What’s The Role Of Computational Fluid Dynamics In Performance Parts Design?

April 2, 2024 by
What’s The Role Of Computational Fluid Dynamics In Performance Parts Design?
Eric Hazen

Understanding airflow is essential for automotive engineers. After all, when designing the next high-performance rear wing or front splitter, you have to be able to visualize and measure the forces that impact aerodynamic drag and lift. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is at the heart of this process. Learn more about CFD and the benefits of the advanced software that engineers use to inform and analyze their designs.

What Is Computational Fluid Dynamics?

Porsche Cayman 987.2 turning laps at a track

Cars like this Porsche Cayman 987.2 can be optimized through computational fluid dynamics to get an edge on the track.

Computational fluid dynamics is a field of mechanics that studies and provides numerical insight into the flow of various types of fluids. From an automotive perspective, this can include internal and external applications involving air, water, oil, and even coolant. Engineers skilled in CFD are able to analyze and optimize fluid flows and heat transfer. Specifically, they can visualize how air flows around a vehicle and use the data to inform and refine designs. Computational fluid dynamics has become an integral part of designing and optimizing vehicles, but it’s used in various industries, from HVAC to electronics. 

What Are The Benefits Of CFD Simulations?

Image of Porsche 981 produced from computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations like the one seen here can help engineers optimize performance.

Advanced CFD software allows automotive engineers to simulate what a vehicle will experience in real-world environments. It not only provides a visual representation, but it also allows you to calculate vital factors such as:

  • Velocity. Examining the speed and direction of fluid flow is critical in designing aftermarket performance parts.
  • Pressure. Determining high- and low-pressure areas will help control aerodynamic variables such as downforce and drag.
  • Temperature. Regulating temperature and avoiding overheating is critical in internal applications.
  • Vortices. Looking at where vortices form can help optimize airflow to boost downforce and reduce drag.

CFD software like OpenFOAM® lets engineers dive into the details and examine specific locations, like the underside of a rear wing or the leading edge of a splitter. Ultimately, computational fluid dynamics saves engineers an inordinate amount of time. The iterative process, which is vital in optimizing designs, can be done much more efficiently within a virtual toolbox. 

Real-World Track Testing Validates CFD Simulations

Toyota GR86 with aftermarket rear wing

FD analysis can provide performance data on individual parts like this Toyota GR86 rear wing.

You can do quite a bit in computational fluid dynamics software to simulate what a vehicle experiences on the track. Yaw angles can be adjusted, a necessary step considering vehicles will not experience airflow in a perfectly straight position. Even the ride height can be altered. But CFD aerodynamics software still isn’t a substitute for real-world, on-track testing. Top performance parts engineers will use their data to fine-tune the design and head to the track for final testing.

Order The Best Aftermarket Parts From Verus Engineering

If you’re looking for expertly developed and tested performance parts, turn to the team at Verus Engineering. Our designs are informed and validated by state-of-the-art CFD software and on-track analysis. Before making any component available to you, we test it to make sure it gets results. 

Ready to see what we have to offer? Check out our online store today, and contact us if you have any questions.

What’s The Role Of Computational Fluid Dynamics In Performance Parts Design?
Eric Hazen April 2, 2024
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