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CFD Case Study

CFD Analysis to Predict Liquid Tank Sloshing for Tanker Truck Manufacturer, USA

The Client
Tanker Truck Manufacturing, USA

The Objective

To predict liquid (water) sloshing in truck tank undergoing rolling motion in order to determine its effect on weight shift and truck stability while in motion.

The Solution

To predict liquid sloshing in tanker truck, a CFD analysis was conducted using VOF (Volume of Fluid) model along with realizable k-epsilon turbulence model. Dynamic mesh was utilized to capture oscillatory motion of the tank partially filled with water. Simulation was carried out for multiple tank rolling cases to capture water sloshing inside the enclosed tank. Results of the CFD simulation provided client an opportunity to improve tank design by adding baffles and reduce the sloshing effect, in order to ensure stability of the truck while in motion.

Technology/Software
ANSYS Fluent v15

Liquid sloshing in tanks is one of the major problems design engineers have to deal with, and is being studied since very long time. Sloshing in liquids stored in a closed container causes weight shifts and leads to instability and even at times turn the transporting ship or truck upside down. Predicting sloshing is often a complex and time consuming process, requiring expensive experimental setup and number of test trials. Moreover, it is difficult to test different conditions through experimental trials. Through CFD tools however, the flow physics can be accurately captured for different dynamic conditions. The sloshing effects on the tank walls can be visualized and reduced through the use of passive devices like baffles virtually. The experimental trials as such can be reduced and the tank design can be finalized quickly and cost-effectively.

At Hi-Tech, we delivered CFD solution for one of the reputed tanker truck manufacturer to predict water sloshing inside the tank due to the rolling motion.

CFD Analysis to Predict Liquid Tank Sloshing

Client Challenges:

The Solution:

Our CFD specialists developed a fluid domain and applied dynamic mesh to accommodate rolling motion of the tank. Boundary conditions for liquid (water) and gas (air) were applied for VOF (Volume of Fluid) model. To capture turbulence effects, realizable k-epsilon model was selected. Different oscillatory motion cases for tank were considered to capture the flow physics and sloshing effect inside the enclosed tank. Mesh sensitivity analysis was also performed to ensure accuracy in the results.

Final solution for all the cases enabled client to visualize the sloshing effect clearly. The results showed possibility of weight shifts that can lead to instability and affect the safety. It further enabled the client to determine proper placement of baffles at appropriate locations in the tank to reduce the sloshing effect.

Business Benefits:

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