When Marshmallows Become Rock-hard

Valerio Marra February 25, 2013

A while back, I bought a bag of marshmallows, indulged a bit, and then forgot about the opened bag for a few weeks. To my surprise, and disappointment, when my marshmallows cravings returned the top ones were rock-hard while the bottom ones were almost as soft as when I bought them. Why was this the case? By leaving the bag open, water had migrated from the marshmallows into the air.

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Phil Kinnane February 22, 2013

“The Bumblebee Flies Anyway” was a book by Robert Cormier that I read as a young teenager. In it, Cormier describes how bumblebees are natural anomalies as they seemingly do not have the aerodynamic capability to actually fly. Their wing span and flapping speed should not provide enough lift to allow flying, and this is a fact that I have always associated with bumblebees since. Yet, this has been proven not to be true, as a closer investigation of the […]

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Phil Kinnane February 21, 2013

Having used COMSOL Multiphysics for over six years now, we are pleased to have Dr. Jon Ebert, Director at SC Solutions, join us in the next Mechanical Engineering Magazine Webinar Series titled “Heat Transfer in Solid and Fluids”. On March 7th, he will co-host an instructional webinar together with COMSOL’s John Dunec. Dr. Ebert will discuss SC Solution’s simulation activities within a wide span of heat transfer-related applications, particularly with respect to semiconductor manufacturing. As a long-time user of COMSOL […]

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Andrew Griesmer February 20, 2013

The electrical grid describes the network created for producing electricity, transmitting it and delivering it to the consumers. A “smart grid” is an electrical grid that gathers information on the suppliers and consumers automatically to improve efficiency and sustainability in the system. As the automated technology improves, the hardware that physically connects the electrical grid together must improve as well. This hardware, the “nuts and bolts” of the grid, is comprised of transformers, cable joints, terminations, bushings, and fault current […]

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Phil Kinnane February 19, 2013

In April last year, we entered into a partnership with Siemens PLM Software and started developing the functionality that would connect COMSOL Multiphysics® simulations to Solid Edge® CAD modeling. Siemens gave us access to their tool, and we were quick in developing LiveLink™ for Solid Edge® as part of the version 4.3a release. This project led to boosting our cooperation with Simens PLM Software, as we had already implemented Parasolid® to be an integral part of the CAD Import Module […]

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Andrew Griesmer February 18, 2013

Induction occurs when a metal object moves in the presence of a magnetic field inducing a current in that object. The induced current causes it to heat up (called inductive heating), as all current does. Yet, simulating these two coupled physics together can be difficult to do as they are intrinsically based on different time scales. COMSOL Multiphysics is able to cleverly simulate them through combining the frequency domain modeling of the magnetic field with a stationary simulation of the […]

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David Kan February 14, 2013

In a popular post from last year, I discussed accessing and manipulating the underlying equations in COMSOL. This blog post instigated reader comments, and most of the respondents appreciated, or even required, the ability to look at the mathematical model (i.e., equations) behind the physics. While considering this, I realized that there is more to the story, and with a little perspective, the community could benefit from further discussion.

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Valerio Marra February 13, 2013

As discussed previously on the blog, iterative methods efficiently eliminate oscillatory error components while leaving the smooth ones almost untouched (smoothing property). Multigrid methods, in particular, use the smoothing property, nested iteration, and residual correction to optimize convergence. Before putting all of the pieces of this proverbial puzzle together, we need to introduce residual correction and dive a bit deeper into nested iteration. Let’s begin with the latter of these elements.

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Andrew Griesmer February 11, 2013

Ultra-precise optical components require blemish-free surfaces that often cannot be achieved by the machining processes that grind these components. Fluid jet polishing (FJP) is a new technology being developed by Zeeko Ltd to replace the hand polishing that was often required. With the help of COMSOL, Zeeko was able to create a product that polishes the optical components in only ten minutes instead of an entire day, and without waveforms.

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Valerio Marra February 8, 2013

Solution methods are a valuable tool for ensuring the efficiency of a design as well as reducing the overall number of prototypes that are needed. In today’s blog post, we introduce you to a particular type of method known as multigrid methods and explore the ideas behind their use in COMSOL Multiphysics.

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Fanny Griesmer February 7, 2013

If you’ve studied structural mechanics you’re probably familiar with stories of planes falling out of the sky due to fatigue (no one wants to be the engineer who designed an airplane that crashed…). Jimmy Stewart made a famous movie about that, but different from the usual horror stories of fatigue is the accident in 1919 of a storage tank that burst in Boston, spilling molasses onto the streets at 35 mph (56 km/h). The Boston Molasses Disaster, as it’s referred […]

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