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Considerations for the Wind Tunnel Simulation of Tractor-Trailer Combinations: Correlation of Full- and Half-Scale Measurements
ISSN: 1946-391X, e-ISSN: 1946-3928
Published September 24, 2013 by SAE International in United States
Citation: Leuschen, J., "Considerations for the Wind Tunnel Simulation of Tractor-Trailer Combinations: Correlation of Full- and Half-Scale Measurements," SAE Int. J. Commer. Veh. 6(2):529-538, 2013, https://doi.org/10.4271/2013-01-2456.
The 9-meter wind tunnel of the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada is commonly employed in testing of class 8 tractors at full- and model-scales. In support of this work a series of tests of an identical model at full- and half-scale were performed to investigate some of the effects resulting from simulation compromises.
Minimum Reynolds Number considerations drive the crucial decisions of what scale and speed to employ for testing. The full- and half-scale campaigns included Reynolds Number sweeps allowing conclusions to be reached on the minimum Reynolds number required for testing of fully-detailed commercial truck models. Furthermore the Reynolds sweeps were repeated at a variety of yaw angles to examine whether the minimum Reynolds Number was a function of yaw angle and the resulting flow regime changes.
The test section of the NRC 9-meter wind tunnel is not sufficiently long to accommodate a full-scale tractor and a typical trailer length of 48′ or more. Most of full-scale testing is therefore conducted with a more manageable 28′ trailer. To quantify the effects of this simplification the half-scale model was tested with representations of 28′ and 48′ trailers. The changes in the baseline drag curves will be presented along with the effect of trailer devices, such as skirts, on the different lengths of trailer.
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