1997-04-08

Vehicle Cross Wind Air Flow Analysis 971517

CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) has been used to analyze vehicle air flow. In cross wind conditions an asymmetrical flow field around the vehicle is present. Under these circumstances, in addition to the forces present with symmetric air flow (drag and lift forces and pitching moment), side forces and moments (rolling and yawing) occur. Issues related to fuel economy, driveability, sealing effects (caused by suction exerted on the door), structural integrity (sun roof, spoiler), water management (rain deposit), and dirt deposit (shear stress) have been investigated. Due to the software developments and computer hardware improvements, results can be obtained within a reasonable time frame with excellent accuracy (both geometry and analytical solution). The flow velocity, streamlines, pressure field, and component forces can be extracted from the analysis results through visualization to identify potential improvement areas. It is concluded therefore that CFD is a practical tool to analyze the vehicle air flow field and to positively influence the design process.

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