University of Oulu

Frondelius, T., Tienhaara, H., Kömi, J., and Haataja, M., “Simulation-Driven Development of Combustion Engines: Theory and Examples,” SAE Technical Paper 2018-01-5050, 2018, doi:10.4271/2018-01-5050

Simulation-driven development of combustion engines : theory and examples

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Author: Frondelius, Tero1; Tienhaara, Hannu2; Kömi, Jukka1;
Organizations: 1University of Oulu
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Society of Automotive Engineers, 2018
Publish Date: 2020-03-05


This paper describes the simulation-driven design process used in engines technology. The research question is “how to use research in the structural analysis and dynamics field to ensure world-class product development?” This paper describes research on simulation methodologies from the design process perspective, demonstrating the need for research in various steps of product development. Each section of the paper includes one or two practical examples in which research was needed to increase product design quality. In the product definition section, the Digital Design Platform (DDP) shows the coupling between product requirements and simulation tasks. At the concept design stage, it is shown that computational methods can optimize the placement of material in the case of the main bearing cap topology. The second example is JuliaFEM, an open-source finite element method (FEM) platform, which is suitable for heavy-duty method development, where the internals of the FE solver is needed to make new calculation methodologies available. The next section is about detailed design, where an example of an oil sump welds fatigue illustrates the continuous improvement of the simulation methodology. The second example is connecting rod fretting calculation, which illustrates the full complexity of the structural analysis and dynamics simulations. The second last process step is the virtual validation, where first the cylinder head simulation methodology shows the internal connections between different disciplines’ simulations. Another example here is the crankshaft virtual validation process, which describes the complexity of the “simple” component calculation as well as illustrates the number of needed competencies. Finally, in the validation process step, Big Data analyses describe the internals and complexity of the methodologies. Lastly, counterweight measurement device development illustrates that validation of the simulation models and methods sometimes leads toward a measurement device development project. As a conclusion, all the previous methodologies are used to build the Wärtsilä 31 engine, which is the most efficient four-stroke engine in the world. It is, of course, a performance achievement, but a lot of research in simulation methodologies, as explained, was needed to make a reliable product with such a high cylinder peak pressure.

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Series: SAE technical paper series
ISSN: 0148-7191
ISSN-L: 0148-7191
Pages: 1 - 14
Article number: 2018-01-5050
DOI: 10.4271/2018-01-5050
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 216 Materials engineering
Funding: The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support from Business Finland (former Tekes) in the form of a research project WIMMA Dnro 1566/31/2015.
Copyright information: © 2018 Tero Frondelius. Published by SAE International. This Open Access article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original author(s) and the source are credited.