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Substantial drag reduction of a tractor-trailer vehicle using gap fairings

Authors
  • Kim, J.J.
  • Kim, J.
  • Lee, S.J.
Publication Date
Dec 21, 2017
Source
[email protected]
Keywords
License
Unknown
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Abstract

Aerodynamic drag reduction of heavy vehicles is one of the main issues in fuel saving and environmental gas emission. In general, 50% of the total aerodynamic drag is induced from the region in the front surface of the vehicle and the gap between the tractor and trailer. Various forebody drag-reducing devices for tractor?trailer vehicles were introduced, however, conventional gap fairings or side extenders have technical limitations in reducing the aerodynamic drag exerting on the cab-roof space and gap between the tractor and trailer effectively. In this study, wind tunnel tests were conducted to investigate the drag reduction effects of the newly proposed gap fairings. The proposed gap fairing reduced drag by 16.4% at maximum as well as changed the gap length and deflecting angle. The aero cab fairing (ACF), which is a combination of cab-roof and gap fairings, and the extended aero cab fairing (EACF) considerably reduced the drag coefficient by approximately 11.1% and 17.5%, respectively. A particle image velocimetry was used to investigate flow characteristics, such as spatial distributions of mean velocity, vorticity, and turbulent kinetic energy around the scaled-down tractor?trailer model (1:17) with and without gap fairings to analyze the drag-reduction mechanism of the proposed gap fairings. The proposed gap fairings including ACF and EACF significantly reduced the mean velocity, vorticity in the gap region between the tractor and trailer, and the turbulent kinetic energy on the trailer's front surface. Results can provide useful information for improving the design of new additive flow control devices in reducing the aerodynamic drag of heavy vehicles. ? 2017 Elsevier Ltd / 1 / 1

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