DEVELOPMENT OF A MESH CLUSTERING ALGORITHM AIMED AT REDUCING THE COMPUTATIONAL EFFORT OF GEARBOXES’ CFD SIMULATIONS
Free (open access)
59 - 69
MARCO NICOLA MASTRONE, FRANCO CONCLI
Over the last decade the development of simulation tools led to significant advancements in the design of virtual prototypes. Mechanical design benefitted a lot from this technological progress in terms of costs’ reduction. However, in many applications as, for example, gearboxes, the implementation of complex CFD models that involve multiphase simulations with dynamic meshes and turbulence modelling is still a concern in terms of computational time. The main issue is related to the management of the topological modifications of the computational domain during the boundary rotation. For this reason, it is fundamental to have at disposal accurate and time efficient solutions for the correct evaluation of the efficiency and lubrication of geared transmissions already in the early stages of the design. In this work, an automatic algorithm for the reduction of the computational effort associated with the mesh generation and handling in the simulation of gearboxes is presented. The algorithm is based on the creation of a limited number of meshes for the description of the whole wheels’ rotation by proper setting the time libraries taking advantage of the cyclicality of the gears’ teeth position. Several operating conditions were simulated exploiting this methodology showing a drastic reduction of the simulations’ time, making this tool ideal in the investigation of gears’ lubrication and efficiency in a limited amount of time. The methodology was implemented in the open-source software OpenFOAM®.
CFD, mesh handling, lubrication, efficiency, power losses, OpenFOAM®, gears