Simulation is important for many industries, particularly engineering and manufacturing. The simulation process helps designers analyze the functionality of their designs and work out kinks before investing in costly prototypes. FloEFD from Mentor Graphics is simulation software specifically designed to analyze the heat transfer, fluid flow, and air flow simulations of various products.
Since FloEFD can embed directly into numerous CAD programs, including PTC Creo, it significantly reduces the amount of time designers need to devote to simulation tasks. Designers can run simulations directly on CAD models and within the same environment where they design. This removes a lot of the complicated calculations and meshing overhead that is required with traditional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools.
FloEFD simplifies heat transfer and fluid flow simulation by embedding directly into Creo.
FloEFD Success Stories
FloEFD has been utilized in many simulation, analysis, and optimization projects for a range of industries and uses including:
- LED Lighting
- TIM Materials
- Power Electronics
- Sports Engineering
The advanced tools and features in FloEFD make it applicable to many different types of projects. The following success stories show just a few ways flow simulation and the use of FloEFD helped organizations improve their designs and create better products.
Improving Racing Speeds with Design Optimization
All NASCAR automobiles are subject to strict mechanical and technical rules, leaving teams very little opportunity to modify the technical aspects of their cars to increase speeds. NASCAR driver Anthony Kumpen and his team wanted to analyze their current vehicle and see if there were any ways they could further optimize.
All vehicles involved in NASCAR racing are basically identical, each equipped with a V8 engine and up to 800 horsepower. The strict rules and regulations that NASCAR employs ensure that races are fair and rely more on a driver’s skills and ability over having better technical or mechanical components. It is common for winning cars to be completely disassembled once races are completed to ensure all regulations were followed.
Kumpen’s team wanted to modify their vehicle to optimize for aerodynamics, but were restricted based on NASCAR’s strict design and technical regulations.
Given these strict limitations, Kumpen’s team wanted to figure out ways they could optimize small aspects of their vehicle without having to build and test every part or variation they wanted to try.
Even though Kumpen is a racecar driver, he believes that understanding how his vehicle works is just as important as actually practicing on the track. This is why he chooses to be extremely involved in the engineering and design processes and often spends around 80% of his time in design meetings with his team. Together, Kumpen and his team decided that understanding the aerodynamics of their car would be the best place to begin understanding how and what to optimize.
Since prototyping and testing parts is extremely expensive, and unlike many F1 racing teams NASCAR teams typically don’t have access to a wind tunnel for testing, the team had to find another way to analyze the aerodynamics. They teamed up with CFD consulting firm, Voxdale, to analyze and improve their vehicle using flow simulation and analysis technologies.
First, Voxdale had to understand what components of the car could be altered according to NASCAR regulations, and then worked backwards to determine exactly what parts of the car should be analyzed.
In the end Voxdale and Kumpen utilized the FloEFD flow simulation software to:
- Analyze the aero-mapping and overall behavior of the car
- Analyze internal air flows
- Understand the air flows under the hood and body of the car
- Optimize the break and exhaust cooling systems
Creating a complete model of the car including the appropriate geometry for analysis took about three days, followed by one day of simulation set up. Once completed, Voxdale completed ten different simulations with post processing over the course of two weeks. The results allowed Kumpen’s team to make the appropriate optimizations under the strict NASCAR guidelines. The optimizations reduced overall drag and improved their normal race time by 0.2 seconds – a considerable amount in a closed racing series.
By optimizing using FloEFD, Kumpen and his team were able to reduce overall drag and improve their race time by 0.2 seconds.
Optimizing Winglets for Improved Aerodynamics
Aircraft engineers on Team Velarde use air flow simulation and analysis to alter their wing design to improve aerodynamics and racing times.
Team Velarde engineers wanted to improve their racing time at the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. The race brings together pilots from around the world to challenge their abilities by having them navigate a complicated obstacle course at high speeds and low flying levels.
After not winning the first race of the season, Team Velarde wanted to modify their aircraft by changing the wing design and making other aerodynamic alterations in hopes of improving race speeds for the second race of the season.
Team Velarde wanted to alter their wing design and make other aerodynamic alterations to improve racing speeds.
Team Velarde created a complete model of their aircraft for CFD analysis. First, they wanted to first analyze their current aircraft to see where improvements and changes could be made. Plus, by creating a full model, engineers could “try” different winglet designs without having to actually create and test expensive prototypes.
The engineers used FloEFD’s SmartCellTM technology to quickly address the meshing challenges they initially faced when preparing the model. In the end, since Team Velarde was able to complete their simulation and analysis much faster than with traditional CFD methods, they had more time to analyze their results and make educated decisions about what modifications should be made.
