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Journal Article

The Effects of Wheel Design on the Aerodynamic Drag of Passenger Vehicles

2019-04-02
2019-01-0662
Approximately 25 % of a passenger vehicle’s aerodynamic drag comes directly or indirectly from its wheels, indicating that the rim geometry is highly relevant for increasing the vehicle’s overall energy efficiency. An extensive experimental study is presented where a parametric model of the rim design was developed, and statistical methods were employed to isolate the aerodynamic effects of certain geometric rim parameters. In addition to wind tunnel force measurements, this study employed the flowfield measurement techniques of wake surveys, wheelhouse pressure measurements, and base pressure measurements to investigate and explain the most important parameters’ effects on the flowfield. In addition, a numerical model of the vehicle with various rim geometries was developed and used to further elucidate the effects of certain geometric parameters on the flow field.
Journal Article

Tyre Pattern Features and Their Effects on Passenger Vehicle Drag

2018-04-03
2018-01-0710
In light of the drive for energy efficiency and low CO2 emissions, extensive research is performed to reduce vehicle aerodynamic drag. The wheels are relatively shielded from the main flow compared to the exterior of the passenger car; however, they are typically responsible for around 25% of the overall vehicle drag. This contribution is large as the wheels and tyres protrude into the flow and change the flow structure around the vehicle underbody. Given that the tyre is the first part of the wheel to get in contact with the oncoming flow, its shape and features have a significant impact on the flow pattern that develops. This study aims at identifying the general effects of two main tyre features, the longitudinal rain grooves and lateral pattern grooves, using both Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and wind tunnel tests. This is performed by cutting generic representations of these details into identical slick tyres.
Technical Paper

Simplifications Applied to Simulation of Turbulence Induced by a Side View Mirror of a Full-Scale Truck Using DES

2018-04-03
2018-01-0708
In this paper, the turbulent flow induced by a production side-view mirror assembled on a full-scale production truck is simulated using a compressible k-ω SST detached eddy simulation (DES) approach -- the improved delayed DES (IDDES). The truck configuration consists of a compartment and a trailer. Due to the large size and geometric complexity of the configuration, some simplifications are applied to the simulation. A purpose of this work is to investigate whether the simplifications are suitable to obtain the reasonable properties of the flow near the side-view mirror. Another objective is to study the aerodynamic performances of the mirror. The configuration is simplified regarding two treatments. The first treatment is to retain the key exterior components of the truck body while removing the small gaps and structures. Furthermore, the trailer is shaped in an apex-truncated square pyramid.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Interior Noise from Generic Side- View Mirror Using Incompressible and Compressible Solvers of DES and LES

2018-04-03
2018-01-0735
Exterior turbulent flow is an important source of automobile cabin interior noise. The turbulent flow impacts the windows of the cabins to excite the structural vibration that emits the interior noise. Meanwhile, the exterior noise generated from the turbulent flow can also cause the window vibration and generate the interior noise. Side-view mirrors mounted upstream of the windows are one of the predominant body parts inducing the turbulent flow. In this paper, we investigate the interior noise caused by a generic side-view mirror. The interior noise propagates in a cuboid cavity with a rectangular glass window. The exterior flow and the exterior noise are computed using advanced CFD methods: compressible large eddy simulation, compressible detached eddy simulation (DES), incompressible DES, and incompressible DES coupled with an acoustic wave model. The last method is used to simulate the hydrodynamic and acoustic pressure separately.
Technical Paper

Investigations of the Rear-End Flow Structures on a Sedan Car

2016-04-05
2016-01-1606
The aerodynamic drag, fuel consumption and hence CO2 emissions, of a road vehicle depend strongly on its flow structures and the pressure drag generated. The rear end flow which is an area of complex three-dimensional flow structures, contributes to the wake development and the overall aerodynamic performance of the vehicle. This paper seeks to provide improved insight into this flow region to better inform future drag reduction strategies. Using experimental and numerical techniques, two vehicle shapes have been studied; a 30% scale model of a Volvo S60 representing a 2003MY vehicle and a full scale 2010MY S60. First the surface topology of the rear end (rear window and trunk deck) of both configurations is analysed, using paint to visualise the skin friction pattern. By means of critical points, the pattern is characterized and changes are identified studying the location and type of the occurring singularities.
Technical Paper

