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Technical Paper

Effect of Test Section Configuration on Aerodynamic Drag Measurements

Aerodynamic measurements in automotive wind tunnels are degraded by test section interference effects, which increase with increasing vehicle blockage ratio. The current popularity of large vehicles (i.e. trucks and sport utility vehicles) makes this a significant issue. This paper describes the results of an experimental investigation carried out in support of the Ford/Sverdrup Driveability Test Facility (DTF), which includes an aero-acoustic wind tunnel (Wind Tunnel No. 8). The objective was to quantify the aerodynamic interference associated with two candidate test section configurations for Wind Tunnel No. 8-semi-open jet and slotted wall. The experiments were carried out at 1/11-scale in Sverdrup laboratories. Four automobile shapes (MIRA models) and six Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) shapes representing blockages from 7% to 25% were used to evaluate changes in measured aerodynamic coefficients for the two test section configurations.
Technical Paper

Wind Noise and Drag Optimization Test Method for Sail-Mounted Exterior Mirrors

An L18 Taguchi-style Design of Experiments (DOE) with eight factors was used to optimize exterior mirrors for wind noise and drag. Eighteen mirror properties were constructed and tested on a full size greenhouse buck at the Lockheed low-speed wind tunnel in Marietta, GA. Buck interior sound data and drag measurements were taken at 80 MPH wind speed (0° yaw angle). Key wind noise parameters were the fore/aft length of mirror housing and the plan view angle of the mirror housing's inboard surface. Key drag parameters were the fore/aft length of the mirror housing, the cross-section shape of the mirror pedestal, and the angle of the pedestal (relative to the wind).
Technical Paper

Transient CFD Simulations of a Bell Sprayer

A methodology is developed that incorporates high resolution CFD flowfield information and a particle trajectory simulation, aimed at addressing Paint Transfer Efficiency (PTE) for bell sprayers. Given a solid model for the bell sprayer, the CFD simulation, through automeshing, determines a high resolution Cartesian volume mesh (14-20 million cells). With specified values of the initial shaping air, transient and steady-state flow field information is obtained. A particle trajectory visualization tool called SpraySIM uses this complicated flowfield information to determine the particle trajectories of the paint particles under the influence of drag, gravity and electrostatic potential. The sensitivity of PTE on shaping air velocity, charge-to-mass ratio, potential, and particle diameter are examined.
Technical Paper

Shape Optimization of IC Engine Ports and Chambers

Intense competition and global regulations in the automotive industry has placed unprecedented demands on the performance, efficiency, and emissions of today's IC engines. The success or failure of a new engine design to meet these often-conflicting requirements is primarily dictated by its capability to provide minimal restriction for the inducted and exhausted flow and by its capability to generate strong large-scale in-cylinder motion. The first criterion is directly linked to power performance of the engine, while the latter has been shown to control the burn rate in IC engines. Enhanced burn rates are favorable to engine efficiency and partial load performance. CFD based Numerical Simulations have recently made it possible to study the development of such engine flows in great details. However, they offer little guidance for modifying the ports and chamber geometry controlling the flow to meet the desired performance.
Technical Paper

Three-Dimensional Simulations of Automotive Catalytic Converter Internal Flow

The three-dimensional non-reacting flow field inside a typical dual-monolith automotive catalytic converter was simulated using finite difference analysis. The monolithic brick resistance was formulated from the pressure gradient of fully developed laminar duct-flow and corrected for the entrance effect. This correlation was found to agree with experimental pressure drop data, and was introduced as an additional source term into the non-dimensional momentum governing equation within the brick. Flow distribution within the monolith was found to depend strongly on the diffuser performance, which is a complex function of flow Reynolds number, brick resistance, and inlet pipe length and bending angles. A distribution index was formulated to quantify the degree of non-uniformity at selected test cases covering ranges of flow conditions, brick types, and inlet conditions.
Technical Paper

Mechanical Drag Model for an Electric Machine

Mechanical losses in electric machines can contribute significantly to overall system losses in an electric drive [1]. With a permanent magnet synchronous machine (PMSM), measuring mechanical losses is difficult without an un-magnetized rotor. Even with an un-magnetized rotor, physical testing can be time consuming and expensive. This paper presents a simple theoretical model of mechanical drag in an electric machine. The model was built using calculations for bearing, seal, and windage drag and was compared to experimental results from testing with un-magnetized motors. Based on this information, the model was modified to better represent the physical system. The goal of this work is to understand the contributors to mechanical drag, to be able to estimate mechanical losses without physical testing, and to be able to quickly evaluate design choices that could reduce mechanical losses.
Technical Paper

Identification of Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor Parameters

For high performance motor controls applications such as electric vehicles, accurate motor parameter knowledge is required. Motor parameters like d-axis inductance, q-axis inductance, resistance and permanent magnet flux linkage are difficult to obtain and measure directly. These four parameters can be reduced to three parameters resistance, d-axis and q axis flux linkage. In this paper, a new scheme is proposed to approximate d-axis and q-axis flux linkage using measured torque, dq-axis measured current, and dq-axis voltage commands to the inverter. d-axis and q-axis flux linkages are estimated over a range of d-axis and q-axis currents that fully map the desired motor operation region.
Technical Paper

