October 2013: CFD Speaks

When Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) speaks it usually has interesting things to say. Our feature this month is a CFD study of car aerodynamics. Also you can browse a selection of general interest blog posts - one even relates to dinosaurs! Finally, listen to a podcast interview, "Rich Smith on CFD that won't break the bank", I did with Jeff Waters (Life Upfront blog) on the founding of Symscape and the development of Caedium, which targets small engineering consultancies.

CFD Simulation of a Car with a WingCFD Simulation of a Car with a WingVelocity contours and streamline arrows

CFD Study of a Car With and Without a Wing

What difference will adding a rear wing to a car make? You can expect an increase in downforce, equivalent to a reduction in lift, and an increase in drag. To quantify these effects I simulated the aerodynamics of a BMW Z3 using CFD without a wing and with a wing. Read more >>

Failure to Simulate

Given the availability of Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) analysis tools, such as CFD, it is a surprise that analysis tools are not used more by architects during building concept design, especially relative to the local environment around a building. Read more >>

Wind Tunnel Reveals Dinosaur's Flight Secrets

Researchers at the University of Southampton have tested a model of a Microraptor (a feathered, four-winged dinosaur) in a wind tunnel and found that it was optimized for slow gliding. Its multiple wings performed the same function as a modern-day, high-lift configuration used on airliners for takeoff and landing. Read more >>

A Perspective on Cartesian Meshing

The ease of Cartesian or wrapper-based meshing for CFD, including immersed boundary methods, is predicated on having a suitable surface mesh (e.g., STL) as an input. That surface mesh has certain constraints that, if not satisfied, will either cause a poor final mesh or can cause the Cartesian meshing process to fail. Read more >>