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Simulation-Driven Design Helps Yokohama Rubber Approach Aerodynamically Efficient Tires

  • Exa PowerFLOW® transient flow simulations aid reduction of aerodynamic drag and lift of tire

  • New fin patterns added to the tire sidewall significantly streamline surrounding airflow

  • Innovative tires improve overall vehicle aerodynamics by up to 3%

BURLINGTON, Mass., May 26, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Exa Corporation, a global innovator in simulation software for product engineering, has helped Yokohama Rubber, one of the leading global tire manufacturers, to develop advanced new aerodynamic tires through simulation-driven design with Exa PowerFLOW software. New, pronounced fins on the tire sidewall assist to streamline airflow around the tires when in motion and contribute to the overall efficiency and safety of the vehicle.

Exa PowerFLOW transient flow simulations helped Yokohama Rubber reduce aerodynamic drag and lift of their tires. These innovative tires improved overall vehicle aerodynamics by up to 3%.


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/2da6923c-dd65-4c00-acc4-12537c26e026

The ever-growing need to improve efficiency – to cater for the demanding needs of modern customers, as well as to achieve challenging global emissions targets – has long posed a challenge within the automotive supplier sector. However, as tires are in constant motion and are fitted to the outside of the chassis, they also have a direct impact upon the overall aerodynamic performance of the vehicle, and require separate efficiency solutions.

While the impact caused by flow around the tires can be considerable, it is still difficult to precisely analyze and optimize the design of the tire using conventional development procedures such as wind tunnel testing. “To address this challenge, we tried various simulation solutions on the market to accurately process our optimization approaches. But only Exa’s PowerFLOW software was capable of simulating the rotating tire characteristics within a short time while still taking into account the small scale adjustments we were attempting. PowerFLOW also provided the required results within a very limited timeframe, which is crucial to comply with our swift lifecycle-development processes,” says Dr. Yuji Kodama, General Manager, Research & Development Center, The Yokohama Rubber Co., Ltd.

“We were very satisfied with the effects the optimized fins had upon the aerodynamic performance of Yokohama’s tires, and it’s particularly encouraging that PowerFLOW was able to provide this high level of intricacy to the design within an unusually short timeframe,” commented Kazu Ishikawa, Vice President Asia Sales at Exa Corporation.

Based on these comprehensive simulations, not only were the shapes of the fins redesigned, but a new position for the fins, at angles near the tire’s shoulder, was also applied. This change also provided the added benefit of improved safety performance. On the upper part of the tire, the fins generate small vortexes which reduce aerodynamic resistance around the vehicle, while on the lower part of the tire, they suppress the vehicle’s aerodynamic lift, which contributes to a safer ride.

The overall vehicle aerodynamics could be improved by up to 3% with these innovative new tires while the drag is reduced by up to 11 counts. It’s counted on the improvement of fuel efficiency throughout the vehicle.

About Exa Corporation
Exa (NASDAQ:EXA) (www.exa.com) Corporation’s visualization and simulation software helps designers and engineers produce better vehicles and equipment. As a design evolves, Exa accurately predicts the performance of that design while providing actionable insight to optimize the performance of the product. With Exa, the need for costly physical prototypes and expensive late-stage changes is reduced. Now, designers and engineers are freed from the risk of producing compromised products that do not meet market and regulatory requirements. Some of the most successful product companies in the world use Exa, including BMW, Delphi, Denso, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Hino, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kenworth, Komatsu, MAN, Nissan, Peterbilt, Peugeot, Renault, Scania, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo Trucks.

Founded in 1991, the company is headquartered at 55 Network Drive, Burlington, MA, USA 01803. Tel: 1.781.564.0200; Fax: 1.781.564.0299; Email: info@exa.com; URL: www.exa.com; NASDAQ:EXA

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Source:Exa Corporation