Browse Publications Technical Papers 2017-01-1519

Further Analyses on Prediction of Automotive Spinning Wheel Flowfield with Full Width Moving Belt Wind Tunnel Results 2017-01-1519

Pickup trucks are designed with a taller ride height and a larger tire envelope compared to other vehicle types given the duty cycle and environment they operate in. These differences play an important role in the flow field around spinning wheels and tires and their interactions with the vehicle body. From an aerodynamics perspective, understanding and managing this flow field are critical for drag reduction, wheel design, and brake cooling. Furthermore, the validation of numerical simulation methodology is essential for a systematic approach to aerodynamically efficient wheel design as a standard practice of vehicle design.
This paper presents a correlation the near-wheel flow field for both front and rear spinning wheels with two different wheel designs for a Ram Quad Cab pick-up truck with moving ground.
Twelve-hole probe experimental data obtained in a wind tunnel with a full width belt system are compared to the predictions of numerical simulations. In addition to the previous study on a minivan, this paper provides more detailed correlations for a set of new data with two different rim configurations and multiple cross-plane measurements. As a result, the evolution of wheel wake shear layers are three dimensional flow structures are better resolved. The numerical simulations predict the overall wheel wake structures and their changes with different configurations consistently. On the other hand, the flow features with higher discrepancy between the two approaches, such as the wake near wheel contact patch, are also discussed.


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