Browse Publications Technical Papers 2020-01-0686

Wake study on isolated, detailed and rotating car wheels 2020-01-0686

Wheels on passenger vehicles cause about 25% of the aerodynamic drag. The interference of rims and tires in combination with the rotation result in strongly turbulent wake regions with complex flow phenomena. This wake structures interact with the flow around the vehicle. To understand the wake structures of wheels and their aerodynamic impact on the aerodynamic drag of the vehicle, the complexity was reduced by investigating a standalone tire in the windtunnel. Besides the influence of geometry changes on the acting forces, the wake region behind the wheel is investigated via Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV). The average flow field behind the investigated wheels is captured with this method and offers insight into the flow field. The investigation of the wake region allows to attribute changes in the flow field to the change of tires and rims. Due to increased calculation performance sophisticated CFD simulations can capture detailed geometries like the tire tread and the movement of the rim. Therefore, the wake investigation via PIV is a usable basis to compare it to results of such new CFD simulation methods. In this research the windtunnel results are compared to a Delayed Detached Eddy Simulation in OpenFOAM. The rotation of the rim is modelled with a Sliding Mesh and the rotation of the grooves is modeled with a Multiple Reference Frame approach. To investigate correct geometries, the actual tire geometry under rotation is measured to be able to reproduce the experimental setup. The simulation results are compared to the windtunnel data. The simulations offer further insight into the flow around wheels and their complex wake region.


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