Technical Briefs

Aerodynamic Study of a Tricycle Wheel Subsystem for Drag Reduction

[+] Author and Article Information
Thomas Driant, Alain Desrochers

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Université de Sherbrooke,
2500, Boulevard de l'Université,
Sherbrooke, QC, J1K 2R1, Canada

Lakhdar Remaki

Basque Center for Applied Mathematics (BCAM),
Mazarredo, 14,
48009 Bilbao Basque Country, Spain

Hachimi Fellouah

e-mail: Hachimi.Fellouah@USherbrooke.ca

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Fluids Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FLUIDS ENGINEERING. Manuscript received August 8, 2012; final manuscript received July 31, 2013; published online November 6, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Zhongquan Charlie Zheng.

J. Fluids Eng 136(1), 014502 (Nov 06, 2013) (7 pages) Paper No: FE-12-1377; doi: 10.1115/1.4025644 History: Received August 08, 2012; Revised July 31, 2013

This paper deals with a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and experimental drag analysis on an isolated rotating wheel subsystem (including its accessories: tire, suspension, A-arms, and fender) of a motor tricycle vehicle with two wheels in front. The main goal of the present work is to study the effect of the fender on the wheel subsystem drag and its optimization. The Star CCM+ commercial code was used for the numerical simulations. Different flow conditions were simulated and some results were validated by comparison to wind tunnel experimental results. To perform drag optimization, several aerodynamic fender shapes were designed and simulated as part of the subsystem. A drastic drag reduction up to 30.6% compared to the original wheel subsystem was achieved through numerical simulations.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.



Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

The wheel subsystem. (a) CAD design for simulation and tests and (b) installed in the wind tunnel (Driant et al. [14]).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Wheel mesh section view (Driant et al. [14])

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Drag variation with number of mesh elements (Driant et al. [14])

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Drag value for experimental results and different turbulent models

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Aerodynamic balance design (Driant et al. [14])

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Pressure taps positioning (Driant et al. [14])

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Fender pressure coefficient (Cp) comparison. (a) Lower side Cp and (b) upper side Cp. Symbol: experimental measurements; solid line: numerical results. See Fig. 6 for angle reference (Driant et al. [14]).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Contribution of the wheel subsystem parts to the drag

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Velocity magnitude contours of the flow around the stock wheel subsystem delimiting the recirculation area

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Velocity vector field of the flow around the stock wheel subsystem showing the flow topology in the recirculation area

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

Enveloping fender

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

Closed version of the optimized fender geometry

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

Velocity vector field of the flow around the optimized fender

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 14

The “boat tailing” optimization technique definition of the section

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 15

The optimal fender shape obtained by the boat tailing optimization technique. (a) Fender/ground distance optimization and (b) fender tail optimization.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 16

Velocity magnitude contours on an optimized version. (a) Closed fender version and (b) optimized version obtained by the boat tailing technique.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 17

Front view of tangential velocity vector (global reference) along longitudinal section x = –600 mm (∼1 wheel diameter); origin is on the wheel hub. (a) Stock version and (b) optimized fender.




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In