Surface Flow Visualization on a Full-Scale Passenger Car with Quantitative Tuft Image Processing

2016-04-05
2016-01-1582
Flow visualization techniques are widely used in aerodynamics to investigate the surface trace pattern. In this experimental investigation, the surface flow pattern over the rear end of a full-scale passenger car is studied using tufts. The movement of the tufts is recorded with a DSLR still camera, which continuously takes pictures. A novel and efficient tuft image processing algorithm has been developed to extract the tuft orientations in each image. This allows the extraction of the mean tuft angle and other such statistics. From the extracted tuft angles, streamline plots are created to identify points of interest, such as saddle points as well as separation and reattachment lines. Furthermore, the information about the tuft orientation in each time step allows studying steady and unsteady flow phenomena. Hence, the tuft image processing algorithm provides more detailed information about the surface flow than the traditional tuft method.
Journal Article

Structures of Flow Separation on a Passenger Car

2015-04-14
2015-01-1529
The phenomenon of three-dimensional flow separation is and has been in the focus of many researchers. An improved understanding of the physics and the driving forces is desired to be able to improve numerical simulations and to minimize aerodynamic drag over bluff bodies. To investigate the sources of separation one wants to understand what happens at the surface when the flow starts to detach and the upwelling of the streamlines becomes strong. This observation of a flow leaving the surface could be captured by investigating the limiting streamlines and surface parameters as pressure, vorticity or the shear stress. In this paper, numerical methods are used to investigate the surface pressure and flow patterns on a sedan passenger vehicle. Observed limiting streamlines are compared to the pressure distribution and their correlation is shown. For this investigation the region behind the antenna and behind the wheel arch, are pointed out and studied in detail.
Technical Paper

A 1D Method for Transient Simulations of Cooling Systems with Non-Uniform Temperature and Flow Boundaries Extracted from a 3D CFD Solution

2015-04-14
2015-01-0337
The current work investigates a method in 1D modeling of cooling systems including discretized cooling package with non-uniform boundary conditions. In a stacked cooling package the heat transfer through each heat exchanger depends on the mass flows and temperature fields. These are a result of complex three-dimensional phenomena, which take place in the under-hood and are highly non-uniform. A typical approach in 1D simulations is to assume these to be uniform, which reduces the authenticity of the simulation and calls for additional calibrations, normally done with input from test measurements. The presented work employs 3D CFD simulations of complete vehicle in STAR-CCM+ to perform a comprehensive study of mass-flow and thermal distribution over the inlet of the cooling package of a Volvo FM commercial vehicle in several steady-state operating points.
Technical Paper

Wake and Unsteady Surface-Pressure Measurements on an SUV with Rear-End Extensions

2015-04-14
2015-01-1545
Previous research on both small-scale and full-scale vehicles shows that base extensions are an effective method to increase the base pressure, enhancing pressure recovery and reducing the wake size. These extensions decrease drag at zero yaw, but show an even larger improvement at small yaw angles. In this paper, rear extensions are investigated on an SUV in the Volvo Cars Aerodynamic Wind Tunnel with focus on the wake flow and on the unsteady behavior of the surface pressures near the base perimeter. To increase the effect of the extensions on the wake flow, the investigated configurations have a closed upper- and lower grille (closed-cooling) and the underbody has been smoothed with additional panels. This paper aims to analyze differences in flow characteristics on the wake of an SUV at 0° and 2.5° yaw, caused by different sets of extensions attached to the base perimeter. Extensions with several lengths are investigated with and without a kick.
Technical Paper

Effect of Rear-End Extensions on the Aerodynamic Forces of an SUV

2014-04-01
2014-01-0602
Under a global impulse for less man-made emissions, the automotive manufacturers search for innovative methods to reduce the fuel consumption and hence the CO2-emissions. Aerodynamics has great potential to aid the emission reduction since aerodynamic drag is an important parameter in the overall driving resistance force. As vehicles are considered bluff bodies, the main drag source is pressure drag, caused by the difference between front and rear pressure. Therefore increasing the base pressure is a key parameter to reduce the aerodynamic drag. From previous research on small-scale and full-scale vehicles, rear-end extensions are known to have a positive effect on the base pressure, enhancing pressure recovery and reducing the wake area. This paper investigates the effect of several parameters of these extensions on the forces, on the surface pressures of an SUV in the Volvo Cars Aerodynamic Wind Tunnel and compares them with numerical results.
Journal Article

