Investigation of wheelhouse flow interaction and the influence of lateral wheel displacement
The aim of this research was to improve the understanding of the complex flow features found around a wheel and wheelhouse and to examine how the lateral displacement of the wheel affects these features and the production of exhibited pressures and forces. A bespoke rotating wheel rig and accompanying wheelhouse with a fully-pressure-tapped wheel arch was designed and manufactured at Loughborough University. Wind tunnel tests were performed where force and pressure measurements and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV), data were obtained. The experimental data were used to validate unsteady CFD predictions where a k-ω SST Improved Delayed Detached Eddy Simulation (IDDES) turbulence model was used in STAR-CCM+. The CFD showed good agreement with all trends of the experimental results providing a validated numerical methodology. For both methodologies, a lower amount of wheelhouse drag was found generated when the wheel was rotating. However, the CFD showed that whilst this was the case, total configuration drag had increased. This was attributed to an increase of the wheel and axle drag, illustrated by the change in separation over the wheel itself when located within a wheelhouse and so overcompensating the reduction in body and stand drag. Differences in vortex locations when comparing to previously-attained results were due to differences in housing geometry, such as blockage in the cavity or housing dimensions. Experimental and computational results showed that up until a 10-mm displacement outboard of the housing, overall drag decreased. The reduction in housing drag was credited to a reduction in the size of outboard longitudinal vortex structures. This led to the lateral width of the shear layer across the housing side being narrower. Overall, this study identified that there were potential benefits to be gained when offsetting a wheel outboard of the longitudinal edge of a model housing.
Jaguar Land Rover
- Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering
- Aeronautical and Automotive Engineering