Convective Heat Transfer Optimization of Automotive Brake Discs 2009-01-0859
Under intensive braking, such as continuous down-hill braking, high temperatures could be generated in automotive brake disks. The heat dissipation and thermal performance of vented brake discs strongly depends on the aerodynamic characteristics of the air flow through the rotor passages and the geometry configurations of brake discs. In this paper, commercial software GAMBIT is used for geometrical modeling and automatic mesh generating for brake rotors. Then, a computational fluid dynamic package, FLUENT, is employed to simulate the turbulent motions of air flow through the vented discs. Through the numerical simulations, the design criteria regarding the heat transfer rate and air flow rate of the discs are predicted. To optimize the 2-D and 3-D geometrical configurations of the brake discs, commercial software iSIGHT is used to integrate the geometrical modeling with GAMBIT and numerical simulations based on CFD software FLUENT. With the design of experiment studies implemented through this integrated design synthesis process, the thermal performance of brake rotors is greatly improved by optimizing disc outer and inner radii, vane numbers, vane angles, and the radius of vane curvature.