A Comparative Study of Different Wheel Rotating Simulation Methods in Computational Fluid Dynamics

Paper #:
  • 2018-01-0728

  • 2018-04-03
Wheel Aerodynamics is an important part of whole vehicle aerodynamics. The wheels can notably influence the total aerodynamic drag, lift and ventilation drag of vehicles. In order to simulate the real condition of driving cars, the moving floor and wheel rotating condition is of great significance in CFD. However, the rotated wheel condition is difficult to be reproduced exactly, so this is still a critical topic which needs to be worked on. In this paper, a study, which focuses on two types of cars: the generic sedan and the DrivAer, is conducted. Comparing three different wheel rotating simulation methods (Moving wall, MRF and Sliding Mesh) , the effects of these different methods on the numerical simulation of vehicle aerodynamics are considered. Then, the discrepancies of aerodynamic forces between the methods are discussed as well as the flow field, and the simulation results are also compared with the published experiment data for validation. Results show that different rotating simulation methods may not affect the aerodynamic drag significantly, but the aerodynamic lift and ventilation drag can be modified in a large range. Furthermore, the lift is shown to be sensitive to the position of wheel spokes so both two steady methods may result in errors. In conclusion, when the aerodynamic lift is not taken into consideration, the MRF method is advised to be preferred. However, while the lift must be evaluated, even though much more computational sources will be cost, the unsteady Sliding Mesh method is the only one to be recommended. This study can build the base for future works on rotating simulation methods.
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