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Journal Article

Unsteady Vehicle Aerodynamics during a Dynamic Steering Action: 2nd Report, Numerical Analysis

Unsteady aerodynamic forces acting on vehicles during a dynamic steering action were investigated by numerical simulation, with a special focus on the vehicles' yaw and lateral motions. Two sedan-type vehicles with slightly different geometries at the front pillar, side skirt, under cover, and around the front wheel were adopted for comparison. In the first report, surface pressure on the body and total pressure behind the front wheel were measured in an on-road experiment. Then the relationships between the vehicles' lateral dynamic motion and unsteady aerodynamic characteristics during cornering motions were discussed. In this second report, the vehicles' meandering motions observed in on-road measurements were modeled numerically, and sinusoidal motions of lateral, yaw, and slip angles were imposed. The responding yaw moment was phase averaged, and its phase shift against the imposed slip angle was measured to assess the aerodynamic damping.
Technical Paper

Simulation and Analysis of Effects of Dynamic Pitching for Idealized Sedan-Type Vehicle Models

We investigate the pitching stability characteristics of sedan-type vehicles using large-eddy simulation (LES) technique. Pitching oscillation is a commonly encountered phenomenon when a vehicle is running on a road. Attributed to the change in a vehicle's position during pitching, the flow field around it is altered accordingly. This causes a change in aerodynamic forces and moments exerted on the vehicle. The resulting vehicle's response is complex and assumed to be unsteady, which is too complicated to be interpreted in a conventional wind tunnel or using a numerical method that relies on the steady state solution. Hence, we developed an LES method for solving unsteady aerodynamic forces and moments acting on a vehicle during pitching. The pitching motion of a vehicle during LES was produced by using the arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian technique. We compared two simplified vehicle models representing actual sedan-type vehicles with different pitching stability characteristics.
Technical Paper

Large Eddy Simulation on the Underbody Flow of the Vehicle with Semi-Complex Underbody Configuration

To effectively process CFD works in early stage of aerodynamic developments of vehicles, simple but semi-complex configurations of the vehicle underbody should be pursued. Large eddy simulation (LES) was performed on the flow around the vehicle with a semi-complex underbody configuration designed at Volvo Car. Computations with CFD code “FrontFlow-red” were performed for both flat and semi-complex underbody configurations. Unstructured meshes of approximately 22 and 23 millions were used respectively. Differences in the flow fields with flat and semi-complex underbody configurations and rotational effects of the wheels are discussed. LES results are also compared with those with Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) computations.
Technical Paper

Large Eddy Simulation of Unsteady Flow Around a Formula Car on Earth Simulator

One of the world's largest unsteady turbulence simulations of flow around a formula car was conducted using Large Eddy Simulation (LES) on the Earth Simulator in Japan. The main objective of our study is to investigate the validity of LES for the assessment of vehicle aerodynamics, as an alternative to a conventional wind tunnel measurement or the Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) simulation. The aerodynamic forces estimated by LES show good agreement with the wind tunnel data (within several percent!) and various unsteady flow features around the car is visualized, which clearly indicate the effectiveness of large-scale LES in the very near future for the computation of flow around vehicles with complex configurations.
Technical Paper

Investigation of Increase in Aerodynamic Drag Caused by a Passing Vehicle

On-road turbulences caused by sources such as atmospheric wind and other vehicles influence the flow field and increases the drag in a vehicle. In this study, we focused on a scenario involving a passing vehicle and investigated its effect on the physical mechanism of the drag increase in order to establish a technique for reducing this drag. Firstly, we conducted on-road measurements of two sedan-type vehicles passed by a truck. Their aerodynamic drag estimated from the base pressure measurements showed different increment when passed by the truck. This result raised the possibility of reducing the drag increase by a modification of the local geometry. Then, we conducted wind tunnel measurements of a simplified one-fifth scale vehicle model in quasi-steady state, in order to understand the flow mechanism of the drag increase systematically.
Technical Paper

HPC-LES for the Prediction of Unsteady Aerodynamic Forces on a Vehicle in a Gusty Cross-flow Condition

The objective of this study is to develop numerical models for the analysis of unsteady vehicle aerodynamics and vehicle motion in gusty crosswind conditions. Several numerical models of transient crosswind gust are proposed and validated on a simplified 2D rectangle, moving at the constant speed, then entering the crosswind region. It is shown that one of the methods called ‘convective crosswind method’ is a promising candidate to accurately describe the dynamics of flow in crosswind. The model is applied to a formula car, and the unsteady aerodynamics acting during the sudden crosswind condition is investigated.
Technical Paper

HPC-LES for Unsteady Aerodynamics of a Heavy Duty Truck in Wind Gust - 2nd report: Coupled Analysis with Vehicle Motion

