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A CFD Simulation Approach for Optimizing Front Air-dam to Improve Aerodynamic Drag of a Vehicle
ISSN: 0148-7191, e-ISSN: 2688-3627
To be published on September 25, 2020 by SAE International in United States
Event: International Conference on Advances in Design, Materials, Manufacturing and Surface Engineering for Mobility
Aerodynamic CFD simulations are effectively used to cut down the vehicle development period and to completely understand the aerodynamic effects on vehicle performance. Attaching add-on devices to improve aerodynamic performance is the approach which is highly followed. While the methodologies are well established to quantify the effect of add-on device on improving drag coefficient of a vehicle, the investigations still require in depth understanding, even though a vast number of studies available on aerodynamic drag performance improvement. Front air-dam is one of the components attached below the front bumper to reduce airflow towards underbody and away from front tires, to reduce drag coefficient. However, the size and position of front air-dam must be optimized to get the desired result. Extensive iterations are carried out to finalize the front air-dam size and position until the target is achieved. The existing process is time consuming as the front air-dam size and position is adjusted manually and simulation is being performed for each design and requires detailed post process for all design iterations. The objective of this study is to couple CFD solver with design optimization tool to reduce overall manual design iterations for improved aerodynamic drag coefficient. A method is developed to couple CFD solver and optimization tool, with parameters defined as front air-dam size (Minimum and Maximum) and response as drag coefficient. SHERPA algorithm is chosen for this optimization study. Base design aerodynamic drag value is validated with wind tunnel test and the same method is applied for all design iterations. By using this optimization method 4% improvement in drag value compared to base design aerodynamic drag value and reduction of about 40% manual effort.