Flow around a rotating short cylinder: a computational study



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Texas Tech University


Despite wide spread interest in the aerodynamics of cars in recent years, the flow field associated with the wheels has received relatively little attention, mainly due to difficulties in obtaining an adequate simulation of the flow. Yet in many cases where aerodynamic designs are important, flow around the wheels can play a major role in the behavior of the vehicle. The obvious example is racing cars, which travel at high speeds with totally exposed wheels. A detailed understanding of the flow should also help in dealing with the hazard formed by entrainment and dispersal of spray from a wet road caused by trucks.

In the present study, AIRFL03D~a multi-grid based finite-volume code has been used to predict numerically the flow around a short cylinder which resembles the flow around a wheel. Comparisons are made for the flow around a stationary cylinder with that around the same cylinder when rotating in order to highlight the specific effects of rotation. Lift and drag are also calculated from pressure distributions.

Standard k-e model was used in the AIRFL03D code. Although it has been reported that the standard k-s model cannot accurately predict rotational flow, reasonable results have been obtained for a certain range of wheel rotation.

ICEM^^ CFD/CAE a commercial preprocessing software has been used for model generation as well as generation of the grid. EnSight^^ another commercial postprocessing software has been used for the visualization of the analysis. The computational results obtained show very good trends in the prediction of the flow field compared with previous experimental results.