Truck Automotive

Case Study: Truck Add-On Predictor

In 2011, TotalSim joined a partnership of technology innovators and the NCMS Light Automotive Materials Program (LAMP). LAMP itself is a partnership between the National Center for Manufacturing Science (NCMS) and a host of technology innovators across the country. Funded in part by the US Department of Energy, LAMP is a suite of R&D programs that will drive innovation in advanced lightweight materials for the automotive industry.

To learn more about the study:

Technical Objective

Develop a computational tool that allows suppliers unfamiliar with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to model the airflow over a joint vehicle / trailer body and the corresponding aerodynamic forces generated on the trailer, tow vehicle and combination. By understanding the forces on the various surfaces of a trailer, trailer designers and part suppliers can reduce the weight of key structural components, replace them with other materials, or utilize novel shapes that are required for special materials while potentially increasing the aerodynamic efficiency of the trailer.

 Geometry provided by Rick Wood of SOLUS Inc.
Geometry provided by Rick Wood of SOLUS Inc.
 A highly refined mesh is formed around the vehicle. 
A highly refined mesh is formed around the vehicle. 

Project Lead

  • Naethan Eagles, Technical director
    • SAE Truck and Bus Aerodynamics and Fuel Economy Committee
    • SAE J2966 CFD Task Force
    • SAE J3015 Reynolds Number Task Force

Web Application

In 2016, a truck web application was built to wrap the existing truck simulation template to allow for rapid prototyping. It is hosted at the Ohio Super Computer Center. Users are able to register and quickly test their designs against TotalSim’s existing correlation data.


Presentations / Papers

“Parametric Analysis of Trailer Skirts” by Naethan Eagles at SAE 2013 COMVEC

“CFD in J1252 Wind Averaged Cd using RANS v. DES v. Scale WT of truck trailer combo” oral presentation by Matt Cragun at SAE 2011 COMVEC

“Shedding light on CFD” oral presentation by Naethan Eagles at SAE 2016 COMVEC


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