Cascades Transport and Manac

Aerodynamic simulation of tractor-trailers


Cascades Transport and Manac were working together to reduce fuel consumption for their tractor-trailers. To this end, a “water-drop-shaped” trailer was designed to reduce drag hence reducing fuel consumption. The wind tunnel tests showed significant improvements in drag reduction. However, the Energotest (field test) did not show any difference in terms of fuel consumption. To understand this difference, Manac asked Lx Sim to perform CFD analyses.

Before putting the design into production, Cascades and Manac wanted to validate the potential fuel consumption reduction. A CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) simulation was carried out by Lx Sim to measure the difference in drag between a standard trailer and a “water drop” trailer and estimate the reduction in fuel consumption.

The clients provided 3D drawings of the tractor and the trailer, data concerning speed and air conditions, as well as wind tunnel and Energotest results.

Results:
Using the simulations, Lx Sim compared the standard and modified trailers, and the comparison allowed Cascades/Manac to understand how drag is generated by a traditional trailer and confirm the impact of the proposed modifications.

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