Examining Heat Transfer in a Friction Stir Welding Process

Bridget Paulus August 6, 2018

Efficient, cost effective, and environmentally friendly, friction stir welding (FSW) is useful for many applications. As the name implies, this process involves using friction to heat materials and then stirring them together. For optimal FSW performance, the generated heat has to be just the right temperature: Too high and the materials melt, weakening the weld; too little and the process is inefficient. Using the COMSOL® software, you can evaluate and improve heat transfer in the FSW process.

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Bridget Paulus July 30, 2018

From home HVAC systems to spacecraft ejectors, diffusers find use in all kinds of applications. For example, diffusers are often used in supersonic aircraft like ramjets to slow down fluid flow and increase static pressure. To design transonic diffusers for supersonic applications, engineers must account for factors like high-speed turbulent flow and shock waves. As this benchmark model illustrates, these complex phenomena can be accurately analyzed using the COMSOL® software.

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Bridget Paulus May 16, 2018

Thanks to their ability to “tune out” specific frequencies, electromagnetic band gaps (EBGs) are found in many different applications. EBGs can suppress unwanted electromagnetic interference (EMI) and increase electromagnetic compatibility (EMC). These structures are commonly used between nearby antennas, which can help minimize undesirable coupling and thereby enhance their performance. However, using an EBG isn’t always a guarantee for better antenna isolation. To analyze the effectiveness of an EBG, engineers can use the COMSOL Multiphysics® software and add-on RF Module.

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Bridget Paulus April 9, 2018

Acyclic generator, unipolar generator, disc dynamo, Faraday wheel: No matter what you call it, the homopolar generator is an interesting device. Unlike most generators, homopolar generators produce high current with low voltage and can store and release large amounts of electricity. Due to these abilities, scientists have worked to improve this device since its invention. To continue this work, you can evaluate the performance of homopolar generator designs using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Bridget Paulus February 27, 2018

Due to their small size and efficiency, compact heat exchangers are used in many application areas, including HVAC, nuclear power, and electronics. To help increase heat transfer rates and reduce pressure drops in these devices, a large number of studies have been performed, exploring concepts such as incorporating a deforming wall into the design. Using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, you can evaluate a dynamic wall heat exchanger design.

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Bridget Paulus February 15, 2018

The interference fit between two parts has to be just right. Think of it as the Goldilocks quandary of structural mechanics: if the fit is too loose, the parts won’t hold together; if it’s too tight, the parts can’t join. For optimal performance of a structure involving joined parts, the interference fit needs to be calculated. One method is to create a simulation app, which can efficiently compute the contact pressure and surface displacement of two joined parts.

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Bridget Paulus February 7, 2018

Natural convection is a type of heat transport found in engineering applications of all sizes. For instance, this phenomenon helps maintain a reasonable temperature in both small electronic devices and large buildings. No matter the application area, design engineers can use the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to model natural convection in air for both 2D and 3D geometries.

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Bridget Paulus January 19, 2018

In civil engineering and the biomedical field, strain gauges are used to measure deformation sustained by various objects. Typically, foil gauges are used, but they have low sensitivity. MEMS-based gauges, like the double-ended tuning fork (DETF) strain gauge, offer better performance. To optimize the design of a new DETF strain gauge, researchers used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software and compared the results to an analytical model.

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Bridget Paulus November 6, 2017

Optimizing fuel for nuclear reactors can increase the amount of power they generate, improve their safety, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. However, studying nuclear fuel can be complex, as it involves interactions between multiple physical phenomena. In his keynote talk from the COMSOL Conference 2017 Boston, Andrew Prudil of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) discussed using multiphysics models to gain insight into nuclear fuel. If you missed his presentation, find a video recording and summary below.

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Bridget Paulus October 20, 2017

Extraordinary optical transmission (EOT) is an important process in terahertz applications. Developing EOT applications could lead to improvements in medical imaging, quality assurance, and more. To study this phenomenon, researchers simulated EOT devices with different array geometries and material properties. The simulation results were compared and validated with measured data. Let’s take a look at their work…

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Bridget Paulus September 18, 2017

Maintaining an even temperature for buildings in hot climates often requires a lot of energy. One option for improving thermal performance is by including phase change materials (PCMs) in parts of the building. To study the effectiveness of PCMs in regulating temperature, researchers used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to model a novel plaster that includes a PCM. They then analyzed the thermal performance of the PCM-enhanced plaster and compared the results with a reference plaster.

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