Open Conference Systems, SMAT 2019

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CFD Study on Wheel Aerodynamic Performance in Side Wind Conditions for a Hatchback Vehicle
Laurentiu Ilea, Daniel Iozsa, Cornelia Stan, Claudiu Teodorescu

Last modified: 2020-01-02


Compliance with legislation requirements and customer’s needs are key elements considered when developing the systems for vehicles. For assessing the aerodynamic performance of passenger vehicles, both exterior body design and add-on elements are optimised for homologation conditions at 0° airflow. In order to develop less polluting vehicles, new methods are sought to simulate as close as possible real life usage. This will raise new challenges as some solutions that lead to an increased aerodynamic performance at 0-degree airflow, may as well affect it in side-wind conditions. The current paper identifies how elements like wheel cap and wheel fairing (optimised in previous research) will influence the aerodynamic performance of a hatchback body vehicle. Using the CFD method, the airflow behaviour was evaluated though the pressure, velocity and vortices magnitude representation, while the global performance was analysed through the Cd numerical value. By comparing the results between the two levels of equipment, at different airflow angles, it can be concluded that at high angles the aerodynamic elements start affecting the Cd parameter. Research of aerodynamic performance will be extended in order to develop an active wheel element, optimised for both head-on airflow and different side wind angles.


Aerodynamics; CFD study; side wind study