FloEFD For Automotive and Transportation

Connected engineering to analyze and optimize performance inside and out

The automotive industry is fast-growing and diverse with a wide range of customer preferences for design, comfort and technology. The global goals to reduce emissions and fuel consumption, with pioneering efforts in developing electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), bring significant technology challenges.

Mentor Graphics tools — 1D CFD system simulation, 3D thermal/fluid flow simulation, and thermal and radiometric characterization hardware — are used by leading automotive OEMs and suppliers around the world. These solutions help ensure that automotive manufacturers’ products are reliable, deliver the best performance and satisfy customer requirements. Using Mentor Graphics products, our customers:

  • Get products to market faster
  • Develop products more efficiently, with fewer prototypes
  • Stay competitive in a rapidly changing industry
  • Reduce development costs


Aerodynamics is often only understood to calculate the overall vehicle drag but it also relates to more local use for components such as to determine the acting forces on bezels during high velocities, the dimension of the blockage due to a component on the heat exchanger or the influence of the component on the flow such as sliding roof.

Climate Control

Climate control gained increasing interest with vehicle owners and will be focus of development especially for EVs/HEVs in order to reduce energy/fuel consumption for increased range and reduced emissions. Optimizing performance, time to reach desired temperature as well as efficiency are key design goals.


The automotive electronics ranges from consumer electronics like applications such as the infotainment systems over driver assistance systems to power electronics for electric vehicles. Thermal management and design space constraints are the key concerns that are influenced by electromagnetic interference (EMI) protective devices and the desire for more and more functionality and performance.


Thermal management of the luminaire as well as thermal and optical characterization of the light for all weather, environmental conditions and color selection is of utmost importance for automotive lighting manufacturers. Know More


The automotive powertrain gained increasing focus in the recent years in order to reduce emissions and energy/fuel consumption. Optimized fluid flow for cooling or breathing as well as the thermal management of the control electronics such as the IGBTs and power diodes in xEVs are key factors for high reliability and performance increase while reducing power/fuel consumption and emissions.

Airside Systems

The airside system in vehicles is part of the overall vehicle thermal management and can influence the vehicle performance drastically. In additino, aerodynamics is influenced by the latest technologies such as active shutters and the stacking of heat exchangers.

Cooling Systems

The cooling system is the next step in the vehicle thermal management system; with heat transfer between the airside and the cooling system achieving the cooling of the engine. In order to optimize the performance of the engine, the engine must work in a narrow temperature range, so zero flow heat transfer, as well as perfectly controlled coolant flow, are keys to achieving good efficiency.

Exhaust Systems

The exhaust system is often considered part of the powertrain as it contributes with turbo chargers, exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) and waste heat recovery technologies to the overall performance of the vehicles engine. Optimized fluid flow and pressure losses in the system as well as the performance of components such as catalysts and mufflers are of importance in the exhaust system design.

Fuel Systems

The fuel system ranges from the fuel tank to the injection nozzles with several components in between that are designed to also increase the performance of a vehicle. Components such as diesel preheater, fuel pumps and the injection nozzles themselves have influence on a vehicles performance. Optimized fluid flow and temperature control can achieve lower consumption and emissions and higher performance.


Hydraulic components such as pistons and valves influence the performance of the vehicle behavior from excavators to steering controls. An optimized fluid flow can drastically improve the performance and increase lifetime of components for example in case of cavitation appearance in valves. The overall hydraulic system is especially of interest in high performance applications such as excavators and other hydraulic machinery but also in smaller systems such as in cars. The system behavior with all its components should be optimized to reduce losses as well as cases such as pulsating transient behavior of the system.

Lubrication Systems

They key to every vehicle is movement and especially in the powertrain there is a lot of movement and the main concern here is the loss due to friction. In order to avoid friction a lubrication system is required that is able to cope with all workloads of the engine and gearbox. A lot of focus lies on priming and heat up of the lubricant in order to achieve optimum performance of the powertrain and reduced fuel consumption.


IC/Transistor/Diode Testing: Semiconductor components such as ICs, transistors and diodes are the key element of every electronic system but are also very sensitive to the temperature. Especially in power electronics application the thermal management is critical and understanding the components and optimizing the thermal management with help of measurements helps to increase the components reliability and performance.

IGBT Testing

Especially in new powertrain generations such as EVs and HEVs, IGBTs play the key role in order to drive the electric motor or store the energy. IGBTs run at very high frequencies and under high power which makes them vulnerable to thermal problems. Thermal characterization helps to optimize the IGBTs layout, structure and mounting to optimize its performance.

LED Testing

LED lighting is becoming a standard in the automotive industry and plays a big role in the design of a car. However the thermal management is done, the LED performance changes over the lifetime and temperature and understanding the LEDs performance helps to choose the right LED and assure reliability and performance of the luminaire over its lifetime.

TIM Testing

In all electronic systems the thermal management is the main concern and with thermally critical components in contact with heat sinks, housings or good thermally conduction PCBs the thermal resistance of that contact is the key factor in the heat flow path. Thermal Interface Material (TIM) used in such contacts is supposed to improve the thermal contact between those components and knowing the exact thermal resistance in dependency of pressure on or thickness of a TIM is important for a good thermal management of a system.

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