Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-36-0103

Truck Trailer Aerodynamic Design Optimization Through CFD Simulations 2019-36-0103

Cargo trucks are one of the most important and flexible ways of moving cargo within inlands. In some countries, such as Brazil, the economy relies on them to transport all kinds of products, from field and factory to consumer. In order to reduce freight prices, beside route optimization, truck manufactures started to focus on the aerodynamics development of those vehicles, in order to improve the efficiency, reducing fuel consumption and emissions. Although the truck aerodynamics development is important, most vehicles are not manufactured or don’t consider the truck trailer, which plays a key role in the full aerodynamics performance of the truck, once it might increase the front area and also change the overall aero performance.
Considering the fact that only few Wind Tunnel facilities in the world are capable of testing a full truck with trailer, the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations for the evaluation of the full truck system became the best solution in order to improve the aerodynamic performance of those vehicles. The study here presented proposes the CFD evaluation of a full truck, focusing on both truck and trailer design, evaluating different body styles and also evaluating the performance of exterior aerodynamic parts assembled on the vehicle.
Results are presented as a comparative between the baseline full truck and conceptual designs in terms of drag coefficient increments and also an image comparison between the baseline case and best case in terms of drag performance. This work wants to present an optimized geometry for the truck trailer, without losing cargo capacity, combined with the truck aerodynamics and extra improvements, pointing out that aerodynamics increments can’t be added as a simple sum of factors.


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