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1.1 Introduction

1.1 Introduction

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Published by: sangsharma on Sep 22, 2009
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07/22/2010

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1
1.1 INTRODUCTION
The auto industry has seen a continual increase in the level of global competition.The growth in the complexity of vehicle design and content has led to expensive and time –consuming development processes. The large cost and long gestation implies verysignificant risk for the automaker. At the same time, it is clear that technology will play anever increasing role as the basis of this global competition, requiring high quality productsthat are safe to use, and economical to design and manufacture. The climate has beenfavorable for the increasing use of Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) tools for math-based analysis of candidate designs and product features. The objectives of math-basedanalysis include:1.
 
Shortening the product development process and reduce
some
hardware testing.2.
 
Developing high quality products through the evaluation of more design alternatives.Aerodynamic development of motor vehicles is expensive. Much capital must beinvested in testing facilities such as wind tunnels and climatic tunnels. Secondly,considerable costs result from the work itself. Finally, the development time may belengthened by aerodynamic work. The efforts to improve the aerodynamics of vehicles arewitnessed by the large numbers of wind tunnels constructed specifically for this purpose.Nearly all major manufacturers have such facilities at their disposal or are currently buildingthem. Generally, the demands upon the quality of a wind tunnel increase with theexpectations placed upon the quality and reliability of the results. Similarly the developmentcosts increase steeply with the quality of the intended results.The availability of a reliable numerical prediction method could greatly reducedesign costs by reducing the amount of wind-tunnel testing required.Computational Fluid Dynamics, as one of the CAE tools, has been adopted to servethis role for an increasing number of applications. When one examines the aerodynamicdevelopment of vehicles, there are many reasons why CFD is expected to play an even moreimportant role in future years. Traditional aerodynamic development employs the use of partial-scale or full-scale clay models of the proposed vehicle configuration. To ensuregeometric fidelity, these models include much of the vehicle’s details. As a result, they areexpensive to build and take considerable time to complete. Extensive use of large windtunnels for testing them is expensive and requires planned scheduling. Furthermore, certaindesired data may not be obtained from such models. For example, early assessment of thepotential of a shape for aerodynamic noise cannot be determined very accurately due to the
 
2need for model construction. Finally in the process of detailed development of a model in awind tunnel, very elaborate flow measurement techniques may be required so that diagnosis(e.g. for drag reduction) is possible. CFD, with its ability to display flow properties in greatdetail, offers this additional capability.Extensive research is going on in the field of automobile aerodynamics, especially of cars, and there is a clear indication of the ever increasing popularity of numerical techniquesand CAE tools such as CFD to predict automobile characteristics in comparison to thetypical wind tunnel test methods. With the rapid progress of computer hardware andsoftware components, these simulation methods will become more predictable and accurateand will completely replace wind tunnel testing in future.
 
3
2.1 Introduction to Aerodynamics of Vehicles and its Importance
The performance, handling and comfort of an automobile are significantly affectedby its aerodynamic properties. A low drag is a decisive prerequisite for good fuel economy.Increasing fuel prices and stringent legal regulations ensure that this long establishedrelationship becomes more widely acknowledged. But the other aspects of vehicleaerodynamics are no less important for the quality of an automobile: side wind stability,wind noise, soiling of the body, the lights and the windows, cooling of the engine, the gearbox and the brakes, and finally heating and ventilating of the passenger compartment alldepend on the flow field around and through the vehicle.The flow processes to which a moving vehicle is subjected fall into three categories:
 
Flow of air around the vehicle;
 
Flow of air through the body;
 
Flow processes within the machinery.The first two flow fields are closely related. For example, the flow of air through the enginecompartment is directly dependent upon the flow field around the vehicle. Both fields mustbe considered together. On the other hand, the flow processes within the engine andtransmission are not directly connected with the first two, and are not treated here.The external flow subjects the vehicle to forces and moments which greatly influence thevehicle’s performance and directional stability.The aerodynamic drag D, as well as the other force components and moments, increaseswith the square of the vehicle speed V:
D
      
~ V
2
With a medium size European car, aerodynamic drag accounts for nearly 80 percent pf thetotal road resistance at 100 km/h. There is therefore much scope for improving economy byreducing aerodynamic drag. For this reason drag remains the focal point of vehicleaerodynamics, whether the objective is speed or fuel economy.The complete expression for drag force is:
D = 0.5C
D
A
V
2
Where C
D
is the non-dimensional drag coefficient; A is the projected frontal area of thevehicle (refer fig 2.1); and
is the density of the surrounding air.

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