Ting Noise Generation in Automotive Applications

Automobile customers are looking for higher performance and quieter comfortable rides. The driveline of a vehicle can be a substantial source of NVH issues. This paper provides an understanding of a driveline noise issue which can affect any variant of driveline architecture (FWD, AWD, RWD and 4X4). This metallic noise is mostly present during the take-off and appropriately termed as ting noise. This noise was not prevalent in the past. For higher fuel economy, OEMs started integrating several components for lighter subsystems. This in effect made the system more sensitive to the excitation. At present the issue is addressed by adding a ting washer in the interface of the wheel hub bearings and the halfshafts. This paper explains the physics behind the excitation and defines the parameters that influence the excitation. The halfshaft and the wheel hub are assembled with a specified hub nut torque.
Technical Paper

An Extensive Validation of an Open Source Based Solution for Automobile External Aerodynamics

The number of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations performed during the vehicle aerodynamic development process continues to expand at a rapid rate. One key contributor to this trend is the number of analytically based designed experiments performed to support vehicle aerodynamic shape development. A second contributor is the number of aerodynamic optimization studies performed for vehicle exterior components such as mirrors, underbody shields, spoilers, etc. A third contributor is the increasing number of “what if” exploratory studies performed early in the design process when the design is relatively fluid. Licensing costs for commercial CFD solutions can become a significant constraint as the number of simulations expands.
Technical Paper

The Application of a One-Way Coupled Aerodynamic and Multi-Body Dynamics Simulation Process to Predict Vehicle Response during a Severe Crosswind Event

Industry trends towards lighter, more aerodynamically efficient road vehicles have the potential to degrade a vehicle’s response to crosswinds. In this paper, a methodology is outlined that indirectly couples a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation of the vehicle’s aerodynamic characteristics with a multi-body dynamics simulation (MBD) to determine yaw, roll and pitch response characteristics during a severe crosswind event. This one-way coupling approach mimics physical test conditions outlined in open loop test procedure ISO 12021:2010 that forms part of the vehicle sign-off criterion at Ford Motor Company. The methodology uses an overset mesh CFD method to drive the vehicle through a prescribed crosswind event, providing unfiltered predictions of vehicle force and moment responses that are used as applied forces in the MBD model. The method does not account for changes in vehicle attitude due to applied aerodynamic forces and moments.
Technical Paper

Simulation of Flow Control Devices in Support of Vehicle Drag Reduction

Flow control devices can enable vehicle drag reduction through the mitigation of separation and by modifying local and global flow features. Passive vortex generators (VG) are an example of a flow control device that can be designed to re-energize weakly-attached boundary layers to prevent or minimize separation regions that can increase drag. Accurate numerical simulation of such devices and their impact on the vehicle aerodynamics is an important step towards enabling automated drag reduction and shape optimization for a wide range of vehicle concepts. This work demonstrates the use of an open-source computational-fluid dynamics (CFD) framework to enable an accurate and robust evaluation of passive vortex generators in support of vehicle drag reduction. Specifically, the backlight separation of the Ahmed body with a 25° slant is used to evaluate different turbulence models including variants of the RANS, DES, and LES formulations.
Technical Paper


This paper describes the design and build of an experimental super transport truck for high-speed, long distance freight hauling on the interstate highway system of the 1970's. The tractor, powered by a 600-hp gas turbine engine, pulls two 40-foot tandem axle trailers at a G.C.W. of 170,000 lbs. Details of the turbine engine development are covered in SAE paper, No. 991B. One of the features of the super transport truck is the cab, which is designed for long-distance, non-stop, two-man operation. It is provided with sleeping accommodations, washroom conveniences, food facilities, and a complete heating and air-conditioning system. The 13-foot high cab roof is flush with the top of the trailers, providing a substantial aerodynamic advantage. Other features and components of the truck are described, and observations made during the 5500-mile national tour are discussed.
Technical Paper

Engineering Development off the Probe IV Advanced Concept Vehicle

The application of aerodynamics to the automobile in the last several years has grown considerably. Ford Motor Company, a forerunner in the use of this technology in both their production and concept vehicles, recently unveiled its latest advanced concept vehicle - Probe IV. This paper discusses the various engineering developments which made this vehicle a reality. Specifically, addressed are those engineering developments which were necessary to accommodate the unique styling and aerodynamic functions.
Technical Paper

An Automotive Front-End Design Approach for Improved Aerodynamics and Cooling

With the increasing emphasis on and importance of aerodynamics on vehicle fuel economy and handling, conservative approaches to sizing front-end cooling openings based on projected radiator area need to be replaced by a performance-based method. The method would not only allow more flexibility in front-end styling, but would enable the design of the grille, cooling hardware and vehicle heat rejection requirements to be based on the cooling performance of the total vehicle. The reductions in cooling drag and front lift from smaller, but more functional, grille openings would improve vehicle fuel economy and handling. A performance-based front-end design approach is described in the paper along with some selected experimental results. The method is based on an experimental technique for simultaneously measuring the total radiator airflow and vehicle aerodynamic performance in an aerodynamic wind tunnel.
Technical Paper

