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UNIVERSITY OF DERBY

SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY

CFD Analysis Concept

Author: Rangel Silva Maia


Student ID: 100312522
Module Title: Computational Fluid Dynamics
Module Code: 6ME505
Module Leader: Dr. Dani Harmanto
Lecturer: Dr. Dani Harmanto and Dr. Yiling Lu

Derby
December 2014

CONTENTS
Abbreviations .......................................................................................................................................... 2
Figures ..................................................................................................................................................... 3
Tables ...................................................................................................................................................... 3
Introduction ............................................................................................................................................ 4
Modelling technique ............................................................................................................................... 4
CFD Technique processes ....................................................................................................................... 5
Critical Analysis ....................................................................................................................................... 8
Geometric displayer ............................................................................................................................ 9
Scalar Displayer ................................................................................................................................... 9
Streamline displayer ........................................................................................................................... 9
Vector displayer ................................................................................................................................ 10
Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................. 10
References ............................................................................................................................................ 10
Bibliography .......................................................................................................................................... 11
Appendix ............................................................................................................................................... 11

Abbreviations
Reynolds number
Fluid density
V

velocity

characteristic length (the wing chord)

chord
Drag coefficient
Drag force
Free stream velocity
Frontal area
Lift coefficient
Lift force

k-

k-

turbulence model

turbulence model

Figures
Figure 1: Wing Shape of the NACA aerofoil studied in this paper. ......................................................... 5
Figure 2 bounding box of the wing analysed. ...................................................................................... 5
Figure 3: Volumetric control for the refined mesh. ................................................................................ 6
Figure 4: Geometric displayer ............................................................................................................... 12
Figure 5: Pressure displayer .................................................................................................................. 13
Figure 6: Streamlines ............................................................................................................................ 14
Figure 7: Vector displayers.................................................................................................................... 15

Tables
Table 1: Study cases for the simulations performed. ............................................................................. 4
Table 2: Wing characteristics of the NACA aerofoil used in this paper. ................................................. 4
Table 3: Mesh specifications for the NACA wing analysed. .................................................................... 5
Table 4: Results for each scenario of the simulations ............................................................................ 8

Introduction
The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the forerunner of NASA (that
countrys aerospace agency) was founded in 1915 by the United States of America to undertake
aeronautical research (NASA, 2009). The NACA research and development gave a large contribution
to aerodynamics such as the series of NACA aerofoils. The NACA aerofoils were developed to the
aircraft but it is large used among other industries as motorsport such as F1 wings. The Figure 1 shows
an example of NACA profile.
Aerodynamics downforce also known as a negative lift is a vertical aerodynamic force that
increases loads on the tires without increasing the vehicles weight. Thus, the cornering ability is
increased which gives a better lap in motorsport races. On the other hand, the drag resistance is also
increased. Using aerofoils are, therefore, a challenge in order to equilibrate the maximum downforce
with the minimum drag (Katz, 1995).
Performing tests in computational programs are a cheaper way to improve cars aerodynamic.
According to Hirsch, C. (2007), Computational Fluid Dynamics (also known as CFD) is defined as a set
of methodologies that enable the computer to provide a numerical simulation of fluid flows. Star
CCM+ is a CFD software used in this assignment, which will allow an application of the fluid dynamics
to conduct engineering design analysis of a wing profile. The aim of this report will be performing a
wing through different scenarios of mesh in a 2D simulation, numerical method and volume meshes
and make an evaluation for the best configuration for motorsport. Each scenario is showed in Table
1.
Table 1: Study cases for the simulations performed.

Mesh
refined

Volume Meshes
trimmed
polyhedral

Scenario

coarse

Numerical method
k-e
k-o
X
X

X
X
X
X
X
X

Modelling technique
This research will be conducted using a NACA wing modelled on the SolidWorks. The data to
plot the profile points on CAD program will be achieved with the help of Air Foil tools website
according to requirements below:
Table 2: Wing characteristics of the NACA aerofoil used in this paper.

NACA Profile Camber


Maximum Camber position
Thickness
Angle of attack (pitch)

Naca 1 Series
Max Camber 10%
20%
1 degree
4

chord

200 mm

Using the Air Foil Tools website, the wing shape is displayed on Figure 2. The angle of attach,
also know as pitch is also set on the website.

Figure 1: Wing Shape of the NACA aerofoil studied in this paper.

