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How to Overcome the Challenges of Exhaust Simulation

The automotive industry has been struggling to accurately predict the thermal performance of a vehicle’s exhaust system for the better part of 15 years. Due to the internal gas flow complexity inherent in a vehicle’s exhaust system, it has historically been one of the most difficult systems to model and predict — and among the most expensive due to the computational requirements.

But newly developed technology allows us to do this more economically, more accurately, and earlier on in the design process than ever before. It’s like the entire industry has taken one giant leap forward, all in the span of a few recent months.

The Simplicity of a 1D Solution in a 3D Environment

It has long been regarded as cost-prohibitive to use full-vehicle 3D simulation with exhaust system thermal modeling. But a new tool that operates at the speed of TAITherm allows the user to simplify the problem of solving for exhaust system surface temperatures into a 1D system of equations, without sacrificing accuracy. And because it is completely integrated as a modular component, it bridges seamlessly with the 3D simulations being performed on the rest of the vehicle. So, while you may have complicated components within the exhaust system that need to be simulated, you can now reduce that complexity in specific component types and perform this difficult analysis in a matter of minutes.exhaust system simulation.png

In other words, what previously necessitated two methods and manners of separate analysis can now be integrated simultaneously, saving considerable time and money, and doing so much earlier on in the design lifecycle. As a result, potential problems are detected sooner, prior to expensive experimental methodology of modeling and prototyping in order to identify thermal issues, only after the initial design has been completed.

Exhaust Simulation for the Real World

Perhaps the most intriguing development is that these surface temperatures in the exhaust system can now be resolved reliably in transient drive cycles, which is, after all, how the system will perform in the real world, on real roads, in real climates and under real driving scenarios. This could never be done before, but is now a reality, shaving full weeks — perhaps months — off of your design timeline.

And as a vehicle’s hottest system, as well as the most unpredictable, getting these calculations done quickly and correctly are perhaps the most critical thermal analyses OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers providing these systems can undertake. No longer must we accept assumptions or generalizations as "good enough" to get started with our design. By leveraging literally state-of-the-industry technology, designers and engineers can begin by limiting their assumptions and, instead, start the design phase with an accurate thermal simulation that will hold up to the real-world scrutiny of the vehicle’s ultimate thermal load on the open road.full vehicle exhaust model.png

What was, for years and years, the complex and costly challenge of resolving the internal flow inside the exhaust system while accounting for the external airflow of the vehicle in transient conditions has now been made, in a word, simple.

Of course, design teams can still build and test physical prototypes to experiment with the thermal performance of a vehicle’s exhaust system. But given the necessary time, expense and resources — and given the accuracy and speed of the new advanced Exhaust Tool — why would you?

Learn More about the Exhaust Tool

To learn more about the capabilities and full potential of the Exhaust Tool, we have developed an in-depth webinar that dives further into the technical prowess of the tool and the problems it solves. We also have an ebook available should you want to read more. A good place to start for a high-level primer is on our web page or on our feature spotlight blog.

Of course, if you have any specific questions about exhaust system simulation or Thermoanalytics’ new Exhaust Tool, please do not hesitate to contact us for a live demo.

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