Reducing Engine Weight with CAE
The Benefits of Reducing Engine Weight
- Reduce cost: Reducing the amount of material used in the manufacture of the engine reduces the cost of the engine. Further related cost savings can be achieved through a reduction in processing, handling, transportation and storage costs.
- Reduce fuel consumption: Reducing the weight of the engine reduces the fuel consumption of the vehicle. This reduces the operating cost for the customer.
- Reducing emissions: Reducing the weight of the engine will reduce the load on the engine particularly during acceleration reducing unburned hydrocarbon emissions
- Increasing load carrying capacity: the amount of load a commercial vehicle can transport is limited by its GVW. Reducing the weight of the base vehicle frees up weight allowance that can be used to transport more goods thereby increasing the profitability of the vehicle.
- Improving vehicle handling: reducing the sprung mass of the vehicle should improve its handling performance particularly when the vehicle dynamics are optimised for the new engine weight.
- Improved vehicle safety: reducing the weight of the vehicle will reduce its momentum and so should improve its impact performance.
- Increasing sales: All of the above benefits will result in an increase in demand for the product. This increased demand can be turned into increased unit sales or margins or a combination of the two.
Challenges to Reducing Engine Weight
- Changing performance targets: the engine or component will be in a constant state of development to improve one or more of the following: power, torque, weight, cost, size, NVH.
- New applications: the engine will be tried in different applications to increase sales volumes either within or across industry segments for example passenger vehicle to small commercial vehicle or across industries for example stationary (power generation) to automotive or automotive to marine. Or for example as prime mover to auxiliary power in an EV application
- New environments: the engine may be sold in different geographical markets to increase sales. These may have significantly different operating temperatures, air densities (altitude) or air compositions (pollution) 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 weight. For example a durability improvement exercise can add material to the product which may increase its weight. This outcome can be minimised through good design based on a solid understanding of structural mechanics fundamentals and materials.
As discussed in the Engine page CAE simulation allows the engineer to verify relatively quickly and cheaply whether the revised product still meets its weight targets. To read more about the benefits of CAE click here.
When reducing weight is the main design objective then CAE simulation can be performed to check any negative consequences on any of the other attributes including durability, NVH, thermal, performance, fuel economy and emissions. For example reducing the weight of an engine block can reduce its stiffness which may increase its vibration and noise. Again this outcome can be mitigated through good design based on a solid understanding of structural mechanics fundamentals, materials knowledge and advanced problem and product specific simulation tools.
The Caepro Advantage
Caepro has performed weight reduction CAE on the major components of the engine both individually and as an assembly. This includes changes through both geometry and material type. See one of our Engine Weight Reduction Case Studies. 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 engine Weight Reduction 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.