Numerical analysis of the effect of the change in the ride height on the aerodynamic front wing-wheel interactions of a racing car

Sammy Diasinos*, Tracie Barber, Graham Doig

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

An investigation into the influence of the ground clearance on the aerodynamic interactions between the inverted front wing and the wheel of a racing car was conducted using computational fluid dynamics. Height-to-chord ratios h/c from 0.075 to 0.27 were assessed for a single-element wing with a fixed angle of 4° and for two wing spans, one of which completely overlapped the wheel and the other which had its endplate coincident with the inside face of the wheel. With a narrower span, a lower peak downforce was achieved at a higher ground clearance owing to changes in the lower endplate vortex strength whereas, with a wider span, no downforce loss was observed, with decreasing clearance for those tested. This contrasted distinctly with the performance of the wing in isolation. The wheel lift was scarcely affected with decreasing wing ground clearance for the narrower span but decreased significantly for the wide-span wing at low ground clearances. The vortex paths changed considerably with the ground clearance, with a strong coupling to the wing span; a state in which the main vortex was destroyed in the contact patch of the wheel was identified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)900-914
Number of pages15
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering
Volume231
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • computational fluid dynamics
  • wing-wheel interaction
  • vortices
  • vehicle performance
  • ground effect
  • ground clearance

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