Wheel Design Sensitive Analysis on Drag of Small Sedan Vehicle 2015-36-0168
The automakers pursue for fuel economy is increasing year after year, both by the demands of society and by political pressures, leading companies to develop new solutions and technologies in order to increase the energy efficiency of vehicles.
With the advent of CFD software, it is possible to study drag reduction proposals, which contributes to increase fuel economy.
In this context, based on a small sedan vehicle virtual drag model, correlated with the wind tunnel test, a conceptual wheel was assembled proposing 3 blade angles in order to verify the influence on the drag coefficient.
Considering the drag contribution of wheel in total vehicle drag is around 25%, this work aims to show the sensitivity in the drag coefficient by changing the wheel rim of a small sedan vehicle. The results showed a small decrease in drag performance, however when increasing the number of wheel blades, the drag performance showed an improvement due to the fan effect and by closing the opening wheel area.