Experimental analyzes were performed to understand the drag evolution and the flow field modifications resulting from afterbody rounding on the Ahmed body, a simplified vehicle model with 25 degrees rear slant. Curvature effects were investigated using balance measurements, flow visualizations, wall pressure, and particle image velocimetry measurements. The rear end of the original well-known Ahmed body has sharp connections between the roof and the rear window as well as squared rear pillars. Similarly to previous studies, rounding the roof/backlight intersection was shown to reduce drag up to 16 %. Surprisingly, additional rear curvature associated with side pillar rounding did not further modify the drag. However, the zero net effect was found to result from opposite drag effects on the slanted and vertical surfaces and to hide strong local modifications on the flow field. The tridimensional organization and vorticity transport in the near wake were analyzed and connected to the observed local increase in the pressure drag on the base. Finally, these results were shown to be generic for a realistic rounded-end car shape.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 27, 2016
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