A bounding box was created around the wing to define computational domain. The domain
should to be designed to be suitable to render the same conditions as when the wing is performing
on the car. The simulation is performed in the computational domain of 50 L from the inlet to the front
of the wing (Leading edge), 100 L from the rear (Trailing edge) to the outlet boundary, 50 L from the
top of the car to the top wall, and 50 L the clearance to the ground. As it will be assumed that the sides
is infinite, the span does not need to be large in order to use its surfaces as a symmetrical plane. In
this way, it is possible to save memory from CPU and obtain the same results from the complete width.
This measure was set to 50 mm. The Figure 3 shows the location of the wing in the bounding box.

Figure 2 bounding box of the wing analysed.

CFD Technique processes


Firstly, on the setup section, it is necessary to create the mesh. It will be used two types of
mesh: the first one is a coarse mesh and the second is a refined one. The Table 2 shows the parameters
of the meshes.
Table 3: Mesh specifications for the NACA wing analysed.

Base size
Target surface
Minimum surface

Mesh 1
1m
100%
1%

Mesh 2
1m
10%
1%
5

Number of prism layers


Prism layer stretching
Prism layer total thickness
Volume growth rate
CYLINDER
BLOCK
Relative size

2
1.5
33.33%
Fast

2
1.2
1
Slow
0.08m Radius
L 250mm and H100mm
0.6%

On the refined mesh, it was created a volumetric control according to the Figure 2 and
specifications on Table 2.

Figure 3: Volumetric control for the refined mesh.

Mesh

According to the StarCCM+ Help, the base size is a characteristic dimension of the model that
you set before using any relative values. These relative values include most of the variables on the
Table 2. The target surface size is the aims of the mesh for meet in absence of any refinement.
According to the Table 2, the coarse mesh aims to meet 100% of the base size. On the other hand, the
minimum surface size is the lower limit that the surface aims. Decreasing this two surface sizes allow
more refinement of the mesh, however, this refinements increase the CPU time and the size of the
surface mesh.

Prism layer

The number of prism layers controls the number of cell layers that are generated in boundary
with the wing shape. In the same way, the prism layer stretching determines a formula, which the next
layer will be generated using the layer before. According to the Table 2, the second layer it will be 1.5
times the first layer in the coarse mesh. The Prism Layer total thickness controls the overall thickness
of all the prism layers.

Volume Growth rate

The volume growth rate is Fast, Medium and Slow in the Mesh 1, Mesh 2 and Mesh 3,
respectively. This measure means the rate at which cell sizes increase from one cell size to another
within the trimmed cell mesh. The Figure 4 shows an example of the growth rate for the medium and
slow growth. A slow rate indicates a more refinement mesh with the high usage of CPU.

Regions

The next step to setup the wing profile on StarCCM + is to determine the regions of the
surfaces created. We need to set the inlet, outlet, symmetry, walls and the wing region. The inlet will
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be set to velocity inlet, the outlet to the pressure outlet and the symmetry to symmetry plane. The
other regions will be walls. Under inlet, the velocity magnitude was set to 90kph.

Physics setup

The physics setup can be controlled under continua and are the mathematics choice to solve
the program. In this research, it will be performed a constant density. Two models of turbulence are
treated in the simulations: the two-layer and the SST .

Turbulence

The fluid dynamics describes the motion and behaviour of fluids. When the fluid flow
separates from the wing, it creates a pressure region that can be turbulent or laminar. Having attached
flow is extremely important in decreasing aerodynamic drag and/or increasing downforce. Thus,
knowing whether the flow is laminar or turbulent is very important for race car engineers (Katz, 1995).
According to Katz (1995), The Reynolds number (Re), a nondimensional number, can
determine if the flow is mostly laminar or turbulent. The Reynolds equation can be seen at Eq. 1. For
aerofoils chord, the Reynolds number less than 10 the flow over wings will be laminar. Higher values
for Reynolds number indicates a turbulent flow.
(1)

For the NACA aerofoil used in this report the Equation 2 prove its turbulence.

