Optimization of Race Car Front Splitter Placement Using CFD 2019-01-5097
The behavior of flow over an automobile’s body has a large effect on vehicle performance, and automobile manufacturers pay close attention to the minimal of the details that affect the performance of the vehicle. An imbalance of downforce between the front and rear portion of the vehicle can lead to significant performance hindrances. Worldwide efforts have been made by leading automobile manufacturers to achieve maximum balanced downforce using aerodynamic elements of vehicle. One such element is the front splitter. This study aims to analyze the aerodynamic performance of automobile at various splitter overhang lengths using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). For the purpose of analysis, a three-dimensional (3D) CFD study was undertaken in ANSYS Fluent using the realizable k-ε turbulence model, based on the 3D compressible Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations. The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) 4412 was taken as profile for the fixed-length splitter attached to a NASCAR 2019 model body. Vehicle speeds of 200, 250, and 300 km/h were considered in order to simulate the velocity of a race car. Drag coefficient, lift coefficient, and velocity contours were studied in order to examine the overall aerodynamic effect of overhang length on vehicle aerodynamic performance and optimize splitter geometry.