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Technical Paper

Experimental and Computational Investigation of Ahmed Body for Ground Vehicle Aerodynamics

External aerodynamics remains one of the major concerns in designing a new generation road vehicle. In the present study, the external aerodynamics of an Ahmed body at a scale and Reynolds number, that are representative of a car or light truck at highway speeds, is explored. An experimental model test was compared with a computational model using various back angles. In addition, the experiment allowed lift and drag to be measured at yaw angles up to ±15 degrees. Reynolds number effect on drag and lift coefficients was studied and wind averaged drag coefficients were calculated. The numerical calculations used a Reynolds-averaged, unsteady Navier-Stokes formulation. Both experimental and computational results are presented for back angles of 0-, 12.5-, and 25-degrees, then compared with each other and the data available in the literature.
Technical Paper

Computational Simulations for the External Aerodynamics of Heavy Trucks

An objective considered in designing the new generation of heavy trucks is fuel efficiency. This can be significantly improved by reducing the overall drag force on the truck when it is in motion. With this impetus, the external aerodynamics of a heavy truck was simulated using computational fluid dynamics and the external flow was presented using computer visualization. Initially, a thorough validation study was conducted on the Ahmed body. Consequently, the model and the method were selected to be the time-dependent, three dimensional, Reynolds-averaged Navier Stokes equations that are solved using a finite volume method. The RNG k-ε model was elected for closure of the turbulent quantities. Finally, to help the estimation of the error due to two commonly practiced engineering simplifications, a parametric study was conducted. The external flow around the truck was computed with and without the tires (-6% drag error), then with or without ground plane motion (+9% drag error).