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All posts by Alexandra Foley

Using Cyclic Symmetry to Reduce Computation Time

March 17, 2014

When modeling computationally taxing geometries, you can save time by using cyclic symmetry to cut down on memory usage. This can be more complex for rotationally than axially symmetric geometries. However, with the Structural Mechanics Module you can easily solve a single section of an impeller model and still get accurate results.

Modeling a Displacement Ventilation System

January 27, 2014

There are, in general, two different types of ventilation systems: mixing ventilation and displacement ventilation. Displacement ventilation is used in large spaces with tall ceilings (at least three meters high), and therefore is mainly found in office buildings, schools, and other public spaces. These higher ceilings allow for upward convective flows exhausting air contaminants, thus resulting in improved air quality. This post explores the simulation of a displacement ventilation system to determine the air temperature and velocity within a room.

Modeling PSU Cooling with COMSOL

January 15, 2014

With shrinking electronic devices and ever-increasing power densities, efficient thermal management is at the heart of many R&D activities for electronics engineers. When developing complete systems containing multiple components, designs can become rather complex. An example of such a design would be a computer power supply unit (PSU), which can include not only electronics, but also multiple heat sinks, cooling fans, perforated grilles, and other large components — all within a small enclosure. In this blog post, we will explore […]

The Linac-MR Project: Tumor Tracking and Treatment

December 30, 2013

Not too long ago, my colleague Jennifer wrote a blog post about the Cross Cancer Institute, and the research being conducted there into the design of a new device for treating cancerous tumors. The device, known as the Linac-MR, is revolutionary due to its ability to both image and treat cancer cells simultaneously — a capability that had previously been regarded as near impossible due to the conflicting physics interactions involved. Such a device would allow for extremely precise radiation […]

Optimizing Dialyzer Design Using Multiphysics Simulation

December 19, 2013

A while back, I had the opportunity to speak with Steven Conrad, a critical care physician at the Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Science Center in New Orleans. Not only is Dr. Conrad a physician as well as a professor at LSU, he’s also a biomedical engineer who uses finite element analysis (FEA) to conduct research on the design of dialyzers. Dr. