Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2017

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Carrica, Pablo M

Second Advisor

Martin, Juan Ezequiel

First Committee Member

Carrica, Pablo M

Second Committee Member

Martin, Juan E

Third Committee Member

Buchholz, James H


Crashback operation of a propeller is a common emergency slowing maneuver for ships and submarines. The reversing of the propeller while the vessel is moving forward results in large loads on the propeller blades and highly detached flow, which presents both practical concerns and fundamental fluid physics inquiries. This thesis contains a comprehensive numerical analysis of two propellers in crashback operation. Available numerical and experimental data for David Taylor Model Basin (DTMB) 4381 propeller are used for validation of the computational fluid dynamics solver used, REX. A second propeller, Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN) 7371R is used to classify the common crashback flow behavior into regimes. Four regimes were identified, each existing for a range of operating conditions. The most prominent and deciding feature of the flow regimes is the presence of a ring vortex, resulting from the opposing action of the free-stream flow and the propeller induced flow. The position, shape and strength changes between regimes, dominating the dynamics of the flow by altering the induced flow into the propeller disk. Flow conditions resulting from regime transitions are described. Changes in the ring vortex structure lead to two stable flow conditions of interest. One condition produces a reduction of thrust despite the increase in flow speed into the propeller and negligible side-forces. The other condition creates large side-forces capable of rotating a vessel, resulting from an asymmetry forming in the ring vortex. Additionally, massive flow separation occurs at high free-stream speeds that cause extreme blade loading. An extensive description of each flow regime is provided, with further investigation and discussion of the flow regimes that present more practical concerns and novel characteristics of the crashback flow.


DDES, DTMB 4381, Flow Instabilities, Flow Regimes, MARIN 7371R, Propeller Crashback


xi, 73 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 71-73).


Copyright © 2017 Matthew Pontarelli