A Computational Investigation of Ground Simulation for a Saloon Car

2014-04-01
2014-01-0615
Automotive aerodynamics measurements and simulations now routinely use a moving ground and rotating wheels (MVG&RW), which is more representative of on-road conditions than the fixed ground-fixed wheel (FG&FW) alternative. This can be understood as a combination of three elements: (a) moving ground (MVG), (b) rotating front wheels (RWF) and (c) rotating rear wheels (RWR). The interaction of these elements with the flow field has been explored to date by mainly experimental means. This paper presents a mainly computational (CFD) investigation of the effect of RWF and RWR, in combination with MVG, on the flow field around a saloon vehicle. The influence of MVG&RW is presented both in terms of a combined change from a FG&FW baseline and the incremental effects seen by the addition of each element separately. For this vehicle, noticeable decrease in both drag and rear lift is shown when adding MVG&RW, whereas front lift shows little change.
Journal Article

Investigation of the Influence of Tyre Geometry on the Aerodynamics of Passenger Cars

2013-04-08
2013-01-0955
It is well known that wheels are responsible for a significant amount of the total aerodynamic drag of passenger vehicles. Tyres, and mostly rims, have been the subject of research in the automotive industry for the past years, but their effect and interaction with each other and with the car exterior is still not completely understood. This paper focuses on the use of CFD to study the effects of tyre geometry (tyre profile and tyre tread) on road vehicle aerodynamics. Whenever possible, results of the numerical computations are compared with experiments. More than sixty configurations were simulated. These simulations combined different tyre profiles, treads, rim designs and spoke orientation on two car types: a sedan and a sports wagon. Two tyre geometries were obtained directly from the tyre manufacturer, while a third geometry was obtained from our database and represents a generic tyre which covers different profiles of a given tyre size.
Technical Paper

Analysis of Transient Compressible Gas Jets Using High Speed Schlieren Imaging

2013-04-08
2013-01-0871
Transient compressible gas jets, as encountered in direct injection gas fuel engines, have been examined using Schlieren visualization. Helium has been injected into air in a pressure chamber to create the jets examined. The structure of the jets is studied from the mean and coefficient of variation of the penetration length, jet width and jet angle. The quantities are calculated by digital image processing of Schlieren images captured with a high-speed camera. Injection pressure and chamber pressure have been varied to determine whether they have an effect on the response variables. Design of experiments methods have been used to develop the scheme employed in performing the experiments. The mean normalized penetration length of the jets is found to scale with injection to chamber pressure ratio and is in agreement with a momentum conserving relation given in the literature. The dispersion of the penetration length has been found to be in agreement with a normal distribution.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Numerical Investigations of the Base Wake on an SUV

2013-04-08
2013-01-0464
With the increase in fuel prices and the increasingly strict environmental legislations regarding CO₂ emissions, reduction of the total energy consumption of our society becomes more important. Passenger vehicles are partly responsible for this consumption due to their strong presence in the daily life of most people. Therefore reducing the impact of cars on the environment can assist in decreasing the overall energy consumption. Even though several fields have an impact on a passenger car's performance, this paper will focus on the aerodynamic part and more specifically, the wake behind a vehicle. By definition a car is a bluff body on which the air resistance is for the most part driven by pressure drag. This is caused by the wake these bodies create. Therefore analyzing the wake characteristics behind a vehicle is crucial if one would like to reduce drag.
Technical Paper

Effect of Semi-Active Front Axle Suspension Design on Vehicle Comfort and Road Holding for a Heavy Truck

2012-09-24
2012-01-1931
Semi-active suspension systems for ground vehicles have been the focus of research for several years as they offer improvements in vehicle comfort and handling. This kind of suspension has attracted more interest compared to active suspension systems especially due to lower cost and energy consumption. In this paper the capabilities of a semi-active front axle suspension are investigated for a commercial vehicle. A half-truck model of a 4x2 tractor and semitrailer combination is developed in Matlab/Simulink for this purpose. Also, a 2 DOF roll plane model is considered to capture the roll motion of the vehicle body mass. Employing the above-mentioned models, results from on-off and continuous variable semi-active damping systems are compared to the ones from the passive suspension system according to ride comfort and handling safety characteristics.
Technical Paper

