Title: Variation of ground effect phenomena about downforce generating aerofoils caused by changes in aerofoil shape

Authors: Jonathan W. Vogt; Tracie J. Barber

Addresses: School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 2052, Australia. ' School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of New South Wales, Sydney, 2052, Australia

Abstract: The aerodynamic characteristics of bodies in ground effect conditions are an important consideration for road vehicle aerodynamic design and analysis. The particular geometric properties of two aerofoils in ground effect are investigated in this study, using two-dimensional computational fluid dynamics. By comparing the different flow features found for each of the two aerofoils, the important geometric components for optimised ground effect performance are determined. This information is then used to modify the shape of one of the aerofoils, with the aim of producing greater performance characteristics. The modified aerofoil is found to produce greater downforce (while also producing an increase in the drag force), which represents an improvement in the aerodynamic characteristics for this application.

Keywords: ground effect aerodynamics; automotive aerodynamics; computational fluid dynamics; CFD; downforce; inverted aerofoils; airfoil shape; vehicle design; drag force.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAD.2012.046554

International Journal of Aerodynamics, 2012 Vol.2 No.1, pp.36 - 49

Accepted: 28 Dec 2011
Published online: 23 Apr 2012 *

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