Fuel-consumption targets and emissions legislation, combined with the relative maturity of engine and bodyshape designs, are forcing commercial-vehicle manufacturers to find innovative new ways to improve the efficiency of their vehicles – and one of the latest technological developments in their armoury is digital simulation.
Indeed, testing systems in a virtual environment is now a key tool in the development of more fuel-efficient and eco-friendly vehicles.
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is one form of simulation in which development engineers are increasingly placing their trust. CFD solves complex equations to simulate the flow of fluids and gases across, around or inside an object. The results are then rendered in highly realistic graphics that enable engineers to visualise the flow around a vehicle body or through an internal combustion engine, for example.