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A parametric CFD study of a generic pickup truck and rear box modifications
Aerodynamics of ground vehicles is becoming a very important concern for all the car manufacturers to produce heavy duty vehicles with better gas mileage. Fuel efficiency of pickup truck is poor due to the geometric structure. Lower drag provides better performances such as higher fuel efficiency and better stability. In this study the air-flow pattern inside the rear 8-feet box of a generic pickup truck and corresponding aerodynamic drag have been analyzed. In addition, a comparison in between few market available add-on devices aimed to improve flow conditions was carried out. It has been proven that the negative pressure zone induced in the rear box of the pickup trucks creates flow separation and strong re-circulating vortices and thus produces higher drag values. The focus of the current study was to analyze the flow topology using different add-on devices for diverting the flow and to compare their effects on the flow patterns contributing towards drag and lift. In present study, more detailed model was used for the generic pickup truck, which includes side mirrors, front grill, wheel cavity, rims and small underbody details to have better representation of the case in focus. Numeric simulations for CFD were performed on STAR CCM+ developed by CD-ADAPCO Inc. Symmetrical models was used to achieve better accuracy with less computational burden. Standard post-processing tools were merged with unit-less parameters such as pressure coefficient and total pressure iso-surface to understand and compare between the effects of pressure distribution for different add-on devices. By analyzing the streamlines, velocity contours developed a comparison of effectiveness for different modifications was concluded.