The skeleton of a vehicle, known as a Body in White (BiW), with hundreds of sheet metal components is painted in an automotive assembly paint shop. Multiple ovens are used to bake and cure the layers of paint put on the BiW in a paint shop. These ovens are hundreds of feet long and impart heat to a BiW using radiation and convection modes. Prediction of temperature–time history at different locations of a BiW as it passes through a paint bake oven is important to understand the quality of the cured paint. This paper describes a method to predict the same using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and numerical heat transfer methods, combined with a single generic measurement from the oven. The flow field and the convection parameters around the BiW are obtained from a few quasi-steady CFD simulations of the BiW in the oven. A detailed temperature map on a BiW is then obtained by coupling the CFD results to a transient heat transfer analysis with a moving model of the BiW inside the oven in a thermal nodal network solver. Comparison of the results from the simulation of an actual vehicle and proposed improvements are discussed. The coupled simulation approach is shown to result in a reasonable level of accuracy within acceptable timelines for such a multi-scale physical problem with a highly complicated geometry.

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