90
3.6
1.8 10

1.18415

0.2

(2)
= 328931

Turbulence models

The most complex computer codes include the effect of viscosity, and in principle should be
capable of predicting surface friction and flow separation. These codes are based on solving the
complete momentum equations that are derived from the Newtons second law, which are called
Navier-Stokes equations. The Reynolds Average Navier-Stokes (RANS) is the code used as it is the
appropriate solution that model the turbulence in the flow. It is a turbulence model to simplify and
translate the effects of the Reynold stresses into the time averaged Navier-Stokes equation. The
, a type of RANS turbulence models, is a two transport equation, regarding turbulent kinetic energy
and dissipation . This model works well for general purpose rather than the other RANS models
(Nyberg, 2012).
The y+ wall treatment is a tool to appreciate whether your mesh is sufficient or not. To acquire
the correct wall shear the viscous sub layer needs to be resolved (Nyberg, 2012).
Two-layer

The two-layer model represents an improved treatment of the near-wall region for turbulent
flows at low Reynolds number. It is less grid dependent and more numerically stable than the standard
, and has become quite popular in more complex flow simulations where integration to the wall
of the flow equations is necessary (Versteeg and Malalasekera, 2007).
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SST k-
The k- is a RANS turbulence model as well, regarding as the turbulence frequency. It is a
hybrid model, proposed by Menter in 1992, using different models for near and far from the wall. The
model is the most general for external aerodynamics and can be used for general purpose on CFD,
likewise. However, it fails to include accounts of more subtle interactions between turbulent and
mean flow when compared with the Reynolds Stress equation Models (RSM) (Versteeg and
Malalasekera, 2007).

Critical Analysis
The results of the analysis for each scenario are showed in Table 4. Inside the green rectangle
are located the coarse mesh, and outside the refined one. Inside the red rectangle is located the
polyhedral volume meshes, outside the trimmed ones. The blue cells refer to the k- turbulence
model, and the other ones are the k- model.
Table 4: Results for each scenario of the simulations

Scenario

Drag

Lift

Cd

Cl

1
2

3.30

-13.71

0.04

-0.19

3.29

-13.69

0.04

-0.19

3.73

-12.92

0.05

-0.18

3.73

-12.95

0.05

2.01

-12.70

0.03

-0.18
-0.17

2.15

-12.26

0.03

-0.17

1.66

-10.55

0.02

-0.14

1.81

-10.18
Coarse

0.02

8
Polyhedral

-0.12
k-o

According to Katz (1995), a similar NACA aerofoil with 0 degrees of camber has 0.00 of lift
coefficient and 0.04 of drag coefficient. However, the wing studied in this report has a 1 degree of
camber, and the drag and lift coefficient are calculated below:
The theoretical value for drag coefficient on the first case are shown on Equation 4.
=

(3)
1
2

3.3
1
2 1.18415 25 0.2

= 0.04

(4)

Likewise, the theoretical lift coefficient for the first case are shown on Equation 6.
=

(4)
1
2

1
2 1.18415 25 0.2

= 0.19

(4)

The results for coarse mesh are showing higher drag coefficients, which are expected to be
the worst results. On the other hand, results for refined meshes are expected to be approximated to
the theoretical values.
The negative lift indicates that the direction of force action is reverse. This indicate a
downforce, and thus, the simulations can be validate.

Geometric displayer
In the geometric displayer it is possible to visualize how refined is the mesh in all scenarios.
The Figure 4, on Appendix, shows the differences between the scenarios. The coarse meshes have a
weak refinement in the prism layers, located in the boundaries of the wing. It is clearly shown on this
figure the difference between the trimmed and polyhedral volume meshes. For this case in particular,
the trimmed mesh is showed more usable, due to the fast achievement of the results. The polyhedral
mesh can adapt itself better for the surface, but both meshes acquired sufficient resolution.
In addition, it can be seen that the turbulence models do not interfere in the mesh building.

Scalar Displayer
The scalar displayer located in Appendix by Figure 5 shows the differences between the
Pressure displayers from the different scenarios. According to the literature, the centre of this
pressure vary with angle of attack, whereas the aerodynamic centre will be near the quarter chord.
Comparing the coarse mesh with the refined one, it is possible to see that the transitions from
the high pressures to the slow pressures are more highlighted in the coarse mesh. in the front of the
wing, the high pressure zone can explain the high drag, instead of a slow pressure zone at the rear.
It is expected that the wing could have more pressure underneath the wing causing a negative
lift, also known as downforce, which is wanted in motorsport. Both, coarse and refined meshes,
have this characteristic, what can validate the technical review and the simulations.
The areas of high pressure are the areas of the low velocity and vice versa.

