Bringing Precision Aerodynamics and SuperComputing to the Trucking Industry.
In the aerospace industry, new aircraft are generally 20% more fuel-efficient than the units they replace. So why not try to accomplish the same concept in trucking? Challenge the status quo in trailer aerodynamics by dramatically reducing drag, and thereby improve fuel efficiency for Class 8 over-the-road trucks.
SmartTruck’s world-class engineers are recognized leaders in the field of advanced aerodynamic design. Our experience includes working with Boeing and NASA to achieve a wide range of aerodynamic accomplishments, encompassing supersonic aircraft, world-class motor sports and a plug-in hybrid concept vehicle for Ford Motor Company.
Revolutionary Concepts in Trailer Aerodynamics
Applying our vast expertise to the trucking industry, we’re imagining, designing and testing revolutionary new concepts in trailer aerodynamics. We utilize many of the same development and testing techniques used by the aerospace industry. (View patent information.)
We don’t use the words "precision trailer aerodynamics" lightly. Our products are the result of rigor, intellect, experience, and extensive testing, applied in a culture of curiosity and imagination, based on the simple question, "How big a difference can we make?"
We started with a Wide Variety of Trailer Fairing Design Ideas
A grant from the U.S. Department of Energy allowed us to gain access to the supercomputers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory that are critical to our design testing. SmartTruck Systems engineers used the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) and a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) application code to study airflow around long-haul trucks and to design trailer add-ons that dramatically decreased drag.
Sophisticated Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and an optimization process using a Genetic Algorithm (GA) allow us to hone the designs of each of our products and components. It’s CFD that allows aircraft designers to not only know that their new aircraft design will actually fly, but how it will perform.
When we started designing with CFD, it was new to the trucking industry. In the years since, CFD has become more and more recognized as the state-of-the-art standard in advanced aerodynamic design, and is now accepted by the EPA as an accepted method for measuring the drag-reduction efficiency of aerodynamic devices. We envision a future where older standards like coast-down testing and wind tunnel tests are replaced with the more advanced CFD method.
With CFD, we don’t just think our products will revolutionize trucking…we know.
Material Selection to Last a Lifetime
SmartTruck uses two predominant types of manufacturing for our plastic components. Rotational molding is used on all the undercarriage products. They are made from Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE) similar to other rotational molded products found in automotive and highway applications. This provides a strong UV-stable product that is capable of maintaining its structure and shape in a variety of road conditions, as well as having excellent impact resistance.
Thermoforming was chosen for the ARG and Side Fairings for its ability to maintain its molded shape under extreme conditions. Thermoformed TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) has the capacity to return to its molded shape after taking some load. This manufacturing process is common in bumpers and other plastic molded parts for highway use.