All posts by Walter Frei

Walter Frei | November 22, 2013

As we saw previously in the blog entry on Solving Nonlinear Static Finite Element Problems, not all nonlinear problems will be solvable via the damped Newton-Raphson method. In particular, choosing an improper initial condition or setting up a problem without a solution will simply cause the nonlinear solver to continue iterating without converging. Here we introduce a more robust approach to solving nonlinear problems.

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Walter Frei | November 19, 2013

Here, we begin an overview of the algorithms used for solving nonlinear static finite element problems. This information is presented in the context of a very simple 1D finite element problem, and builds upon our previous entry on Solving Linear Static Finite Element Models.

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Walter Frei | November 11, 2013

In this blog post we introduce the two classes of algorithms that are used in COMSOL to solve systems of linear equations that arise when solving any finite element problem. This information is relevant both for understanding the inner workings of the solver and for understanding how memory requirements grow with problem size.

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Walter Frei | November 4, 2013

In a previous blog entry, we introduced meshing considerations for linear static problems. One of the key concepts there was the idea of mesh convergence — as you refine the mesh, the solution will become more accurate. In this post, we will delve deeper into how to choose an appropriate mesh to start your mesh convergence studies for linear static finite element problems.

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Walter Frei | October 29, 2013

In our previous post on Meshing Considerations for Linear Static Problems, we found that, in the limit of mesh refinement, the solution to the finite element model would converge toward the true solution. We also saw that adaptive mesh refinement could be used to generate a mesh that would have smaller elements in regions where the error was higher, rather than simply using smaller elements everywhere in the model. In this post, we will examine a couple of common pitfalls […]

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Walter Frei | October 22, 2013

In this blog entry, we introduce meshing considerations for linear static finite element problems. This is the first in a series of postings on meshing techniques that is meant to provide guidance on how to approach the meshing of your finite element model with confidence.

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Walter Frei | October 15, 2013

In this first blog entry of our new solver series, we describe the algorithm used to solve all linear static finite element problems. This information is presented in the context of a very simple 1D finite element problem, but is applicable for all cases, and is important for understanding more complex nonlinear and multiphysics solution techniques to be discussed in upcoming blog posts.

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Walter Frei | September 20, 2013

An interesting question came up the other day that I felt would make an excellent blog post since it allows us to discuss one of the very powerful, and often underutilized, features of COMSOL Multiphysics: the Global Equation. In this post, we will look at using global equations to introduce an additional degree of freedom to a model. This additional degree of freedom will represent something we do not want to model explicitly.

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Walter Frei | September 16, 2013

COMSOL Multiphysics offers several different formulations for solving turbulent flow problems: the L-VEL, yPlus, Spalart-Allmaras, k-epsilon, k-omega, Low Reynolds number k-epsilon, and SST models. All of these formulations are available in the CFD Module, and the k-epsilon and Low Reynolds number k-epsilon are available in the Heat Transfer Module. This posting outlines the reasons why we want to use these various turbulence models, how to choose between them, and how to use them effectively. Throughout the post, you’ll find links […]

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Walter Frei | September 10, 2013

A question we get asked all of the time is: “Which of the COMSOL products should be used for modeling a particular electromagnetic device or application?” There are currently six modules labeled as “Electrical” in the product suite; the AC/DC Module, RF Module, Wave Optics Module, MEMS Module, Plasma Module, and Semiconductor Module. The first four address applications purely governed by various forms of Maxwell’s equations, while the Plasma Module addresses the coupling of electromagnetic fields to plasma transport and […]

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Walter Frei | August 30, 2013

Recently, I was given a copy of the book Finite Element Modeling Methods for Photonics, by B.M. Azizur Rahman and Arti Agrawal. This book proved to be a good companion to the RF Module and Wave Optics Module for graduate students starting in photonics and new users of COMSOL who would like a very targeted introduction to the field. The website accompanying the book comes with some sample computer codes used by the authors in simulation that readers can use […]

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