Problems in the automotive industry have been in the focus of MESHFREE's development for years. With virtualization in the early stages of design, problems can be avoided and design aspects optimized long before the first expensive prototype is built.

MESHFREE successfully simulates a wide range of automotive applications, such as water crossing and water management, fuel filling and sloshing, interactions with soil and sand during a crash as well as transmission components.

The Specific Modeling Competences of MESHFREE Are:

  • Efficient handling of moving geometries: driving car, opening tailgate, rotating gearwheel, deforming spring ring
  • Dynamic covering of different flow types: transition »bulk flow – droplets – thin films« during water crossing, granular material
  • Powerful coupling for multiphase scenarios: entrapment of air during fuel filling

Video: MESHFREE in the Automotive Industry

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Steffen Hagmann from Porsche, one of the project partners, explains how they use the software in vehicle development.

MESHFREE Use Cases – Automotive Design

Water Crossing and Water Management

Where might rainwater enter the body of the car? Does it ever reach critical electric components, which then require additional waterproofing? Is water sucked into the engine via the air intake? Or into the air conditioning? Where might dirty water splash collect on and hence soil the outside of the car, maybe impairing visibility through windows or functioning of sensors? With MESHFREE, engineers are able to follow the hard to predict paths water takes through the complex geometry inside a vehicle. The physical model of droplets and thin films can be precisely captured using surface tension and contact angle definitions. For easier post-processing, boundary elements can be automatically marked if they have been exposed to water at some point during the simulation.

Wind Water 60km/h

Water Crossing/Car Geometry: Chair of Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics of the TU Munich is the author of the DrivAer.

Fuel Management

During automotive design, a fuel tank and the respective tube often have to fit into the remaining free space in the auto body. MESHFREE is able to virtualize the filling process of a fuel tank. Thus, it enables engineers to evaluate the filling time as well as possible spit back. Abrupt braking or cornering can lead to fuel sloshing in the tank. Negative effects are potential dry running of the fuel line as well as impact noise. Due to its advanced features regarding geometrical and material modeling, MESHFREE provides a virtual insight into the design of anti-sloshing measures.

Tank Filling


Virtualization of classical crash tests has been an established tool in automotive design for a long time. With MESHFREE, the extension to crashes caused by the interaction of a car with soil or sand is successful. This drastically reduces the costs of expensive and time-consuming experiments. Together with automobile manufacturer VW, we rely on a coupling to VPS (Virtual Performance Solution), a software package from the ESI Group, for example, to simulate an overturning vehicle (rollover processes) on sandy surfaces. Deformations of the bodywork are predicted and necessary information for airbag deployment can be derived.

We use our expertise and simulation experience to develop methods, which assist in emergencies and catastrophies like the simulation of floating bridge elements of avalanches. More about MESHFREE and Natural Hazards  

Transmission Components

Dealing with moving geometries is one of MESHFREE's strong points. This extends to Fluid-Structure-Interaction (FSI), where the geometry movement and the flow domain depend on the solution. One such example is a return valve, allowing flow only in one direction. When the pressure is reverted, the spring ring adapts to the housing of the valve and blocks the flow in the »wrong« direction.

Return Valve With Ring

More Simulations for the Automotive Industry

Car Wiper Airphase

Car Wiper Droplets