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Heat Transfer & Phase Change Blog Posts

Thermal Modeling of Surfaces with Wavelength-Dependent Emissivity

December 12, 2013

Whenever we are solving a thermal problem where radiation is significant, we need to know the emissivities of all of our surfaces. Emissivity is a measure of the ability of a surface to emit energy by radiation, and it can depend strongly upon the wavelength of the radiation. This is very relevant for thermal problems where the temperature variation is large or when there is exposure to a high-temperature source of radiation such as the sun. In this post on […]

Coupling Transport and Solid Mechanics Models for Better Puffed Rice

November 20, 2013

In my work at COMSOL, it’s always interesting to see how broad the field of heat transfer can be. Far from being limited to steel ingots and CPU fans, researchers often use COMSOL Multiphysics to study heat transfer in food manufacturing. One good example of this is the study of thermal and mechanical effects in the production of puffed rice, which was presented at the COMSOL Conference 2013 in Boston.

Mersen Simulates Joule Heating in Busbars and Fuses

November 18, 2013

Joule heating is a fairly standard type of simulation for COMSOL users nowadays. It involves solving for electrical voltage and temperature fields simultaneously with highly temperature-dependent material properties. Controlling Joule heating is very important when designing and manufacturing electrical systems components. The electric protection group at manufacturing company Mersen France used to base their busbar and fuse designs on trial-and-error, but these days they turn to COMSOL Multiphysics.

Exploring the Leidenfrost Effect

November 12, 2013

The Leidenfrost effect, also known as film boiling, occurs when a liquid comes into contact with a solid that is at a temperature well above the liquid’s boiling point. Upon contact, a layer of vapor forms between the liquid-solid interface, creating a barrier between the two. There are many examples of this phenomenon, ranging from something you may have seen in your kitchen (water “dancing” around in a pan) to things you shouldn’t try at home (dipping your hand into […]

Liquid Quenching with Film Boiling Simulation by AltaSim

October 9, 2013

The process of quenching a red-hot metal object in a cool liquid bath is simple in practice, but highly complicated when creating a simulation. There are several phases of liquid quenching, and here we will focus on the initial phase: film boiling. In the accompanying video, COMSOL Certified Consultant AltaSim Technologies details the steps taken to model a nickel superalloy puck that is quenched in a tub of oil.

The Advantages of Mechatronic Simulation at KOSTAL

October 2, 2013

For 60 years, the technology manufacturer KOSTAL Group has been implementing various electrical systems in cars, making your driving experience more enjoyable. For instance, the Automotive Electrical Systems division of KOSTAL placed indicator switches near the steering wheel and created integrated-function push buttons. Over the years, their patents and designs have become more complex and revolutionary. Currently, they are working on optimizing the design of their roof modules for premium cars using mechatronic simulation.

MEMS Energy Harvester for Reusing Waste Heat

September 24, 2013

Today we welcome another guest post from Kyle Koppenhoefer of AltaSim Technologies, a COMSOL Certified Consultant. In this entry he will discuss modeling MEMS energy harvesting devices. During our recent webinar with COMSOL on thermal-structure interaction modeling, we at AltaSim Technologies demonstrated modeling of a MEMS energy harvester that scavenges waste heat. Examples of sources for waste heat range from microprocessor chips, to internal combustion engines, to chemical processing plants. If the waste heat generated from these cases could be […]

How to Model a Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger

September 11, 2013

Shell and tube heat exchangers are one of the most widely used type of heat exchanger in the processing industries (65% of the market according to H. S. Lee’s book, Thermal Design) and are commonly found in oil refineries, nuclear power plants, and other large-scale chemical processes. Additionally, they can be found in many engines and are used to cool hydraulic fluid and oil. There are a variety of different configurations for these heat exchangers, but their basic concept can […]


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