Interaction of Downforce Generating Devices and Cooling Air Flow - A Numerical and Experimental Study on Open Wheeled Race Cars

2012-04-16
2012-01-1165
This study reflects on two areas of vehicle aerodynamics, optimising cooling performance and features that will improve the handling of the car. Both areas will have a significant impact on the overall performance of the car and at the same time these areas are linked to each other. The considered vehicle in this study was the Chalmers Formula Student 2011 Formula SAE car and the flow field was analysed using both numerical simulations as well as performing wind tunnel experiments on a 1:3-scale model of the car. The focus on increasing downforce without increasing the aerodynamic drag is particularly good in Formula SAE since fuel economy is an event at the competition. Therefore, the intention of this work is to present a study on how undertrays with different design such as added foot plates, diffuser and strakes can improve the downforce and reduce the drag.
Technical Paper

Influences of Different Front and Rear Wheel Designs on Aerodynamic Drag of a Sedan Type Passenger Car

2011-04-12
2011-01-0165
Efforts towards ever more energy efficient passenger cars have become one of the largest challenges of the automotive industry. This involves numerous different fields of engineering, and every finished model is always a compromise between different requirements. Passenger car aerodynamics is no exception; the shape of the exterior is often dictated by styling, engine bay region by packaging issues etcetera. Wheel design is also a compromise between different requirements such as aerodynamic drag and brake cooling, but as the wheels and wheel housings are responsible for up to a quarter of the overall aerodynamic drag on a modern passenger car, it is not surprising that efforts are put towards improving the wheel aerodynamics.
Technical Paper

A Study on Head Injury Risk in Car-to-Pedestrian Collisions Using FE-Model

2009-06-09
2009-01-2263
Head injury is quite frequently occurred in car-to-pedestrian collisions, which often places an enormous burden to victims and society. To address head protection and understand the head injury mechanisms, in-depth accident investigation and accident reconstructions were conducted. A total of 6 passenger-cars to adult-pedestrian accidents were sampled from the in-depth accident investigation in Changsha China. Accidents were firstly reconstructed by using Multi-bodies (MBS) pedestrian and car models. The head impact conditions such as head impact velocity; position and orientation were calculated from MBS reconstructions, which were then employed to set the initial conditions in the simulation of a head model striking a windshield using Finite Element (FE) head and windshield models. The intracranial pressure and stress distribution of the FE head model were calculated and correlated with the injury outcomes.
Technical Paper

Heavy Vehicle Wheel Housing Flows - a Parametric Study

2009-04-20
2009-01-1169
The drag from the underbody, including wheels and wheel housing, constitutes a significant amount of the total aerodynamic drag of heavy vehicles. A correct simulation of the underbody boundary conditions, including rotating wheels and moving ground, has turned out to be of great importance in the minimising of the aerodynamic drag. In the current study several front wheel housing design parameters have been evaluated using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). Design concepts, like enclosed inner wheel housings, underbody panel and wheel housing ventilation, were evaluated by flow analysis and comparison of the drag force contribution. It was shown that changes to the wheel housing geometry had an important impact on the local flow field and force distribution. The total drag of the vehicle decreased with reduced wheel housing volume and wheel housing ventilation can reduce the aerodynamic drag significantly provided it is designed properly.
Journal Article

Detailed Flow Studies in Close Proximity of Rotating Wheels on a Passenger Car

2009-04-20
2009-01-0778
Moving ground systems with rotating wheels have been used in wind tunnel tests during the last decades. Several studies on the effects of rotating wheels and the importance of wheel aerodynamics have been published. It is well known that both the local flow field and the global aerodynamic forces are affected by rotation of the wheels. Different studies indicate that the most significant effect from rotating the wheels is interference effects between the rear wheels and the underbody and vehicle base [1], [2]. A detailed flow field investigation around the wheels in close proximity to the vehicle has been performed on a passenger car in the Volvo Aerodynamic Wind Tunnel. Two omnidirectional 12-hole pressure probes were traversed in a number of planes close to the wheels. Effects of changing different parameters such as ground simulation and rim geometry were investigated. The local flow field has been scrutinised and related to the global aerodynamic properties of the vehicle.
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