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Aerodynamic drag reduction apparatus for gap-divided bluff bodies such as tractor-trailers

United States Patent

July 11, 2006
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory - Visit the Industrial Partnerships Office Website
An apparatus for reducing the aerodynamic drag of a bluff-bodied vehicle such as a tractor-trailer in a flowstream, the bluff-bodied vehicle of a type having a leading portion, a trailing portion connected to the leading portion, and a gap between the leading and trailing portions defining a recirculation zone. The apparatus is preferably a baffle assembly, such as a vertical panel, adapted to span a width of the gap between the leading and trailing portions so as to impede cross-flow through the gap, with the span of the baffle assembly automatically adjusting for variations in the gap width when the leading and trailing portions pivot relative to each other.
Ortega; Jason M. (Pacifica, CA), Salari; Kambiz (Livermore, CA)
The Regents of the University of California (Oakland, CA)
10/ 786,398
February 24, 2004
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.