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