Browse Publications Technical Papers 2006-01-3532
2006-10-31

Aerodynamic Drag Reduction of the Underbody of a Class-8 Tractor-Trailer 2006-01-3532

Experimental measurements of a 1:20-scale tractor-trailer configuration were obtained in the 48- by 32-Inch Subsonic Wind Tunnel at NASA Ames Research Center. The model included significant details of the underbody geometries of both the tractor and trailer. In addition, the tractor included a flow-through grill and a simplified engine block to provide an approximation of the flow through the engine compartment. The experiment was conducted at a Reynolds Number of 430,000 for yaw angles between ±14 deg. The measurements included forces and moments and static surface pressures for various underbody configurations. Simple fairings on the underbodies of the tractor and trailer both yielded a reduction in the wind-averaged drag coefficient of 0.018 (2.7%) when tested separately. A horizontal plate designed to block vertical flow in the tractor-trailer gap provided marginally higher drag reduction (0.021, or 3.2%). Trailer side skirts were considerably more effective producing a drag reduction of 0.073 (11%).

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