Date of Award

Spring 2010

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical Engineering

Committee Director

Ayodeji O. Demuren

Committee Member

Arthur C. Taylor, III

Committee Member

Chester Grosch


Modern mining operations are highly reliant on the amount of material that can be removed from the earth, transported to processing, and then processed. The companies that design and build mining dump trucks concentrate on improving the material payload capacity. Currently, the largest trucks are 400ton-class trucks. The design of these large mining dump trucks certainly does not stem from aerodynamics, but rather, from functionality and payload As a result, the shear size and asymmetric functional design creates interesting turbulent wakes on, around, and behind these trucks. This research focuses on the turbulent flow behind the truck. Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) simulations and experimental measurements of the flow around a full-size truck were impractical; instead, a 1:30-scaled truck model was used for the CFD simulations and experiments. Computation methods consisted of steady and unsteady k-ϵ Reynolds Average Navier Stokes and Detached Eddy Simulation. Windtunnel measurements of the scaled truck were made with Particle Image Velocimetry. Mean velocity and Reynolds Stresses from CFD simulations and experiment were compared. There was a fair agreement between the simulation results and experimental data, especially with respect to the major features. In addition, the Turbulent Kinetic Energy Budget terms were computed and coherent structures were examined using Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD) method. POD analysis of both simulation results and experimental data showed that modal energy fell below 0.019 (on average) after 20 modes. Furthermore, 77% (on average) of the total energy were present in the first 100 modes.