Modeling Natural and Forced Convection in COMSOL Multiphysics®

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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Bridget Cunningham April 26, 2017

Sometimes when you bake a cake, it doesn’t turn out how you expected. Part of this is due to the underlying heat and mass transfer phenomena that occur within the baking process, which affect the end result. With tools like the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, you can study and predict how these mechanisms work and use this knowledge to bake a better cake.

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Caty Fairclough April 19, 2017

Human-powered vehicles like tricycles can provide a sustainable alternative to passenger vehicles and help riders avoid traffic in populated areas. Before a tricycle design is ready to roll, it needs to be optimized to meet safety requirements, which can prove difficult due to the complex structure of the tricycle. To efficiently pinpoint weak areas in a tricycle frame design, a research team used the Structural Mechanics Module with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Bridget Cunningham April 12, 2017

Many parameters can impact the strength and stability of concrete structures, so finding ways to efficiently measure their condition is key. Embedding sensors within these structures can provide such assessments. To accurately model these systems, it’s important to account for the complex phenomena within concrete and analyze their impact on sensor performance. The flexibility of the COMSOL Multiphysics® software allowed one research team to do just that. Their findings offer insight into designing more reliable sensors for concrete monitoring.

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Caty Fairclough April 11, 2017

Microwave filters can help prevent unwanted frequency components in the output of a microwave transmitter design. However, when the microwave system experiences thermal drift, it can be difficult to achieve high-frequency stability in the filters. To address this issue and improve filter designs, system engineers need to predict the change of the passband frequency caused by thermal expansion. As we’ll see today, one way to achieve this is with multiphysics modeling.

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Bridget Cunningham April 6, 2017

Modeling the propagation of waves from a large vibrating structure can be a challenging task. It requires balancing the reduction of the computational domain’s size with the decrease of reflection at surface boundaries. With the low-reflecting boundary conditions in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, we can easily reduce our computational domain to a practical size while ensuring accurate simulation results. Today, we illustrate this with the example of modeling wave propagation in rocks under blast loads.

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Caty Fairclough April 3, 2017

People living near waterways can avoid the damaging effects of flooding by building embankments, which can be made safer using bank protection structures. However, factors such as soil pressure, water level fluctuation, and groundwater seepage can cause bank protection structures to deform and eventually collapse. To better understand this issue, researchers modeled a bank protection structure located within the Yangtze River in China, enabling them to predict the structure’s displacement and deformation.

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Caty Fairclough March 31, 2017

When designing multibody systems, interconnected flexible and rigid bodies must be analyzed to see how they are affected by large rotational and translational displacements. While we can achieve this with the Multibody Dynamics Module in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, we first want to confirm the reliability of the simulation results. Here, we discuss a benchmark model of a four-bar mechanism that helps prove the validity of these multibody dynamics simulations.

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Bridget Cunningham March 28, 2017

Measuring acceleration is important in high-speed dynamics, as velocity, force, and pressure are derived from it. Sensing elements inside accelerometers make it possible to obtain such measurements. As technology advances, these sensor packages must be optimized to handle higher vibrational frequency bandwidths. To accomplish this, researchers tested their novel piezoresistive sensor chip as part of a package design. Their simulation results, which agree well with experimental data, pave the way for optimizing sensor packages to achieve higher bandwidths.

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Bridget Cunningham March 22, 2017

The viscous catenary problem has generated a lot of theoretical and experimental interest in recent years. This is due to the industrial importance of the rich phenomena that occur within it. Using the flexibility of the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, we can gain fundamental insights into complex problems like the viscous catenary problem and determine the validity of the assumptions made in previous analyses.

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Caty Fairclough March 17, 2017

When simulating hearing aids, it’s important to determine how transducers interact with the rest of the system. In some cases, these studies require fully detailed models, increasing their computational cost. One alternative is coupling a lumped parameter transducer model with a multiphysics model representing the whole system. In this blog post, we discuss the example of a Knowles ED-23146 receiver (or miniature loudspeaker) that is connected to a test setup and compare the results to measurement data.

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