Simulating “On Road” Aerodynamics with CFD for Automotive Design

Automotive engineers have been using Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) to design vehicles and vehicle components for many years. CAE has expanded the design envelope for vehicle manufacturers and racing teams, leading to reduced costs and lead-time to explore a given configuration. Engineers interested in designing components that interact with fluids have traditionally used Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to predict aerodynamic loading, internal flow rates and thermal interaction by considering time-averaged flow fields. CFD simulations conducted with a steady-state (Reynolds Averaged Navier-Stokes) methodology are intended to average out unsteady flow details in order to obtain the time averaged flow conditions. RANS solutions can give a good indication of how the components behave while exposed to a constant vehicle velocity for a single configuration.

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