Experimental study of the vortex system generated by a Formula 1 front wing

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Title: Experimental study of the vortex system generated by a Formula 1 front wing
Author(s): Pegrum, Jonathan Mark
Item Type: Thesis or dissertation
Abstract: This thesis describes the research undertaken on the behaviour of the vortex system generated by a Formula 1 front wing, as it travels about a rotating wheel. This has been realised by investigating the flow structure downstream of a 50% wind tunnel model using flow visualisation, total pressure wake surveys, hot-film anemometry and PIV. The characteristics of the vortex system have been obtained by examining the flow from the wing and endplate without the wheel. This has shown that the wake consists of four co-rotating vortices which interact and merge together. By modifying the ride height of the wing the relative strengths of the vortices are affected resulting in subtle differences to the downstream merging process. The introduction of the wheel substantially affects the vortex system. To analyse its influence the behaviour of a single trailing vortex has been examined as it passes about the wheel. Observations have shown that the trajectory of the vortex is strongly dependant on its initial position and strength ahead of the wheel. With the wheel included, the flow structure generated by the Formula 1 front wing is dominated by the interaction between two vortices. The relative strength and separation of these two structures is affected by both the ride height of the wing and the influences of the rotating wheel. As a result the flow structure formed downstream is dependant on the amount of merging which has taken place. This research has shown that the flow downstream of a Formula 1 front wing is strongly affected by the merging characteristics of the trailing vortex system. Hence by careful consideration of the placement and strength of the vortices it is possible to change the structure of the flow.
Content Version: Open Access
Publication Date: Nov-2006
Date Awarded: Feb-2007
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/12585
Advisor: Bearman, Peter
Department: Aeronautics
Publisher: Imperial College London
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Qualification Name: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Appears in Collections:Aeronautics PhD theses

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