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Models For Vehicle Aerodynamics


Objectives and content
Computation Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has made a strong impact
on the rationalisation and optimisation of the design
process in various branches of industry. However, the
aerodynamic design of road vehicles relies almost
completely on expensive and elaborate wind tunnel
testing, because industrial CFD codes are regarded as
insufficiently reliable to reproduce the complex flow
physics around and behind a vehicle. It has been
generally recognised that the major weakness of the CFD
codes are the turbulence models, which have been
developed mainly with reference to simpler flows not
pertinent to the vehicle aerodynamics.
The goal of this project is to develop accurate and fast
numerical prediction tools for the design and
optimisation of road vehicles through the development,
calibration and experimental verification of advanced
turbulence models for external aerodynamics, in
conjunction with advanced finite-volume numerical
methods. In attaining this goal the project will focus
on further development and refinement of the newest
generation of turbulence models and their validation in
selected real-life problems encountered in road-vehicle
aerodynamics, which have so far not been successfully
Separation on curved roof and rear window
Flow around protrusions (mirrors)
Wake/road interaction behind a vehicle
Flow between rotating wheels and wheel arches
The complexity of these phenomena requires substantial
modification of the turbulence modelling approach,
compared to the older generation of models, which are
still in use in most industrial CFD codes.
The new generation of turbulence models is expected to
better capture the real physics by representing in exact
manner several important mechanisms in turbulence
dynamics. The models are based on the steady and
transient Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes equations
(RANS), and will employ differential and algebraic
second-moment closures (the latter including non-linear
eddy-viscosity models). In addition, Large-Eddy
Simulations (LES) will be used as a prospective future
technique for validating the unsteady RANS approach for
problems associated with unsteady phenomena and coherent
eddy structure. The development of the models will be
supported by a limited number of well-selected
experiments to be carried out in the project. The
validated new models will also be incorporated in
industrial CFD codes and validated in practice.
The project will be a joint effort of 6 internationally
renowned groups, which includes: (1) turbulence
modellers, (2) experimentalists, (3) industrial CFD codes
developers and vendors, and (4) a road-vehicle

Call for proposal

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Technische Universiteit Delft
1,lorentzweg 1
2628 CJ Delft

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EU contribution
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Participants (5)