The Wheel

I don't see a sci.engr.aerospace newsgroup so I'll try here...
We have these popular aluminum wheels with as few as five column-sized
spokes and often there are six spokes or more. And sometimes the spokes are smaller but paired together so count the pair as one...
And consider vehicles that have separate frames and fiberglass bodywork. A steel frame is more elastic and less prone to cracking than aluminum. But aluminum frames are sometimes used with large sections. But an aluminum wheel is no problem since wheels are easily replaced. So the wheel is a good place to save weight.
Now unsprung weight is also important and so aluminum wheels result in less unsprung weight.
But here's the question. Are these aluminum wheels with column-sized spokes...are they aerodynamic ? I mean obviously they are not but is there more involved ? Like do these wheels create some kind of vortex that smooths out the air flow down the side of the car ? Or are these wheels simply not very aerodynamic in any manner ?
Well google for aerodynamic wheels and disk wheels are found for bicycles...
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wrote:

As a material property, aluminum is three times as springy (Young's Modulus) as steel. But springy materials can make stiff structures, and vice versa. Usually the further away from the axis the material is placed, the stiffer. And a box section is several hundred times less 'twisty' than a U section.
Either way, wheels are kinda draggy
Brian W
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>>I don't see a sci.engr.aerospace newsgroup so I'll try here...

My terminology may have been off ?
So...aluminum fatigue performance is less than one-half that of steel...
http://www.ussautomotive.com/auto/steelvsal/basicfacts.htm
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Dear R Mach:
...

Nearly inconsequential compared to the wheel itself. Hubcaps make it more aerodynamic.

Correct.
... like a rim with a tire on one side of it.

S'OK... how else are you going to learn new terminology?

No. Aluminum has a finite fatigue life, you design it for the number of cycles you need. Steel and iron have an infinite fatigue life... if you stay at or below 80% of hot-rolled strength.
David A. Smith
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Well these wheels with column-sized spokes are spinning like a fan. So the idea here is for the wheel to produce some type of aerodynamic effect such that the air flow down the side of the car is smoother...
So this is an idea for aerodynamic research...
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On Sat, 1 Nov 2008 04:27:30 -0500, in sci.engr.mech "R Mach"

Don't think so. Look at the state of the art in Formula 1 racing automobiles. Ferrari and others have gone to fancy carbon fiber "hub caps". Funny thing is they are painted to looked like traditional spoke wheels.
http://www.formula1.com/photos/597x478/schlegelmilch/2008/0817-0062.jpg
http://www.formula1.com/photos/597x478/manual/dgb0827aug55.jpg
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But since the automotive consumer does not use hubcaps...can the wheel with column-sized spokes make its own hubcap with an air pressure ?
Or is there some other aerodynamic approach ?
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Dear R Mach:

...
They did until recently, and all the "solar racers" and other extreme high mileage vehicles all enclosure this space and don't waste energy pumping air.

Not and save energy. Not and prevent being a hindrance at other than optimal speeds.

Yes. Enclose the space. Or reinvent the wheel.
David A. Smith
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They did until recently, and all the "solar racers" and other extreme high mileage vehicles all enclosure this space and don't waste energy pumping air.

Not and save energy. Not and prevent being a hindrance at other than optimal speeds.

Yes. Enclose the space. Or reinvent the wheel.
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Well maybe the column-sized spokes can have a spoiler shape that both reduces drag of the spoke and also bounces the air to the next spoke...
Another idea would be recessed spoilers inside the spokes that pull out when the wheel is spinning...
Or a search for the best transparent material for a wheel cover...
-------------------------------------------------------
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Well the subject could become...what is the best column-sized spoke aerodynamically for the automotive wheel ?
Is it the 1960's Minilite style like the Amreican Racing Torq-thrust ? Or is it the AR Rebel style that others also have in a more trim version ? Or is it the AR Cartel style that others also have in a simpler version ?
And we have a NASA air duct that is used on airplanes and race cars. So what would the NASA automotive column-sized wheel spoke look like ?
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