Exploratory Experimental Studies of Forces and Flow Structure on a Bluff Body with Variable Diffuser and Wheel Configurations 2008-01-0326
This paper summarizes an experimental study of an isolated bluff body in ground effect and the same body with the addition of nearby non-rotating wheels. First, theoretical and experimental trends relating to ground proximity and diffuser mechanics are reviewed. Next, experimental forces and flow patterns for a body alone were found, resulting in a maximum lift coefficient of approximately 0.80. Subsequently, the addition of stationary wheels, not attached to the body, significantly diminished the downforce generation by as much as 65%. Quantitative trends as well as tuft and neutrally buoyant bubble flow observations were carried out to infer the appropriate flow physics. Specifically, it is concluded that the wheels decrease body downforce by impeding the creation of strong vortices in the diffuser, deflecting flow in a potential manner, and introducing energy dissipating wake turbulence into the diffuser. Comparison to computational work performed by Desai, et al. (2008) correlated well with the wind tunnel data and subsequent conclusions. Future work is proposed.