A Correlation Study between the Full Scale Wind Tunnels of Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors

A correlation of aerodynamic wind tunnels was initiated between Chrysler, Ford and General Motors under the umbrella of the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR). The wind tunnels used in this correlation were the open jet tunnel at Chrysler's Aero Acoustic Wind Tunnel (AAWT), the open jet tunnel at the Jacobs Drivability Test Facility (DTF) that Ford uses, and the closed jet tunnel at General Motors Aerodynamics Laboratory (GMAL). Initially, existing non-competitive aerodynamic data was compared to determine the feasibility of facility correlation. Once feasibility was established, a series of standardized tests with six vehicles were conducted at the three wind tunnels. The size and body styles of the six vehicles were selected to cover the spectrum of production vehicles produced by the three companies. All vehicles were tested at EPA loading conditions. Despite the significant differences between the three facilities, the correlation results were very good.
Technical Paper

Numerical Study of Ultra Low Solidity Airfoil Diffuser in an Automotive Turbocharger Compressor

For the application of advanced clean combustion technologies, such as diesel HCCI/LTC, a compressor with high efficiency over a broad operation range is required to supply a high amount of EGR with minimum pumping loss. A compressor with high pitch of vaneless diffuser would substantially improve the flow range of the compressor, but it is at the cost of compressor efficiency, especially at low mass flow area where most of the city driving cycles resides. In present study, an ultra low solidity compressor vane diffuser was numerically investigated. It is well known that the flow leaving the impeller is highly distorted, unsteady and turbulent, especially at relative low mass flow rate and near the shroud side of the compressor. A conventional vaned diffuser with high stagger angle could help to improve the performance of the compressor at low end. However, adding diffuser vane to a compressor typically restricts the flow range at high end.
Technical Paper

Determination of Vehicle Frontal Area Using Image Processing

The projected frontal area of a vehicle has a significant impact on aerodynamic drag, and thus is an important parameter, for vehicle development, benchmarking, and modeling. However, determining vehicle frontal area can be tedious, time consuming, expensive, or inaccurate. Existing methods include analysis of engineering drawings, vehicle projections, 3D scanners, planimeter measurements from photographs, and estimations using vehicle dimensions. Currently accepted approximation methods can be somewhat unreliable. This study focuses on introducing a method to find vehicle frontal area using digital images and subtraction functions via MATLABs' Image Processing Toolbox. In addition to an overview of the method, this paper describes several variables that were examined to optimize and improve the process such as camera position, surface glare, and vehicle shadow effects.
Technical Paper

Blend Ratio Optimization of Fuels Containing Gasoline Blendstock, Ethanol, and Higher Alcohols (C3-C6): Part II - Blend Properties and Target Value Sensitivity

Higher carbon number alcohols offer an opportunity to meet the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) and improve the energy content, petroleum displacement, and/or knock resistance of gasoline-alcohol blends from traditional ethanol blends such as E10 while maintaining desired and regulated fuel properties. Part II of this paper builds upon the alcohol selection, fuel implementation scenarios, criteria target values, and property prediction methodologies detailed in Part I. For each scenario, optimization schemes include maximizing energy content, knock resistance, or petroleum displacement. Optimum blend composition is very sensitive to energy content, knock resistance, vapor pressure, and oxygen content criteria target values. Iso-propanol is favored in both scenarios' suitable blends because of its high RON value.
Technical Paper

Blend Ratio Optimization of Fuels Containing Gasoline Blendstock, Ethanol, and Higher Alcohols (C3-C6): Part I - Methodology and Scenario Definition

The U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2) requires an increase in the use of advanced biofuels up to 36 billion gallons by 2022. Longer chain alcohols, in addition to cellulosic ethanol and synthetic biofuels, could be used to meet this demand while adhering to the RFS2 corn-based ethanol limitation. Higher carbon number alcohols can be utilized to improve the energy content, knock resistance, and/or petroleum displacement of gasoline-alcohol blends compared to traditional ethanol blends such as E10 while maintaining desired and regulated fuel properties. Part I of this paper focuses on the development of scenarios by which to compare higher alcohol fuel blends to traditional ethanol blends. It also details the implementation of fuel property prediction methods adapted from literature. Possible combinations of eight alcohols mixed with a gasoline blendstock were calculated and the properties of the theoretical fuel blends were predicted.
Technical Paper

Breaking Load Method Evaluation of Sheet AA7075

Increasing fuel economy is a high priority of the automotive industry due to consumer demand and government regulations. High strength aluminum alloys such as AA7075-T6 can be used in strength-critical automotive applications to reduce vehicle weight and thus improve fuel economy. However, these aluminum alloys are known to be susceptible to stress corrosion cracking (SCC) for thick plate. The level of susceptibility to SCC must be determined before a material is implemented. ASTM standards exist that generate semi-quantitative data primarily for use in screening materials for SCC. For the purposes of this work ASTM G139 (breaking load method) has been used to evaluate sheet AA7075-T6 for use in automotive applications. A tensile fixture applying a constant strain was used to quantitatively measure residual strength of the material after exposure to a corrosive environment.