Well newabb, I have never designed a piston. First of all lets see what we are talking about:
All I know are some steps you have to have in mind for designing a street engine piston, not an F1. However the same aspects have to be considered:
-The Piston Models have a complex geometry.
-Different regions of piston are under a variety of stress states e.g:
Uni-axial under thermal load at the bowl edge
Multi-axial under thermal and / or gas load in the Gallery and Bowl Base
Mean Tensile or Mean Compressive stresses
-For the locally different stress characteristics a number of local durability / risk criterion are used.
-Fatigue criteria is based on an awareness of:
Assumptions made in FE Model
Accuracy of the results
Spread in Material Model Data
Test Cycle is usually not modelled
High and Low thermal cycle effects are not modelled at the initial stage analysis.
-The Fatigue Algorithm is used as a Filter to assess piston structural strength in fatigue.
-While life is a desired result of analysis it is extremely difficult to predict.
-Emphasis remains on piston strength and empirical limits of both FOS and Stress.
So, right before starting you have to gather an inmense amount of data
This would be just a tiny winy 1%
Then, a long process starts, where you model the same piston in different kind of FEAs (for temperature, fatigue, stress, etc.)
I can go on and on but then you´ll know too much
I dont really know your engineering background but if you say you´ll use fluent for combustion modelling, I guess you will only be able to work just on than: the "piston bowl".
I guess there is a designing team for such a complex part like a piston. Some guys will concentrate in fluids mechanics, some others in metalography, some in mechanical resistance, manufacturing, tests, etc, etc, etc.
Sheeez! Lots of work to do for only a little piece that will last 700km dont you think?
"You need great passion, because everything you do with great pleasure, you do well." -Juan Manuel Fangio
"I have no idols. I admire work, dedication and competence." -Ayrton Senna