McAuliffe, B., "Potential for the Accumulation of Ice and Snow for a Boat-Tail Equipped Heavy-Duty Vehicle," SAE Technical Paper 2016-01-8141, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-8141.
With increasing use of boat-tails on Canadian roads, a concern had been raised regarding the possibility for ice and snow to accumulate and shed from the cavity of a boat-tail affixed to a dry-van trailer, posing a hazard for other road users. This paper describes a preliminary evaluation of the potential for ice and snow accumulation in the cavity of a boat-tail-equipped heavy-duty vehicle. A transient CFD approach was used and combined with a quasi-static particle-tracking simulation to evaluate, firstly, the tendency of various representative ice or snow particles to be entrained in the vehicle wake, and secondly, the potential of such particles to accumulate on the aft end of a dry-van trailer with and without various boat-tail configurations.Results of the particle tracking analyses showed that the greatest numbers of particles impinge on the base of the trailer for the no-boat-tail case, concentrated on the upper surface of the back face of the trailer. A 3-panel boat-tail provides the lowest level of particle impingement. Adding the fourth, lower panel to the boat-tail provides an added surface on which particles impinge and can accumulate. This lower horizontal panel provides the greatest concern for potential snow build up, and a rudimentary estimate shows the potential for 4 kg of snow to accumulate per hour on this surface.