Growing fuel costs and more stringent environmental regulations, as well as demand for reduction in product and process development time and cost, impose vehicle manufacturers to re-design all vehicle systems in order to to maintain profitability and competitiveness while increasing product quality. A lot of areas are involved in the process: from aerodynamics, engine and transmission to vehicle body, passenger comfort systems and electrical and electronic systems.
Automotive R&D has to deal also with development of new solutions in powertrains of hybrid and electric vehicles by continuing to study new technologies such as batteries and electric motors.
Automakers must continually surprise the consumer with value-added high-tech functionalities. Safety features and smart technologies, from wireless communications to collision avoidance, requires engineers to exploit the power of virtual simulation to address these challenges in a fast, cheap, safe manner since the early design phase.
CFD has been integrated into the Automotive design process, shortening development cycles. Numerical simulation has revolutionized this industry, CAE is being embedded in all levels of industry, entering every stage of the engineering process. Early design evaluations and feasibility studies allow to recognize correct approaches and to identify inefficient and unsafe ones before committing to capital expenditure. Physical tests as well as number of prototypes can be lowered, leading to a significant cost reduction and faster time to market.
Typical applications areas include:
- Aerodynamics: steady, unsteady, overtaking maneuvers, aeroacoustics
- Powertrain: ports, piston, combustion system, ventilation, oil circuit, intake manifold, ducts, EGR injection, cooling system, variable tumble system, exhaust manifold, catalyst, brake
- In-Cylinder: intake port, intake manifold, combustion chamber, piston bowl, HCCI/CAI, emissions, cylinder to cylinder, injection, knock, spark plug, spray and liquid film
- Cabin: Passenger comfort, HVAC, soiling, de-ice/de-fog
- Underhood: flow structure, underbody temperature, radiator, fan