Research Papers: Flows in Complex Systems

The Aerodynamic Interaction Between an Inverted Wing and a Rotating Wheel

[+] Author and Article Information
M. A. van den Berg, X. Zhang

School of Engineering Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK

J. Fluids Eng 131(10), 101104 (Sep 18, 2009) (13 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3215942 History: Received January 16, 2009; Revised June 29, 2009; Published September 18, 2009

The fundamental aerodynamic influence of downstream wheels on a front wing flow field and vice versa has been investigated using generic wind tunnel models. The research has been conducted using a wing with a fixed configuration, whereas the wing ride height with respect to the ground has been varied as the primary variable. The overlap and gap between the wing and wheels have been kept constant within the context of the current paper. At higher ride heights the wheels reduce wing downforce and increase wing drag, whereas the drag of the wheels themselves also rises. At low ride heights, however, the opposite happens and the wing performance improves, while the wheels produce less drag. The ride height range has been subdivided into force regions with consistent characteristics throughout each of them. Force and pressure measurements, particle image velocimetry results, and oil flow images have been used to explain the differences between the force regions and to derive the governing flow mechanisms. The trajectories and interaction of vortices play a dominant role in the observed force behavior, both as force enhancing and reducing mechanisms. The effect of wheel circulation, flow separation, and flow channeling by the ground and by the wheels are among the other main contributors that have been discussed within this paper.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Experimental setup in the Southampton wind tunnel test facility, viewed from upstream. The PIV test equipment is installed to analyze the flow over the crown of the port side wheel in a streamwise direction (the camera is located on top of the port side wheel arm and the laser off-center downstream).

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Figure 2

Definitions of test setup and force measurement conventions

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Figure 3

Wheel and wing characteristics and pressure tap locations for the wheel (P1–P5) and wing (marked on the sections in the top right figure)

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Figure 4

Wheel and wing force coefficients as functions of the wing ride height and definitions of the derived force regions I–VI; (a) wheel drag, (b) wing downforce, (c) wing drag, (d) wing centre of pressure location

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Figure 5

Representations of the two fundamental wheel drag phases; (a) high drag phase, (b) low drag phase; figures show iso-surfaces of Q obtained from steady-state computational simulations (28)

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Figure 6

Pressure distributions for two locations along the wheel circumference of the starboard side wheel; (a) center line P1, (b) outboard tire tread; for the isolated wheel (IWh) and for the wheel combined with the wing (CWW) at various ride heights

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Figure 7

Pressure distributions for further two locations along the wheel circumference of the starboard side wheel; (a) inboard tire tread P4, (b) inboard sidewall P5; for the isolated wheel (IWh) and for the wheel combined with the wing (CWW) at various ride heights

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Figure 8

Velocity contours derived from PIV results; (a) isolated wheel, (b) combined wing and wheels at h/c=0.106, (c) combined wing and wheels at h/c=0.528; inboard front corner (left figures; at z=165 mm) and inboard rear corner (right figures; at z=174 mm), and the wheel contour is visualized in dark gray and the shadow upstream is blacked out (left lower corner of left figures)

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Figure 9

Separation streamline (white dashed) from the top of the wheel in the center xz-plane for the h/c=0.211 combined case; results based on PIV measurements for the in-plane velocity components, which are obtained with the setup of Fig. 1. Angle definition is shown in Fig. 2 and angle variation with ride height is summarized in Table 1.

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Figure 10

Wing pressure distributions along the main element and flap for a range of ride heights; for the isolated wing (dotted lines, open symbols) and the wing-wheel configuration (solid lines, black symbols); (a) at the centre line, (b) at the tip 25 mm inboard of the port side endplate

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Figure 11

On-surface flow visualization on the suction surfaces of the wing for the isolated wing and for the combined case with downstream wheels; flow direction from top to bottom; shown features are (i) LE separation bubble, (ii) main element TE separation, (iii) flap full chord separation, and (iv) tip separation

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Figure 12

In plane velocity for the symmetry plane underneath the main element of the wing at x/c=0.112, derived from PIV results for the isolated and combined wing case at two different ride heights. Parallax effects are responsible for the velocity deficit in the data close to the ground and close to the wing (especially for h/c=0.106), because of blockage of the laser sheet.

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Figure 13

PIV velocity contours in a plane 25 mm inboard of the port side endplate; (a) the isolated wing, (b) in combination with the wheels for h/c=0.063; the wing profiles are visualized in dark gray and the shadow areas in light gray




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