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Optimising Vehicle Dynamics with CAE


The Benefits of Improving Vehicle Dynamics

  • Improving safety: improving the handling performance of a vehicle should enable the driver to control it better leading to fewer accidents
  • Reducing delivery times: Improving vehicle ride in commercial vehicles can enable the driver to drive safely for longer periods and at a higher average speed.  The latter is particularly important in developing markets with poor road conditions.
  • Optimising brand positioning: vehicle dynamics is a key tool for positioning the brand.  This is largely because of the trade-off between ride and handling.  If the product is being positioned for performance then handling may be more important than ride.  The reverse may be true for a luxury product
  • Increasing sales: All of the above will result in increased demand for the vehicle.  This increased demand can be turned into increased unit sales or margins or a combination of the two.

Challenges to Maintaining or Optimising Vehicle Dynamics

  • Ride v Handling trade-off:  it is usually the case that improving one of ride or handling will have an adverse effect on the other. This makes target setting crucially important.  Compromises will have to be made.
  • Changing performance targets: the vehicle or component will be in a constant state of development to improve one or more of the following: styling, aerodynamics, NVH, safety, durability, weight, cost, size.
  • New applications: the chassis and subsystems such as suspension and brakes will be carried over to different sub-segments to increase sales volumes either within or across segments for example hatchback, estate, crossover.  There may be 2WD and 4WD variants and different powertrain options including diesel hybrid and pure EV.
  • New environments: the vehicle may be sold in different geographical markets to increase sales.  These may have significantly different road conditions and operating temperatures than the home market.
  • New duty cycles: new customers may introduce more severe usage patterns for example the police or military environment.

The Importance of Design Verification using CAE
Whenever a design is changed, for whatever reason, it is essential that the product is tested either physically or virtually to determine whether those changes have had a negative effect on its vehicle dynamics performance. For example modifications made to a vehicle’s mass distribution to remove vibration issues could adversely affect the vehicle dynamics. This outcome can be minimised through good design based on a solid understanding of NVH and vehicle dynamics fundamentals.

As discussed in the Vehicle page CAE simulation allows the engineer to verify relatively quickly and cheaply whether the revised product still meets its Vehicle Dynamics targets. To read more about the benefits of CAE click here.

When optimising Vehicle Dynamics is the main design objective then CAE simulation can be performed to check any negative consequences on any of the other attributes including weight, durability, thermal, safety, NVH and aerodynamics. For example stiffening the suspension to improve handling may negatively impact durability. Again this outcome can be mitigated through good design based on a solid understanding of structural mechanics and vehicle dynamics fundamentals and advanced problem and product specific simulation tools.

The Caepro Advantage
Caepro has performed vehicle dynamics CAE on the major components of the vehicle both individually and as an assembly.  This includes ride, handling and braking. Our deep product knowledge and experience enables us to:

  • Understand your objectives for the product
  • Prepare a model optimised for calculation speed and accuracy
  • Apply appropriate boundary conditions
  • Perform simulation using world-class procedures and tools
  • Make sensible recommendations for design improvements
  • Minimise any negative impact on other attributes

To get more information or to request a quote for Vehicle Dynamics CAE please submit an enquiry. For more on why Caepro is the best partner for your outsourced CAE requirements please read our 9 Reasons for Using Caepro article.

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