Crosswind effects on high-sided road vehicles with and without movement

Bin Wang, You Lin Xu, Le Dong Zhu, Yong Le Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


The safety of road vehicles on the ground in crosswind has been investigated for many years. One of the most important fundamentals in the safety analysis is aerodynamic characteristics of a vehicle in crosswind. The most common way to study the aerodynamic characteristics of a vehicle in crosswind is wind tunnel tests to measure the aerodynamic coefficients and/or pressure coefficients of the vehicle. Due to the complexity of wind tunnel test equipment and procedure, the features of flow field around the vehicle are seldom explored in a wind tunnel, particularly for the vehicle moving on the ground. As a complementary to wind tunnel tests, the numerical method using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can be employed as an effective tool to explore the aerodynamic characteristics of as well as flow features around the vehicle. This study explores crosswind effects on a high-sided lorry on the ground with and without movement through CFD simulations together with wind tunnel tests. Firstly, the aerodynamic forces on a stationary lorry model are measured in a wind tunnel, and the results are compared with the previous measurement results. The CFD with unsteady RANS method is then employed to simulate wind flow around and wind pressures on the stationary lorry. The numerical aerodynamic forces are compared with the wind tunnel test results. Furthermore, the same CFD method is extended to investigate the moving vehicle on the ground in crosswind. The results show that the CFD results match with wind tunnel test results and the current way using aerodynamic coefficients from a stationary vehicle in crosswind is acceptable. The CFD simulation can provide more insights on flow field and pressure distribution which are difficult to be obtained by wind tunnel tests.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-180
Number of pages26
JournalWind and Structures, An International Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014


  • Aerodynamic characteristics
  • Computational fluid dynamics simulation
  • Crosswind effects
  • Road vehicles
  • Stationary and moving vehicle
  • Wind tunnel tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Modelling and Simulation

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