Manchester-based body and trailer manufacturer the Cartwright Group, which has built a deserved reputation over many years for breaking new ground in trailer innovation , has turned to computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to take trailer manufacturing to the next level.
CFD, more commonly linked to Formula 1 car design, is being utilised by the Cartwright Group to improve the aerodynamics of its products and is the ‘secret weapon’ in the Cartwright’s armoury behind its new Cheetah Fastback trailer due for launch this month.
Cartwrights have forged a partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University to develop low-carbon trailers using CFD through a Knowledge Transport Scheme. A university post graduate studying for his doctorate is based on site at the Cartwright Group factory complex in Altrincham developing the technology for future Cartwright trailer products.
Cartwright Group Director Steven Cartwright believes CFD has replaced the wind tunnel as a more cost effective and efficient solution a view now shared by all the major Formula One teams.
"It shows up where the aerodynamic deficiencies are on the product," he explained, "by using particles which you can alter in size."
He enthused: "We have been using CFD to identify where we can continue to improve our designs. The way forward is about lightweight designs and aerodynamics in pursuing the goal of the ultimate shape."
CFD technology is playing an integral role in the new Cheetah Fastback trailer design which adopts a variable air suspension system that covers the running height of the trailer to reduce drag.
"Our use of CFD with the Cheetah Fastback has been very successful.
"It is a straight-frame trailer with a valve to lower the chassis which is somewhat unusual. It uses a wedge-shaped chassis and the roof line drops down to suit the shape of the chassis," he said.
The first two of the 4m high Cheetah Fastback trailers are going into operation for TNT in Germany and Holland a move that underpins the Cartwright Group’s strategy plan to develop the European market.
Steven Cartwright added: "We believe there is tremendous potential for a trailer manufacturer of our experience, size and innovative style in Europe. It’s a huge opportunity and we believe that the Cheetah Fastback will help to open new markets in Europe in the future"