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Journal Article

Numerical and Experimental Investigation on Vehicles in Platoon

Many studies have been carried out to optimize the aerodynamic performances of a single car or a single vehicle. In present days the traffic increases and sophisticated technologies are developing to guarantee the drivers safety, to minimize the fuel consumption and be more environmentally friendly. Within this research area a new technique that is being studied is Platooning: this means that different vehicles travel in a configuration that minimizes the aerodynamic drag and therefore the fuel consumption and the longitudinal space. In the present study platoons with different vehicles and configurations are taken into account, to analyze the influence of car shape and relative distance between the vehicles. The research has been carried out using CFD techniques to investigate the different flow fields around different platoons, while wind tunnel tests have been used to validate the results of the CFD simulations.
Journal Article

Geometric and Fluid-Dynamic Characterization of Actual Open Cell Foam Samples by a Novel Imaging Analysis Based Algorithm

Metallic open-cell foams have proven to be valuable for many engineering applications. Their success is mainly related to mechanical strength, low density, high specific surface, good thermal exchange, low flow resistance and sound absorption properties. The present work aims to investigate three principal aspects of real foams: the geometrical characterization, the flow regime characterization, the effects of the pore size and the porosity on the pressure drop. The first aspect is very important, since the geometrical properties depend on other parameters, such as porosity, cell/pore size and specific surface. A statistical evaluation of the cell size of a foam sample is necessary to define both its geometrical characteristics and the flow pattern at a given input velocity. To this purpose, a procedure which statistically computes the number of cells and pores with a given size has been implemented in order to obtain the diameter distribution.
Journal Article

Design of Catalytic Devices by Means of Genetic Algorithm: Comparison Between Open-Cell Foam and Honeycomb Type Substrates

Metallic foams or sponges are materials with a cell structure suitable for many industrial applications, such as reformers, heat catalytic converters, etc. The success of these materials is due to the combination of various characteristics such as mechanical strength, low density, high specific surface, good thermal exchange properties, low flow resistance and sound absorption. Different materials and manufacturing processes produce different type of structure and properties for various applications. In this work a genetic algorithm has been developed and applied to support the design of catalytic devices. In particular, two substrates were considered, namely the traditional honeycomb and an alternative open-cell foam type. CFD simulations of pressure losses and literature based correlations for the heat and mass transfer were used to support the genetic algorithm in finding the best compromise between flow resistance and pollutant abatement.
Technical Paper

Tire Ply-Steer, Conicity and Rolling Resistance - Analytical Formulae for Accurate Assessment of Vehicle Performance during Straight Running

The aim of the paper is to provide simple and accurate analytical formulae describing the straight motion of a road vehicle. Such formulae can be used to compute either the steering torque or the additional rolling resistance induced by vehicle side-slip angle. The paper introduces a revised formulation of the Handling Diagram Theory to take into account tire ply-steer, conicity and road banking. Pacejka’s Handling Diagram Theory is based on a relatively simple fully non-linear single track model. We will refer to the linear part of the Handling Diagram, since straight motion will be considered only. Both the elastokinematics of suspension system and tire characteristics are taken into account. The validation of the analytical expressions has been performed both theoretically and after a subjective-objective test campaign. By means of the new and unreferenced analytical formulae, practical hints are given to set to zero the steering torque during straight running.