Designing and fitting TractAir air-braking systems is highly technical. Space is always limited and it is obviously essential that the air-braking system works in unison with existing braking, electrical and hydraulic systems. The sheer complexity of build options of any one make of tractor means that any subsequent installation of equipment such as a front loader; additional hydraulic valves; rear PTO driven equipment; etc. requires exact specifications to be determined at design stage.
FEA is a computer simulation technique for analysing the stress and deformation of computer modelled parts. It goes hand in hand with other computer aided design functions to allow testing of complex assemblies faster and more accurately than in real life.
FEA breaks a component down into a mesh of small 'elements' and performs calculations to determine loading, stress and subsequent strain in each as a result of applied loads. Put together they build up a picture of the overall stress distribution.
In an engineering setting, FEA allows optimisation of parts in order to streamline manufacturing and safely remove unnecessary mass.
CFD works on similar principles to FEA but considers the path and movement properties of individual particles within the fluid and puts these together to form an overall picture.
The main applications for TractAir relate to the internal design of valves, fittings and tanks, and the cooling of compressors.