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Technical Paper

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

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.
Journal Article

Tyre Pattern Features and Their Effects on Passenger Vehicle Drag

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

The Role of Aerodynamics in the 1955 Le Mans Crash

In the 1955 Le Mans race the worst crash in motor racing history occurred and this accident would change the face of motor racing for decades. After the crash numerous investigations on the disaster were performed, and fifty years after some interesting books were launched on the subject. However, a number of key questions remain unsolved; and one open area is the influence of aerodynamics on the scenario, since the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR involved in the crash was equipped with an air-brake and its influence on the accident is basically unknown. This work may be considered as a first attempt to establish CFD as a tool to aid in resolving aerodynamic aspects in motor sport accidents and in the present paper, CFD has been used to investigate the aerodynamics and estimate the drag and lift coefficients of the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR used in the Le Mans race of 1955.
Technical Paper

The Influence of PRF and Commercial Fuels with High Octane Number on the Auto-ignition Timing of an Engine Operated in HCCI Combustion Mode with Negative Valve Overlap

A single-cylinder engine was operated in HCCI combustion mode with different kinds of commercial fuels. The HCCI combustion was generated by creating a negative valve overlap (early exhaust valve closing combined with late intake valve opening) thus trapping a large amount of residuals (∼ 55%). Fifteen different fuels with high octane numbers were tested six of which were primary reference fuels (PRF's) and nine were commercial fuels or reference fuels. The engine was operated at constant operational parameters (speed/load, valve timing and equivalence ratio, intake air temperature, compression ratio, etc.) changing only the fuel type while the engine was running. Changing the fuel affected the auto-ignition timing, represented by the 50% mass fraction burned location (CA50). However these changes were not consistent with the classical RON and MON numbers, which are measures of the knock resistance of the fuel. Indeed, no correlation was found between CA50 and the RON or MON numbers.
Journal Article

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

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

Structures of Flow Separation on a Passenger Car

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

Partially-Averaged Navier-Stokes Simulations of Flows Around Generic Vehicle at Yaw

Partially-Averaged Navier-Stokes Simulations (PANS) were made of flow around a generic vehicle influenced by side wind at four different yaw angles to investigate the prediction capabilities of PANS. Comparisons with results of LES show clear advantages of PANS in predicting pressure-induced separation resulting in the trailing vortices aligned with the direction of the flow. Poorer agreement was obtained in the near wake when the boundary layer separates at the end of the surface at the rear end. A possible explanation for the lack of accuracy at the rear end of the body was found in the formulation of the switching coefficient fk which produces too low values resulting in too low eddy viscosity in this region.
Technical Paper

Modification of a Diesel Oil Surrogate Model for 3D CFD Simulation of Conventional and HCCI Combustion

This paper describes an analysis of the Diesel Oil Surrogate (DOS) model used at Chalmers University (Sweden), including 70 species participating in 310 reactions, and subsequent improvements prompted by the model's systematic tendency to under-predict the combustion intensity in simulations of kinetically-driven combustion modes, e.g. Homogeneous Charged Compression Ignition (HCCI). Key bases of the model are the properties of a model Diesel fuel with the molecular formula C14H28. In the vapor phase, a global reaction decomposes the starting fuel, C14H28, into its constituent components; n-heptane (C7H16) and toluene (C7H8). This global reaction was modified to yield a higher n-heptane:toluene ratio, due to the importance of preserving an n-heptane-like cetane number.
Technical Paper

It's in the Eye of the Beholder: Who Should be the User of Computer Manikin Tools?

The aim of this study was to examine the influence of computer manikin users' background and knowledge for the results of a computer manikin simulation. Subjects taking part in the study were either production engineers or ergonomists. A manual task that presented production and ergonomics problems was used. The task was simulated prior to the subjects' sessions, using the computer manikin software Jack. During the sessions, the animated simulation was shown to the test subject. Results show that there are differences in how production engineers and ergonomists interpret results from a manikin simulation. Depending on the user's background, certain aspects that are difficult to visualise with the computer manikin were interpreted differently, regarding e.g. detected problems and holistic perspectives.
Technical Paper

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

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.
Journal Article

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.
Technical Paper

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

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

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

Heavy Vehicle Wheel Housing Flows - a Parametric Study

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.
Technical Paper

Experimental and Numerical Investigations of the Base Wake on an SUV

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

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

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

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.
Technical Paper

Development of a Model Scale Heat Exchanger for Wind Tunnel Models of Road Vehicles

During the development of the aerodynamic properties of fore coming road vehicles down scaled models are often used in the initial phase. However, if scale models are to be utilised even further in the aerodynamic development they have to include geometrical representatives of most of the components found in the real vehicle. As the cooling package is one of the biggest single generators of aerodynamic drag the heat exchangers are essential to include in a wind tunnel model. However, due mainly to limitations in manufacturing techniques it is complicated to make a down scaled heat exchanger and instead functional dummy heat exchangers have to be developed for scaled wind tunnel models. In this work a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) code has been used to show that it is important that the simplified heat exchanger model has to be of comparable size to that of the full scale unit.
Journal Article

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

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.
Technical Paper

Automated Flexible Tooling for Wing Box Assembly: Hexapod Development Study

The ability to adapt to rapidly evolving market demands continues to be the one of the key challenges in the automation of assembly processes in the aerospace industry. To meet this challenge, industry and academia have made efforts to automate flexible fixturing. LOCOMACHS (Low Cost Manufacturing and Assembly of Composite and Hybrid Structures) - a European Union funded project with 31 partners - aims to address various aspects of aero-structure assembly with a special attention directed to the development of a new build philosophy along with relevant enabling technologies. This paper aims to present the results on the developed wing box build philosophy and the integration of automated flexible tooling solutions into the assembly process. The developed solution constitutes the use of synchronized hexapods for the assembly of front spar to upper cover whereas another hexapod was developed to install a rib by using of a force feedback sensor.