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Automotive Testing Technology International - Caught in the turbulence

For auto makers, the ability to accurately simulate turbulence helps to create quieter, more slippery and more fuel-efficient vehicles.

The airflow around a car is always turbulent, particularly in the critical boundary layer – the few millimeters closest to the vehicle’s surface – and in the vehicle’s wake. Not only that, but a turbulent flow is transient, as opposed to steady-state: it continuously changes with time. Smoke wands show this in a wind tunnel, and the phenomenon is reflected in the measurements that aerodynamicists record during tunnel testing.