Today's vehicle and powertrain engineers face increasing challenges to meet fuel economy and drive quality targets, while at the same time keep vehicle cost reasonable. Many of the new engine technologies designed to improve fuel economy create difficulties for the noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) engineer, whose job it is to assure a certain level of comfort for the occupants.
The role of fluid dynamics simulation in the design and development of various products has recently undergone what is arguably a paradigm shift due to the ability to simulate unusually complicated, multi-component, hydraulics flow circuits using three dimensional (3D) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models. The example shows a lubrication system model (developed using the Simerics-Sys / PumpLinx CFD software) for a 16 cylinder reciprocating internal combustion engine. This represents an advance in system-level modeling of hydraulic fluid networks over the current state of the art which is a blend of zero and one-dimensional models. This also represents continued progress in the role of CFD from the traditional component level modeling to system level modeling. System level modeling provides insight into interactions between components. Finally, it is equally important that model setup and run times are reasonable relative to development time scales.
L&L Products is a provider of individual and innovative engineering solutions to the automotive industry and is known for superior engineering through the use of state-of-the-art simulation methods in the product development chain. However, they faced the challenges in moving towards greener technology by replacing classical metal design with composite structures. The purpose of transitioning was to utilize the outstanding performance of composite materials. However, this presented difficulties, mainly with predicting the injection molding process and achieving a high-quality prediction of the impact on a short fiber reinforced stiffener beam.
When developing the sub-systems of a vehicle, compromises have to be made among several contrasting objectives. On one hand, one wants to set all sub-systems – such as suspensions – so that they allow efficient and safe handling of the vehicle. On the other hand, comfort cannot be sacrificed too much. Being the support of the vehicle and providing forces necessary to control it, pneumatic tires are one of the most important components. However, it is very challenging to model them due to both their complicated composition and the materials used in their manufacturing process. On top of that, the modeling is done by suppliers and an in depth understanding of the interaction with the vehicle must be attained.