CFD Simulations for Flow Over Pickup Trucks
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was used to simulate the flow field over a pickup truck. The simulation was based on a steady state formulation and the focus of the simulation was to assess the capabilities of the currently used CFD tools for vehicle aerodynamic development for pickup trucks. Detailed comparisons were made between the CFD simulations and the existing experiments for a generic pickup truck. It was found that the flow structures obtained from the CFD calculations are very similar to the corresponding measured mean flows. Furthermore, the surface pressure distributions are captured reasonably well by the CFD analysis. Comparison for aerodynamic drags was carried out for both the generic pickup truck and a production pickup truck. Both the simulations and the measurements show the same trends for the drag as the vehicle geometry changes, This suggests that the steady state CFD simulation can be used to aid the aerodynamic development of pickup trucks.