Industrial Application of an Advanced Elliptic-Blending Turbulence Model for Wheels Aerodynamics Analysis

Paper #:
  • 2018-01-0739

  • 2018-04-03
The recent Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) requirements have introduced additional challenges in the car development phase. Continuous demand for environmentally friendly road vehicles has lead all OEMs to minutely investigate any potential feature that could reduce C02 emissions. Comprehension of wheels aerodynamics, which are one of the least explored areas, can bring novel solutions for future car designs. As the capacity of experimental facilities is limited, the need for reliable CFD methods has become crucially important. Although computational resources are continuously growing, the number of CFD simulations is increasing even faster. Professionally supported CFD process based on open-source technology has recently become an appealing alternative to commercial codes. The present paper describes a promising industrially-tested steady Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) approach which uses the elliptic-blending k-epsilon-zeta-f (zetaF) turbulence model [1] along with the Compound Wall Treatment [2]. The superiority of zetaF over any other first-order RANS models resides in its capability to accurately capture near-wall anisotropic effects without any recourse to complex tailored dumping functions, like in realizable k-epsilon, which are usually valid for a defined range of flow problems only. CFD optimization of the wheels in short development cycle, rim evaluation method and styling/aerodynamics conflicts, are described. A validation of the CFD method is presented on a set of different wheels designs with modular rims for which experimental full-scale wind tunnel data, measured in moving ground conditions, are available. Finally the utilization of pressure measuring device “p-strips” and their correlation with the simulation data is briefly mentioned. [1] K. Hanjalic et al. (2004). A robust near-wall elliptic-relaxation eddy-viscosity turbulence model for CFD. International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow 25, 1047-1051 [2] M. Popovac, K. Hanjalic (2007). Compound Wall Treatment for RANS Computation of Complex Turbulent Flows and Heat Transfer. Flow Turbulence Combust 78, 177-202
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