Creating the 3D model for analysis, generating the complicated mesh, and starting the simulation and analysis calculations took less than an hour of prep time. By creating a complete 3D model of their aircraft, Team Velarde actually found some lumps and bumps on the body of the aircraft that were contributing to slight air drag.
Besides removing the extraneous bumps, Team Velarde analyzed their simulation results and decided to change their wing design from a clipped wing to a winglet, in addition to a few other aerodynamic optimizations. These modifications scored the team second place during the second race of the season, which was significantly better than they had ever hoped for.
FloEFD helped Team Velarde not only discover additional lumps and bumps on the body of their aircraft that were causing drag, but also helped them make other improvements and win second place.
Modified Air Vents for Improved Air Distribution
Dr. Schneider Unternehmensgruppe GmbH, German vehicle plastic parts and components manufacturer, utilized the air flow simulation technology in FloEFD to analyze how their air vent parts contributed to overall air distribution within a vehicle.
Designers at Dr. Schneider wanted to optimize and modify their air vents to improve air flow distribution throughout a car, with the ultimate goal of improving car comfort for everyone.
However, over the last few years there has been a huge expansion in the automotive industry. In order to stay competitive, manufacturers must constantly develop and release new products – significantly reducing development times. This change in the manufacturing process leaves no time for costly prototyping and lab testing, instead, designers and engineers must find other ways to ensure their products will work as promised.
Expansion in the automotive industry has forced companies to produce more products faster, significantly reducing development times and forcing organization to find alternate analysis methods to prototyping and testing.
Engineers are utilizing flow simulation technologies to analyze and understand how their products will function before sending them to the manufacturer. Dr. Schneider used FloEFD embedded directly into their CAD software to complete their air vent simulation analysis. Since FloEFD was embedded, there was no need for any geometrical preparations to the model, simulation could begin immediately.
Since airflow is an important aspect to overall vehicle design and can have big impacts on other heat transfer aspects of the car, the specifications surrounding these parts are determined early. Dr. Schneider wanted to complete air flow simulation analysis for two different air vent designs, one broadband vent with a bezel and one without the bezel. Since simulation is simple, the designers completed air flow simulation for both designs and could fully analyze the data to make their final decision.
Based on the air flow simulation results, the Dr. Schneider team selected the air vent with the bezel because it provided better overall air flow distribution. Dr. Schneider significantly reduced their development time by utilizing the batch run functionality in FloEFD. This tool allowed the engineers to automatically run multiple simulation variations at the same time and provided comparison images of the flow simulation results to help the team make a quick decision.
Dr. Schneider was able to run multiple simulation variations in FloEFD and quickly make a decision about which air vent design performed best.
If these success stories aren’t enough to convince you that FloEFD is the complete and robust heat transfer and air flow simulation tool you need, just take a look at some of the other amazing tools and functions that are built right in.
- Embeds directly into your CAD software: FloEFD embeds into multiple CAD software programs, including PTC Creo, CATIA, Siemens NX, and Solidworks. This eliminates many time consuming and error-prone tasks that can occur with other simulation programs like data translation, manual meshing, and more. Plus, having the ability to perform simulation analysis in the same environment as design significantly speeds up the development process.
- Intuitive GUI: FloEFD utilizes a graphical user interface (GUI) that includes intelligent automation and an analysis wizard that provides real-time feedback. Plus, all of FloEFD utilizes standard engineering terminology rather than indecipherable jargon that causes you to waste time trying to figure out what it means rather than completing analysis.
- Automate Cartesian meshing: Meshing is crucial for all types of realistic simulations, especially those that use rotating equipment and transient flow behaviors. FloEFD has tools that can automatically create the complicated Cartesian Meshes that are required for heat transfer, mass transfer, and fluid flow simulations. All of this automation, partnered with the GUI and integration can significantly improve development and manufacturing times.
- Parametric comparison visualizations: Once simulations are complete, FloEFD automatically creates comprehensive visuals to help users further understand and analyze their flow simulation results. This helps engineers understand exactly how changes in boundary conditions and geometry impact your entire design. FloEFD automatically generates comparative numerical values, graphs, images, and animations.
- Decrease development and manufacturing times
- Decrease production costs
- Minimize risk of making design mistakes
- Effortless “what-if” testing
All of these features and benefits provide engineers with the strong base of tools they need to complete their simulations. This means that alongside carrying out regular api testing and other performance testing and monitoring solutions, software engineers can be certain that the technology involved is working to the best of its ability. Plus, comprehensive simulation and analysis tools help them significantly speed up the development process while also optimizing designs for better products.
FloEFD provides engineers with the tools they need to complete any type of heat transfer, fluid flow, or air flow simulation.
Have any questions about FloEFD? Want more information about how it can help your organization create better products faster? Contact us today.