1994-03-01

A Calibration Study of CFD for Automotive Shapes and CD 940323

An extensive calibration study has been initiated to assess the predictive ability of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) for the aerodynamic design of automotive shapes. Several codes are being checked against a set of detailed wind tunnel measurements on ten car-like shapes. The objective is to assess the ability of numerical analysis to predict the CD (drag coefficient) influence of the rear end configuration. The study also provides a significant base of information for investigating discrepancies between predicted and measured flow fields and for assessing new numerical techniques.
This technical report compares STAR-CD predictions to the wind tunnel measurements. The initial results are quite encouraging. Calculated centerline pressure distributions on the front end, underbody and floor compare well for all ten shapes. Wake flow structures are in reasonable agreement for many of the configurations. Drag, lift, and pitching moment trends follow the experimental measurements. The predicted CD levels, however, are higher than the measurements and, despite the fine computational grid, modeling of the rear end flow is incorrect for some configurations.

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