Aerodynamics And You: Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

Last week we mentioned the importance of aerodynamic solutions for your fleet. Recall that at high speeds, aerodynamic drag is to blame for approximately 25% of your truck’s fuel losses!

Computational Fluid Dynamics, or CFD, are another popular aerodynamic testing tool. CFD are mathematical computer simulations of the mechanical behavior of a fluid, in this case air, and how it flows around a vehicle. Testing involves a 3D model of the latter, and finite element simulation, or in other words simulation of how air flows around the 3D model. One important advantage of CFD is that is allows us to test a system without having to create a physical model. It can be used as a virtual lab. Furthermore, CFD is a powerful visualization tool. It creates a visual representation of air and how it flows, whereas air cannot be seen in the real world.  Once multiple simulations have been completed, the next step is to validate the results by attempting to replicate them in a real-world situation or in a wind tunnel. This method can be used during new product development in order to test and optimize a new concept.

Stay tuned for next week’s informational post on aerodynamic testing!