A Method for Truck Underbody Aerodynamic Investigation
The underbody of a truck is responsible for an appreciable portion of the vehicle’s aerodynamic drag, and thus its fuel consumption. A better understanding of the underbody aerodynamics could lead to designs that are more environmentally friendly. Unfortunately there are difficulties with correctly replicating the ground condition and rotating wheels when using the classical approach of a wind-tunnel for aerodynamic investigation. This in turn leads to computational modelling problems. A lack of experimental data for Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) validation means that the flow field in this area has seldom been investigated. There is thus very little information available for the optimisation and design of underbody aerodynamic devices. This paper investigates the use of a water-towing tank, which allows the establishment of the correct near-ground flow while permitting good optical access. Using a 1/10 scale model, Reynolds Numbers of around 0.7 million are achieved.