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Technical Paper

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.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of the Flow Around a Generic SUV

The results of an experimental investigation of the flow in the near wake of a generic Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) model are presented. The main goals of the study are to gain a better understanding of the external aerodynamics of SUVs, and to obtain a comprehensive experimental database that can be used as a benchmark to validate math-based CFD simulations for external aerodynamics. Data obtained in this study include the instantaneous and mean pressures, as well as mean velocities and turbulent quantities at various locations in the near wake. Mean pressure coefficients on the base of the SUV model vary from −0.23 to −0.1. The spectrum of the pressure coefficient fluctuation at the base of the model has a weak peak at a Strouhal number of 0.07. PIV measurements show a complex three-dimensional recirculation region behind the model of length approximately 1.2 times the width of the model.
Technical Paper

Experimental Investigation of the Near Wake of a Pick-up Truck

The results of an experimental investigation of the flow over a pickup truck are presented. The main objectives of the study are to gain a better understanding of the flow structure in near wake region, and to obtain a detailed quantitative data set for validation of numerical simulations of this flow. Experiments were conducted at moderate Reynolds numbers (∼3×105) in the open return tunnel at the University of Michigan. Measured quantities include: the mean pressure on the symmetry plane, unsteady pressure in the bed, and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) measurements of the flow in the near wake. The unsteady pressure results show that pressure fluctuations in the forward section of the bed are small and increase significantly at the edge of the tailgate. Pressure fluctuation spectra at the edge of the tailgate show a spectral peak at a Strouhal number of 0.07 and large energy content at very low frequency.