Numerical and Experimental Investigation of Wiper System Performance at High Speeds


1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, 34437, Turkey

2 Teklas Kaucuk A.S., Kocaeli, 41400, Turkey


In this study, aerodynamic forces acting on the windshield wiper system at critical wiper angles are simulated using different wiper blade geometries, i.e., wiper and spoiler modifications, to solve the wiping problem occurring at high speeds due to lifting forces. Undesired aerodynamic lift forces reach a peak at critical blade angles, thus turbulent air flow around the wiper blades at critical angles on a car model is investigated numerically in detail to solve this problem. Previous experimental studies have shown that the front windshield wiper blades can be lifted up by aerodynamic forces between wiper blade angles of 30-40°, if no geometric modifications are done to prevent this. The possible modifications which can have a positive effect on wiper’s performance include wiper’s profile (also spoiler’s curvature), wiper’s height and connection type of the rubber part to the metal part. Aerodynamic lift and drag forces acting on the wiper blade and wiper arm are calculated for both driver’s and passenger’s sides. It is revealed that for both wiper blades on the driver’s and passenger’s sides, an increased wiper height with a blunt connection type can supply most satisfactory results in terms of decreased lift forces, in other words negative lift forces. Utilizing the output of the numerical analysis, the new wiper-blade-spoiler profile is selected and then manufactured to test its wiping performance in a thermal wind tunnel by soiling tests. Numerical studies are validated by experimental tests, since the new wiper profile has been proven as a more efficient prototype in terms of wiping performance compared to the original one.