Streamline displayer
Two characteristics are first noticed in Figure 6 that shows the streamlines, on Appendix. The
first one is the refined meshes have the lines more attached with the boundary layers what could
explain the better results. The attached line means more definition and the areas of more interesting
can be deeply investigated. The second noticeable thing is the separation of the flow, also known as
stall. The stall occur in the difference of pressures in the flow path. The separation of flow early
usually causes a vortex wave on the rear of the body. In this case, due to the NACA wing be a
streamlined body, this early separations caused by the weak refinement cannot cause any vortex
behind the aerofoil.
It is possible to see from the streamlines in the refined meshes, that viscosity entrains the flow
to follow the wings surfaces; this in turn causes it to accelerate below the wing, creating static pressure
reduction and downforce (McBeath, 2006).

Vector displayer
The vector displayers are shown in Figure 7 on the Appendix. Due to the shape of the wing, it
is easy to see on figure there are no recirculation zones caused by the vortex waves. However, the
vortex zones are caused by a 3D flows and, therefore, it is not possible to analyse in this report.
The vortex displayers can show the direction of the velocity in each case.

Conclusion
Flow analysis, using CFD, has been widely used in engineering. Performing tests in
computational programs are a cheaper way to improve cars aerodynamic. In motorsport, it is always
required high speed in curves. In order to increase the speed car potential in curves, the drag and lift
coefficient are important factors to consider. The downforce increase the grip of the car without any
increment of its weight. However, it is necessary to balance it with the drag due to the relations
between each other.
During the analysis, the method of simulation construction was detailed in CFD Technique
processes section. The report was based on a 2D simulation in order to save computational memory.
However, a wing, like any solid body, alters the airflow around it in all three dimensions, and this
makes a big difference, for example, to calculations of drag, because vortex drag is the result of a 3D
flow change as explained by Mcbeath (2006).
During the simulations, possible mistakes can happen. One of them can be the frontal area for
drag calculations. The area used was the same as the lift one. However, the frontal area in Drag
coefficient is different and this can alter the results. The meshes in turn contribute to the results
resolution. As it is seen in the Geometric displayers, the refined meshes gives more accuracy.
This work could evaluate the best configuration to analyse a NACA aerofoil with motorsport
using. The refined meshes always bring better results, but it is important to notice that better results
bring additional costs, so it is important to measure how amount of refinement is valuable to
determined work. The trimmed results showed more usable in this calculations due to its facilities to
be a fast approximation, in spite of polyhedral meshes showed more adjustable to the shape. The
turbulence models showed approximated results and so, both can be used for this model.

References
Versteeg, H. and Malalasekera, W. (2007). An introduction to computational fluid dynamics. Harlow,
England: Pearson Education Ltd.
NASA history program office. Available at: http://history.nasa.gov/naca/. [Accessed: 16 Nov. 14]
Hirsch, C. (2007). Fundamentals of
Elsevier/Butterworth-Heinemann.

computational fluid dynamics. Amsterdam [u.a.]:

Katz, J. (1995). Race car aerodynamics. Cambridge, MA, USA: R. Bentley.


Nyberg, K. (2012). Flow analysis of Apache wingsuit. Linkpings University.
Serre, E., Minguez, M., Pasquetti, R., Guilmineau, E., Deng, G., Kornhaas, M., Schfer, M., Frhlich, J.,
Hinterberger, C. and Rodi, W. (2013). On simulating the turbulent flow around the Ahmed body: A
FrenchGerman collaborative evaluation of LES and DES. Computers & Fluids, 78, pp.10-23.
McBeath, S. (2006). Competition car aerodynamics. Sparkford, Yeovil, Somerset, UK: Haynes Pub.
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Bibliography
Star CCM+ CD Adapco, 2014. Available at: http://www.cd-adapco.com/products/star-ccm%C2%AE
[Accessed: 16 Nov. 14]
Kieffer, W., Moujaes, S. and Armbya, N. (2006). CFD study of section characteristics of Formula Mazda
race car wings. Mathematical and Computer Modelling, 43(11-12), pp.1275-1287.

Appendix

11

COURSE

REFINED

TRIMMED
k-

TRIMMED
k-

POLYHEDRAL
k-

POLYHEDRAL
k-

Figure 4: Geometric displayer

12

COURSE

REFINED

TRIMMED
k-

TRIMMED
k-

POLYHEDRAL
k-

POLYHEDRAL
k-

Figure 5: Pressure displayer

13

COARSE

REFINED

TRIMMED
k-

TRIMMED
k-

POLYHEDRAL
k-

POLYHEDRAL
k-

Figure 6: Streamlines

14

COARSE

REFINED

TRIMMED
k-

TRIMMED
k-

POLYHEDRAL
k-

POLYHEDRAL
k-

Figure 7: Vector displayers

15