Qualitative and Quantitative Aerodynamic Study of a Rotating Wheel inside a Simplified Vehicle Body and Cavity 2019-01-0658
As automotive OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) struggle to reach a balance between Design and Performance, environmental legislation continues to demand more rapid gains in vehicle efficiency. As a result, more attention is being given to the contributions of both tire and wheels. Not only tire rolling resistance, but also tire and wheel aerodynamics are being shown not to be insignificant contributors to overall efficiency. To date, many studies have been done to correlate CFD simulations of rotating wheels both in open and closed wheeled environments to windtunnel results. Whereas this ensures proper predictive capabilities, little focus has been given to thoroughly explaining the physics that govern this complex environment. This study seeks to exhaustively investigate the complex interactions between the ground and body with an encapsulated rotating tire/wheel. Quantitative and Qualitative assessments will be made of wakes, surface pressures, potential flow and how it changes in response to wheel rotation. Ultimately, it was concluded from this study that the contribution of the tire rubber and wheel liner Cavity plays a large role, impacting both the spoke and overall aerodynamics of the wheels and body.