Gleason, M., Duncan, B., Walter, J., Guzman, A. et al., "Comparison of Computational Simulation of Automotive Spinning Wheel Flow Field with Full Width Moving Belt Wind Tunnel Results," SAE Int. J. Passeng. Cars - Mech. Syst. 8(1):275-293, 2015, doi:10.4271/2015-01-1556.
One of the remaining challenges in the simulation of the aerodynamics of ground vehicles is the modeling of the airflows around the spinning tires and wheels of the vehicle. As in most advances in the development of simulation capabilities, it is the lack of appropriately detailed and accurate experimental data with which to correlate that holds back the advance of the technology.The flow around the wheels and tires and their interfaces with the vehicle body and the ground is a critical area for the development of automobiles and trucks, not just for aerodynamic forces and moments, and their result on fuel economy and vehicle handling and performance, but also for the airflows and pressures that affect brake cooling, engine cooling airflows, water spray management etc.In the present exercise, the purpose is to supply this experimental data around the wheels and tires on two configurations of one production level vehicle in order to compare the results of CFD prediction with this data. In order to assure the most accurate experimental data, we conducted the vehicle tests in a wind tunnel with a full width belt simulation of the road movement instead of a fixed ground or a 5-Belt system commonly used in automotive work.