Dynamics of the unstable wake modes in automotive aerodynamics : from simplified models to real vehicles

Abstract : Since the recent discovery of asymmetric modes in the wake of a simplified vehicle geometry, reminiscent from a bifurcation at low Reynolds numbers, some questions related to the aerodynamic development of ground vehicles such as the influence of lateral wind, pitch and afterbody boat-tail classically used during shape optimization remain unanswered. Our work is devoted to assess those questions experimentally for simplified but also real geometries. The tests are conducted in an industrial wind-tunnel, at the 2/5-scale for the academic body and at the full scale for the minivans. We show that the vehicle's misalignment only modifies the asymmetric mode's orientation without affecting its intensity. We build a model predicting not only this orientation but also the consequences on the cross-flow aerodynamic loading. The contribution of the instability to the lift or side force coefficients is of the order of 0,02 independently of lateral wind or of the vehicle's pitch. Afterbody boat-tails also impact the wake dynamics and its orientation but the instability is never suppressed. These results are retrieved for real vehicles such as minivans, whose wake is then subjected to the same asymmetric mode as well, revealed unambiguously with pitch sensitivity experiments. Our results indicate that, for all considered vehicles, the asymmetric wake mode is systematically present in the driving envelope. The control or the suppression of this mode should offer new optimization's perspectives for blunt based vehicles such as minivans or SUVs.
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  • HAL Id : tel-01915961, version 1

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Guillaume Bonnavion. Dynamics of the unstable wake modes in automotive aerodynamics : from simplified models to real vehicles. Mechanics of the fluids [physics.class-ph]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLY010⟩. ⟨tel-01915961⟩

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