Investigating the Behavior of an Ancient Organism with CFD Simulation

Caty Fairclough July 24, 2017

If you were to travel back in time half a billion years to the Ediacaran period, you would find seas full of strange-looking creatures known to paleontologists as the ‘Ediacara biota’, the world’s first large, complex, multicellular lifeforms. We still have a lot to learn about these ancient creatures, including if they could move and how they fed. A research team sought answers to these questions by using CFD simulation to study an extinct organism from Earth’s early oceans: Parvancorina.

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Walter Frei July 6, 2017

The COMSOL Multiphysics® software offers several different formulations for solving turbulent flow problems: the L-VEL, algebraic yPlus, Spalart-Allmaras, k-ε, k-ω, low Reynolds number k-ε, SST, and v2-f turbulence models. These formulations are available in the CFD Module, and the L-VEL, algebraic yPlus, k-ε, and low Reynolds number k-ε models are also available in the Heat Transfer Module. In this blog post, learn why to use these various turbulence models, how to choose between them, and how to use them efficiently.

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Bridget Cunningham July 4, 2017

Many manufacturing processes already benefit from selective laser melting. The potential for combining this technique with high-melting materials is clear, but there are challenges to consider. For instance, these materials have a much narrower processing window. To better understand their behavior in selective laser melting, one research group built a model to analyze the thermal and fluid dynamics of laser beam-matter interaction. Their results generated further momentum in extending the use of this technique to process refractory metals.

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Ed Fontes June 26, 2017

Wall-bounded turbulent flows display extreme gradient close to the walls. The most accurate way to treat these gradients is to resolve them using a low Reynolds number model, which is computationally expensive. Industrial applications use wall functions, which model the flow closest to the wall rather than resolving it. Wall functions are robust and efficient, but not particularly accurate. New automatic wall treatment functionality in the COMSOL® software combines the benefits of wall functions and the low Reynolds number model.

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Caty Fairclough June 19, 2017

Vertical-axis wind turbines (VAWTs) offer many advantages over the more traditional horizontal-axis wind turbines (HAWTs). Still, VAWTs come with their own set of challenges, including low peak efficiency. One way to address these issues is by using pitch control systems, which can be optimized to improve the efficiency and energy generation of VAWTs. Let’s explore simulation research into optimizing an airfoil pitch control system for a VAWT via the COMSOL Multiphysics® software and add-on CFD Module.

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Claire Bost June 14, 2017

When ambient air flows through porous media, it carries moisture. In this process, temperature and moisture are coupled: The vapor saturates depending on the temperature conditions, while latent heat effects due to evaporation and condensation modify the temperature. We discussed heat and moisture transport in air in a previous blog post. Let’s address the specific transport processes we need to consider in pores and how to model heat and moisture transport in porous media with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Bridget Paulus June 8, 2017

Solar-grade silicon is becoming more popular for applications such as communications and photovoltaics. While it’s important to keep up with this growing demand, the current method of producing solar-grade silicon is energy intensive and expensive. To find a more efficient process, researchers at JPM Silicon GmbH explored a novel method using a microwave furnace. By simulating the internal processes, they aim to optimize their microwave furnace design to produce low-cost solar-grade silicon.

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Bridget Cunningham May 24, 2017

Inertial focusing is a useful technique for various applications, particularly within the medical field. Ensuring its effectiveness requires accurately describing the migration of particles as they flow through a channel. Version 5.3 of the COMSOL Multiphysics® software gives you the tools to generate reliable results that agree with experimental data on inertial focusing. Our new benchmark model highlights these capabilities.

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Ed Fontes May 15, 2017

Accurately modeling turbulent flow is always a challenge with turbulence models, since they inherently involve simplifications. In addition, accurate models tend to add equations that don’t help the convergence of the already highly nonlinear models. To solve this problem, version 5.3 of the COMSOL Multiphysics® software introduces the v2-f turbulence model. It combines the accuracy obtained with models that describe the anisotropy of the turbulent boundary layers with the robustness of two-equation turbulence models.

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Walter Frei April 28, 2017

Whenever we have a heated or cooled part exposed to air, there is some transfer of heat from the part to the air via convection. The movement of the air can be either forced, via a fan, or free, as a result of the natural buoyancy variations due to changes in the air temperature. Today, we will look at several different ways of modeling these types of convection in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Caty Fairclough April 18, 2017

To treat cerebral aneurysms, doctors can use endovascular methods, like flow-diverting stents, that alter blood flow and reduce the risk of rupture. When studying these methods, researchers normally assume that the blood flowing around the stent is a Newtonian fluid. This might be inaccurate, since blood flow around stents is slower than normal. Using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, researchers tested the accuracy of modeling blood flow as a Newtonian fluid by comparing it to a more realistic non-Newtonian model.

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