The effect of unsteady aerodynamics on the motion of a heavy duty truck subjected to sudden crosswinds was analyzed in vehicle-dynamics simulations. Large eddy simulation based on high-performance computing (LES-HPC) was applied to evaluate the effect of unsteady external forces on vehicle motion as a first step toward a more reliable vehicle motion analysis. Before the vehicle-dynamics simulations, the steady and unsteady aerodynamics of a simplified model of a heavy truck developed in our first report were analyzed by HPC-LES for various aerodynamic yaw angle conditions. On the basis of these aerodynamic analyses, two vehicle-dynamics simulations were conducted for transient crosswind conditions. One simulation was coupled with unsteady aerodynamic forces and the other applied a conventional approach with quasi-steady aerodynamics.
Technical Paper

HPC-LES for Unsteady Aerodynamics of a Heavy Duty Truck in Wind Gust - 1st report: Validation and Unsteady Flow Structures

Large eddy simulation based on high-performance computing technique was conducted to investigate the unsteady aerodynamic forces acting on a full-scale heavy duty truck subjected to sudden crosswind. The CFD results were applied to evaluate the effect of the unsteady external forces on a vehicle motion, as a first step toward a more reliable vehicle motion analysis. As the first report, the numerical method was validated on the DNW wind-tunnel data by comparing the time-averaged drag and lateral forces at various yawing angles up to 10 degrees. Then the method was applied to the case when the vehicle goes through the crosswind region. The time series of the aerodynamic forces were acquired and discussed through the visualization of instantaneous flow structures around the vehicle. It was observed that drastic undershooting and overshooting of the yawing moment acts on the vehicle during the rushing in and out process.
Journal Article

Flow Structures above the Trunk Deck of Sedan-Type Vehicles and Their Influence on High-Speed Vehicle Stability 2nd Report: Numerical Investigation on Simplified Vehicle Models using Large-Eddy Simulation

In the present study, two kinds of simplified vehicle models, which can reproduce flow structures around the two sedan-type vehicles in the previous study, are constructed for the object and the unsteady flow structures are extracted using Large-Eddy Simulation technique. The numerical results are validated in a stationary condition by comparing the results with a wind-tunnel experiment and details of steady and unsteady flow characteristics around the models, especially above the trunk deck, are investigated. In quasi- and non- stationary manner with regard to vehicle pitch motion, unsteady flow characteristics are also investigated and their relations to an aerodynamic stability are discussed.
Journal Article

Development of an Unsteady Aerodynamic Simulator Using Large-Eddy Simulation Based on High-Performance Computing Technique

A numerical method specially designed to predict unsteady aerodynamics of road vehicle was developed based on unstructured Large-Eddy Simulation (LES) technique. The code was intensively optimized for the Earth Simulator in Japan to deal with the excessive computational resources required for LES, and could treat numerical meshes of up to around 120 million elements. Moving boundary methods such as the Arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) or the sliding method were implemented to handle dynamic motion of a vehicle body during aerodynamic assessment. The method can also model a gusty crosswind condition. The method was applied to three cases in which unsteady aerodynamics are expected to be crucial.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamics Evaluation of Road Vehicles in Dynamic Maneuvering

A road vehicle’s cornering motion is known to be a compound motion composed mainly of forward, sideslip and yaw motions. But little is known about the aerodynamics of cornering because little study has been conducted in this field. By clarifying and understanding a vehicle’s aerodynamic characteristics during cornering, a vehicle’s maneuvering stability during high-speed driving can be aerodynamically improved. Therefore, in this study, the aerodynamic characteristics of a vehicle’s cornering motion, i.e. the compound motion of forward, sideslip and yaw motions, were investigated. We also considered proposing an aerodynamics evaluation method for vehicles in dynamic maneuvering. Firstly, we decomposed cornering motion into yaw and sideslip motions. Then, we assumed that the aerodynamic side force and yaw moment of a cornering motion could be expressed by superposing linear expressions of yaw motion parameters and those of sideslip motion parameters, respectively.
Technical Paper

Aerodynamic Pitching Stability of Sedan-Type Vehicles Influenced by Pillar-Shape Configurations

The present study investigated the aerodynamic pitching stability of sedan-type vehicles under the influence of A- and C-pillar geometrical configurations. The numerical method used for the investigation is based on the Large Eddy Simulation (LES) method. Whilst, the Arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian (ALE) method was employed to realize the prescribed pitching oscillation of vehicles during dynamic pitching and fluid flow coupled simulations. The trailing vortices that shed from the A-pillar and C-pillar edges produced the opposite tendencies on how they affect the aerodynamic pitching stability of vehicles. In particular, the vortex shed from the A-pillar edge tended to enhance the pitching oscillation of vehicle, while the vortex shed from the C-pillar edge tended to suppress it. Hence, the vehicle with rounded A-pillar and angular C-pillar exhibited a higher aerodynamic damping than the vehicle with the opposite A- and C-pillars configurations.