Computer simulation presents a massive benefit to all aspects of technology and engineering. The flexibility of computer simulation means it can be applied to molecular dynamics and as easily to the motion of galaxies in space. It can be developed to have awareness of any measurable quantity and include subtle and strong interactions between each, to whatever complexity the computing hardware can accommodate. It can be used to evaluate a single system or optimise over a range of designs in a design ‘space’. It can predict mechanical and fluid dynamic behaviours of concepts well before engineering design occurs. It can also be used to study failures of existing parts, helping to piece together the failure modes and develop robust countermeasures.
As a result of this extreme flexibility, virtually any engineering project can draw benefit from its use. Race car aerodynamics is routinely studied in fluid simulation tools. Their motions and structural deflections are studied with mechanical simulation, both of the stress and deformation of their parts as well as the motion of suspension systems and of the whole body over a track surface. Thermal models are used to study heating and cooling systems and their effectiveness, as well as the influence of parasitic heat sources on surrounding structures.
We have at COLLINS LIMITED a wide experience with simulation, from the use of existing software on problems, to developing new and bespoke simulation codes, to researching new and emerging simulation techniques. With a full range of expertise in the field, we have the ability to provide you with the best computer simulation methods, whether they already exist or need to be written custom to your needs.
We offer fluid simulation, better known as computational fluid dynamics or CFD, in several forms. The traditional Navier-Stokes solution method is used in almost every established field of fluid dynamics. It relies on developing a volume mesh to ‘house’ fluid and solving for the fluid flow with viscosity and inertia, leading to its best-case use in static and steady-state systems.
More advanced simulation comes from an alternate solution strategy known as Lattice-Boltzmann, being developed with one of our technical partners. With this technique parts are free to move in space and be influenced by the fluid flow. Buoyancy, stability and moving body interaction can be studied.
Many specific techniques exist to handle special cases such as radiators and heated exhaust flows. We have the experience not only in generating these simulations but access to the data required to parameterise them.
With experience in testing we can validate and refine simulations with wind-tunnel testing, often a necessity for confidence in CFD simulation. We can take your design in either full-size or scale model and using the appropriate facility measure specific flow characteristics, local pressures and overall load generation.
Mechanical simulation covers a wide range of applications including studies of strength and rigidity, part motions and kinematics, cam lobe contact problems, friction and speciality uses such as tyre contact mechanics. We can look into more complex interactions with fluid and thermal systems such as airflow in engine cylinders and hydraulic systems. Existing finite element analysis or FEA packages can solve many of these problems. Multi-body and state-space solvers can handle several more problem types, however there are a significant set of problems are better suited to a bespoke solution which we have the in-house expertise in developing.
Structural parts experience forces through a variety of paths and can be simulated more modelled as necessary to answer your question. Sources of load that can be simulated or modelled:
- threaded and bolted joints
- polymer bushes
- elastic joints
- point and rolling contact
- distributed hydrostatic and aerodynamic loads
- forces induced from thermal expansion
The nature of the applied forces may be constant or highly varying, sometimes requiring some understanding of the part’s vibration response. Some systems have clear degrees of freedom and benefit from a multi-body simulation. Systems such as suspension or valve-train systems are best modelled as multiple interacting parts sometimes with built-in contact limits at the bump-stops, tyre contact patch, cam contact or coil-bind. Very complex and in-depth simulation can occur over the space of weeks and alternately, real-time simulation can be developed to run on portable hardware.
We offer physical testing with our associate test houses for the parametisation of these models, as well as validating certain models to meet your high expectations. See our testing page for more details.
If you have a mechanical part or system that requires in-depth study, let COLLINS LIMITED develop a simulation that will suit your needs.
Thermal modelling at COLLINS LIMITED focuses largely on practical heat-transfer problems where conduction through solid masses and fluid flow and convection are present. With sufficient information about the parts involved and their surroundings, radiation heat transfer is equally possible, letting you know how much temperature you might expect between a glowing hot exhaust system and the parts near it.
We have several tools available for the study of these, used in isolation or in combination, to develop a model to suit your needs. Existing packages solve several of these problems however we have experience developing bespoke thermal solvers for application-specific purposes, potentially in real-time.
We can study your specialised problems of heat transfer to fluids flowing in your system using transport techniques in CFD, and use FEA to solve problems involving thermal expansion, thermal conduction and the effect of material property change on structural performance.