Burlington, Massachusetts – Software company Exa Corp. has helped Yokohama Rubber Co. to develop advanced aerodynamic tires through simulation-based design, the Japanese tire-maker announced on 26 May.
The products, designed with Exa PowerFLOW software, have fins on the tire sidewall to streamline airflow around the tires when in motion and contribute to the overall efficiency and safety of the vehicle.
Explaining the virtual development, Yokohama said it was still difficult to precisely analyse and optimise the design of tires using conventional development procedures such as wind-tunnel testing.
“To address this challenge, we tried various simulation solutions on the market to process our optimisation approaches,” said Yuji Kodama, general manager, research & development centre at Yokohama.
According to Kodama, Exa's software was capable of simulating the rotating tire characteristics within a short time while simultaneously taking account of small adjustments.
Based on the simulations, the shapes of the fins were redesigned and a new position for the fins were applied at angles near the tire’s shoulder. This change, said Yokohama, provides improved safety performance.
According to the company, the new tires could improve vehicle aerodynamics by up to 3 percent.