Measurement of Drag Force Acting on a Linke Hofmann Busch Design Railway Coach Through Wind Tunnel Testing


Aerodynamic drag reduction is a crucial step to reduce the energy consumption of a vehicle. The drag force increases with the square of the velocity, and nearly 53% of the energy supplied goes in the way of aerodynamic drag. Further, it is essential to know the drag coefficient for calculating the maximum possible speed of a vehicle with the given power. Recently, the LHB coaches are preferred over the ICF coaches in Indian Railways due to their technological advantages. Here, variations in drag coefficient with flow modifications were examined using a 1:50 scaled model of Linke Hofmann Busch coach in a low-speed wind tunnel. The flow over the coaches was modified by different combinations of windows and door opening, a tandem arrangement of coaches, and the fairing of spacing between the coaches. The scaled-down model of Linke Hofmann Busch was fabricated using perspex sheet and cardboard pieces. The drag force acting on the model with various configurations is measured using a six-component pyramidal balance for free-stream velocity up to 108 kmph. The fluctuating velocities just outside the model near doors and windows are measured using hot-wire probes to examine the flow characteristics. It was interesting to know that the opening the back doors alone has significantly reduced the drag coefficient compared to the fully closed configuration of the LHB coach. The maximum drag was observed when two LHB coaches were placed in tandem configuration with a separation distance. It reduced substantially when a fairing introduced. A maximum reduction in axial velocity of 90% was observed near the front door for the fully opened configuration of the coach due to almost a steady lateral flow. The axial velocity has recovered to a maximum of 82% of the free-stream velocity at the rear door.

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This work is performed at CSIR-Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute (CMERI), Durgapur. The authors would like to thank the Director CSIR-CMERI, Head Aerosystems Laboratory, and Indian Academy of Sciences for providing the opportunity to carry out the experimental work at CSIR-CMERI, Durgapur, through the Joint Science Academies’ Summer Research Fellowship Programme for Students and Teachers 2018.

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Murugan, T., Abubakkar, A. Measurement of Drag Force Acting on a Linke Hofmann Busch Design Railway Coach Through Wind Tunnel Testing. J. Inst. Eng. India Ser. C 102, 145–155 (2021).

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  • Aerodynamics
  • Railway coach
  • Wind tunnel testing
  • Drag measurement
  • Hot-wire anemometer