Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a tool with amazing flexibility, accuracy and breadth of application. But the tools need to be properly applied in order to deliver insight and value. Nobody starts out as an expert in CFD software. Instead, we all progress from beginners to experts over time.
For example, when I first became interested in cycling, I went shopping for a new bike. I needed something better than the old junker I was riding at the time but was a bit intimidated by cycling technology. Those small, hard saddles looked plain uncomfortable! Skinny tires! And clipless pedals were a mystery. So I ended up with a “cross” bike.
While cross is a defined category in the bike business, in real life it is a compromise that is not very good at anything. Mine was heavy with high rolling resistance and a non-aerodynamic riding position. The more I rode, especially longer distances, the more I regretted my decision. I was back within two years to buy an quality road bike with those skinny tires, hard saddle and clipless pedals. And that bike has served me well for many years.
CFD software can present challenges akin to my new bike worries. With so much to learn, the temptation is to play it safe with a limited product that is simple and easy to understand. But serious CFD, the kind of simulation that delivers quantitative results that provide insights to help you optimize your designs could be out of reach with limited products. To get serious CFD results, you need what I like to call serious software.
Serious software goes beyond just qualitative results to quantitative prediction of fluid interactions and tradeoffs. These insights can reveal unexpected opportunities for your product, opportunities that even experienced engineering analysis can otherwise miss.
Serious CFD Helps Astec Reduce Hot Mix Asphalt Burner Cost
Astec, Inc. designs and manufactures hot mix asphalt plants, including burners used to dry the aggregate (rock) before it is coated with liquid asphalt cement binders. Astec engineers used ANSYS CFD and ANSYS DesignXplorer to reduce the cost of a burner while maintaining the low CO and NOx emissions required by regulations. They were surprised to find a burner configuration that they had previously never considered reduced better mixing than their existing design. Furthermore, the new configuration without swirlers mixed gases better than the six-hole design with swirlers. Physical testing of the new design also showed that burner performance and emissions data were as good or better than the existing design. As a result, was able to save $3,400 in cost per burner.
It Takes Serious CFD to Model Pneumatic Motors
A global manufacturer needed to improve efficiency, reduce noise and mitigate thermal heating for the pneumatic motors that drive its product line in order to meet sales growth targets. Their engineering team had hit a roadblock: traditional physical testing was too costly and time-consuming to meet their time and financial budgets yet their current entry-level CFD solution was unable to provide results that correlated with physical testing. An ANSYS team analyzed the problem and was able to demonstrate methodology using serious CFD that has already identified new air flow paths to improve efficiency and acoustics. Now, the manufacturer has embraced serious CFD and is moving forward with their product refresh project — expected to be on time and on budget.
What Can Serious CFD Do For You?
As you have seen, serious CFD is not just for experts modeling rocket ships and racing cars. Any progressive company can get great value from serious CFD. What can serious CFD do for your products? Learn more — watch this on-demand webinar now.