models, any external software package can be coupled and…

Propeller Design with OpenFOAM
Design of Wageningen B-Series Propellers
Design of Wageningen B-Series Propellers

Some time ago we had a request from a propeller designer to come up with an easy-to-use parametric geometry model in CAESES® for the Wageningen B-Series. There is a mathematical definition published for setting up such a marine ship propeller…

Design of Wageningen B-Series Propellers
Blade Analysis for Propellers
Blade Analysis for Propellers

Quite often our users want to use a parametric CAESES® model and fit this model into their existing geometries. They import the geometry data using either a common CAD format (STEP, PARASOLID,..) or some proprietary format, and then they start…

Blade Analysis for Propellers
Comparison of Blade Sections
Comparison of Blade Sections

If you need to compare one propeller design with another one – e.g. a new design candidate that is derived from the baseline – it helps a lot to have the 2D section information at hand. When you set up…

Comparison of Blade Sections
Optimization of Propeller Boss Cap Fins
Optimization of Propeller Boss Cap Fins

There is a lot of research going on to further improve the efficiency of ships by lowering the overall energy consumption. Besides the optimization of the operational profile of the ships (speed, trim, loading etc.), there are many things you…

Optimization of Propeller Boss Cap Fins
Drone Blade Design
Drone Blade Design

In our last blog post we briefly discussed and illustrated a smart parametric model of a F1 rear wing, which has been set up for the purpose of optimizing the aerodynamic characteristics of the race car. We received a lot…

Drone Blade Design
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Automated Generation of Parametric Propeller Models
Automated Generation of Parametric Propeller Models
Propeller Design at Berg Propulsion
Propeller Design at Berg Propulsion
Drone Propeller Design at Parrot
Drone Propeller Design at Parrot
Linear Jet Design at Voith
Linear Jet Design at Voith
Design of an efoil Propeller
Design of an efoil Propeller
How to Create a Propeller Blade Tip
How to Create a Propeller Blade Tip
Propeller Design with OpenFOAM
Propeller Design with OpenFOAM
Design of Wageningen B-Series Propellers
Design of Wageningen B-Series Propellers
Blade Analysis for Propellers
Blade Analysis for Propellers
Comparison of Blade Sections
Comparison of Blade Sections
Optimization of Propeller Boss Cap Fins
Optimization of Propeller Boss Cap Fins
Drone Blade Design
Drone Blade Design
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Questions?

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you have questions in the context of your specific application. We look forward to discussing it together with you!


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