Browse Publications Technical Papers 2009-01-1169
2009-04-20

Heavy Vehicle Wheel Housing Flows - a Parametric Study 2009-01-1169

The drag from the underbody, including wheels and wheel housing, constitutes a significant amount of the total aerodynamic drag of heavy vehicles. A correct simulation of the underbody boundary conditions, including rotating wheels and moving ground, has turned out to be of great importance in the minimising of the aerodynamic drag. In the current study several front wheel housing design parameters have been evaluated using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Design concepts, like enclosed inner wheel housings, underbody panel and wheel housing ventilation, were evaluated by flow analysis and comparison of the drag force contribution.
It was shown that changes to the wheel housing geometry had an important impact on the local flow field and force distribution. The total drag of the vehicle decreased with reduced wheel housing volume and wheel housing ventilation can reduce the aerodynamic drag significantly provided it is designed properly. It was also found that even though there were large differences in the drag force of each component the change in total drag was small.

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