The trend is clear—increasingly you need to apply multiple engineering disciplines to your designs. To do so, you need both the necessary knowledge and the tools that can handle the calculations. Fortunately, the tools are on the way; it’s not unusual to find laptop computers with multiple core processors that execute in parallel.
Appropriately capable software is less of an impediment too. For example, at the recent Comsol Users Conference held in Boston , executives introduced version 3.4 of their Multiphysics® program. Within this program are thousands of scientifically researched calculations that make your design compute and analysis tasks easy.
For modeling and simulating any physics-based system, Version 3.4 features multicore support, new solvers, and enhancements to discipline-specific modules.
The RF Module in COMSOL Multiphysics 3.4 lets you model a variety of antenna, waveguides, microwave and optical components. Here, an external magnetic field heats a microwave circulator, introducing mechanical deformation, which affects the antenna’s ability to transmit and receive signals.
Multicore processor support speeds simulation solutions. Plus, with parallel computing the software introduces new fluid dynamic solver methods for simulating very large problems in chemical engineering, heat transfer, or microfluidics applications.
The quick computational speed is achieved by leveraging multicore processors and shared-memory parallelism. Every step of a simulation workflow—meshing, assembly, and solving—now executes in parallel. The program will use the maximum number of cores available on the system, and you have complete control over the number of processors dedicated to your simulations.
Studies run by Professor Darrell Pepper and his group at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, compared this version with a number of other FEA-based simulation tools in a range of multiphysics applications. “For the circulator problem, considering the finite-element schemes and comparable mesh size,” Dr. Pepper reports, “Comsol Multiphysics runs three times faster than another specialized FEA-based electromagnetics software.”
Version 3.4 provides fully parallel meshing for assemblies. A new boundary layer meshing feature lets you mesh thermal boundary layers, charged double-layers in ac/dc applications, or viscous boundary layers in fluid-flow applications more efficiently, with greater accuracy, and with less memory consumption than previously possible.
A major upgrade to the program’s iterative methods pushes solver performance for fluid dynamics to new heights. For example, state-of-the-art Galerkin Least Squares (GLS) stabilization techniques let you compute large fluid flow problems with millions of degrees of freedom.
The COMSOL Multiphysics 3.4 AC/DC Module calculates the magnetic fields inside and around a generator in motion. The image shows one time-step from the model, with a boundary plot showing the norm of the magnetic field and streamlines showing the magnetic field and potential.
A segregated solver with an easy-to-use interface reduces memory consumption significantly when computing large problems, such as fluid-structure interaction (FSI) or wave propagation in thermally deformed structures. When compared to its predecessors, Version 3.4 solves fluid-flow problems up to five times faster.
You can now include variable-density flow and free convection in Chemical Engineering and Heat Transfer simulations. These new capabilities particularly suit coupled flow and conjugate heat transfer problems often encountered in electronic cooling and heat exchanger analyses. For applications such as microfluidics, multi-species convection, and reacting flows, the program offers modeling interfaces for turbulent and laminar flow with variable densities due to variations in composition.
The Chemical Engineering Module has been improved with a modeling interface for the simulation of multiphase flow. With it, you can easily simulate bubbly flows such as in scrubbers, aerators, bioreactors, and food-processing equipment. You can also set up mixture models for simulating emulsification, sedimentation, and other separation processes common in the chemical, pharmaceutical, and food-processing industries.
Interfaces for modeling piezoelectric devices have been enhanced, and new interfaces have been introduced to the Acoustics Module. This image shows the pressure field and structural displacement, along with a graph from a far-field analysis of a piezoacoustic device.
The Heat Transfer Module includes boundary layer meshing for greater accuracy with fewer elements for simulating electronic cooling, heat exchangers, and heat losses to solid structures in mechanical design. Also new is the ability to model 3D surface-to-surface radiation using memory-saving 2D axisymmetric modeling domain.
Upgrades to the Reaction Engineering Lab® include a new interface for running nonlinear parameter estimations on multiple sets of experimental data. In addition, it is now possible to select which parameters to estimate and which parameters to keep constant in each run. Outputs display confidence intervals and standard deviations.
Version 3.4 lets you build and run models as part of SPICE-based circuit simulations thanks to the AC/DC Module’s new SPICE user interface. For electronics, electrical components, geophysics, and electrochemistry applications there is small-signal analysis for AC impedance studies. You can also model electric motors and generators through a new interface supporting periodic boundary conditions and sector symmetry.
Additionally, a new periodic boundary condition user interface has been introduced in the RF Module along with an improved interface for lumped port boundary conditions, which is ideal for wave propagation in transmission lines and circuit boards.
The Structural Mechanics Module lets you predict high- and low-cycle fatigue damage. A suite of Script functions calculate fatigue damage from inputs made up of loading data and deterministic, stochastic, or even nonproportional material fatigue data.
Comsol Multiphysics 3.4 runs on Windows, Linux, Solaris, and Macintosh workstations with a minimum of 1GB of memory.
A cutout in a frame is subjected to stress concentrations of a repetitive nature. Modeled using new
fatigue analysis capabilities of the Structural Mechanics Module, this image shows the accumulated damage along the four fillets of a frame as calculated from a count matrix.
: Design World :
Filed Under: FEA software, Software