Experimental Investigation of the Near Wall Flow Downstream of a Passenger Car Wheel Arch
Journal article, 2018
The flow around and downstream of the front wheels of passenger cars is highly complex and characterized by flow structure interactions between the external flow, fluid exiting through the wheelhouse, flow from the engine bay and the underbody. In the present paper the near wall flow downstream of the front wheel house is analyzed, combining two traditional methods. A tuft visualization method is used to obtain the limiting streamline pattern and information about the near wall flow direction. Additionally, time resolved surface pressure measurements are used to study the pressure distribution and the standard deviation. The propagation of the occurring flow structures is investigated by cross correlations of the pressure signal and a spectral analysis provides the characteristic frequencies of the investigated flow. It is found that two main flow phenomena can be observed: one originates from flow exiting the upper wheelhouse and a second one resulting from a separation on the lower wheel house edge. The frequency spectrum reveals a dominant Strouhal number of 0.2. As the observed flow structures are attributed to the wheel-wheelhouse interaction, a closed wheelhouse configuration is also investigated and the results confirm that the fluctuations and observed flow structures are created by the flow interaction between the wheel, wheelhouse and the rotation of the wheel.