Computational investigations on the aerodynamics of a generic car model in proximity to a side wall
1 online resource (101 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
A moving road vehicle is subjected to many fluid interferences caused by a number of external agents apart from the vehicle itself. Vehicles moving in proximity to a side wall is an interesting aspect that has been little investigated in the literature. This is of great interest in motorsports, more specifically in NASCAR racing. The aim of this thesis is to develop a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model that can simulate the motion of a race car moving close to a side wall with an objective of understanding the influence of this side barrier on the overall aerodynamic characteristics of the vehicle, like the force and moment coefficients. Additionally, flow visualization tools are used to gain insights into the flow field and to explain the causes of the observed aerodynamic characteristics of the vehicle. This is accomplished by using a generic car model, a 25-degree slant angle Ahmed Body, in proximity to a side wall in a virtual wind tunnel where the vehicle body is allowed to move at constant velocity. This methodology is different from the traditional CFD approach where the air is blown over a stationary vehicle. The simulation process used in this thesis requires the use of a recently developed meshing methodology called the Overset mesh. All simulations were run using a commercial finite volume CFD code called StarCCM+ where the Unsteady Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes URANS fluid flow solver was used to model turbulence. However, the existing literature suggests that no URANS model can correctly predict the flow field around a 25-degree slant Ahmed body model; all models under-predict turbulence in the initial separated shear layer and over-predict the separation region. Subsequently, the first phase of this thesis involved the determination of a modeling methodology that can accurately predict the flow-field over a 25-degree Ahmed body. Two two-equation eddy-viscosity turbulence models, the AKN and SST preferred by many researchers for CFD simulations of massively separated flows, were tested. It turned out that only the latter with modified model coefficients was capable of reproducing the experimental results with a reasonable accuracy. Compared to the eddy viscosity CFD simulations of an isolated 25-degree slant angle Ahmed body seen in existing literature, the results presented in this thesis show significantly better correlations with experiments. The wall proximity studies show a strong influence of the presence of the wall on the overall aerodynamic characteristics of the vehicle body. When compared with the experimental studies, although both show similar trends, however, there exists a significant difference between the experimental and CFD predicted results which tend to worsen as one approaches the wall. These differences can be attributed to fact that the CFD emulation of the flow around the side-wall is more realistic compared to the experimental implementation.
AHMED BODYCFDRACE CAR AERODYNAMICSSRIVATSASST TURBULENCEWALL PROXIMITY
Bari, SaifulVermillion, Christopher
Thesis (M.S.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2017.
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