Aerodynamic Sensitivity Analysis of Wheel Shape Factors 2019-01-0667
Wheels play an important role in aerodynamic drag of passenger vehicles. This is because the contribution of wheels to aerodynamic drag comes from not only wheel itself, but interference effect between wheel wakes and the base wake. As far as we know, there have been no reports about aerodynamic drag sensitivity of wheel shape factors in different vehicle type and different exterior body shape. The purpose of this study was to clarify Cd sensitivity of wheel shape factors in sedan and SUV included different rear fender shape. Many different wheel configurations were investigated in terms of Cd, base pressure and flow field in wind tunnel experiments. Multiple regression analysis was conducted to clarify Cd sensitivity of each wheel shape factors based on test data. The study revealed high Cd sensitivity factors in both sedan and SUV. Our findings show that wheel shape factors and its Cd sensitivities give design guideline for aerodynamic drag reduction.