High-speed water tunnels are typically used to investigate the single-phase and two-phase flows around hydrofoils for hydraulic machinery applications but their dynamic behavior is not usually evaluated. The modal analysis of an NACA0009 hydrofoil inside the test section was calculated with a coupled acoustic fluid–structure model, which shows a good agreement with the experimental results. This numerical model has been used to study the influence on the hydrofoil modes of vibration of the acoustic properties of the surrounding fluid and of the tunnel test section dimensions. It has been found that the natural frequencies of the acoustic domain are inversely proportional to the test section dimensions. Moreover, these acoustic frequencies decrease linearly with the reduction of the speed of sound in the fluid medium. However, the hydrofoil frequencies are not affected by the change of the speed of sound except when they match an acoustic frequency. If both mode shapes are similar, a strong coupling occurs and the hydrofoil vibration follows the linear reduction of natural frequency induced by the acoustic mode. If both mode shapes are dissimilar, a new mode appears whose frequency decreases linearly with speed of sound while keeping the acoustic mode of vibration. This new fluid–structure mode of vibration appears in between two hydrofoil structure modes and its evolution with sound speed reduction has been called “mode transition.” Overall, these findings reinforce the idea that fluid–structure interaction effects must be taken into account when studying the induced vibrations on hydrofoils inside water tunnels.

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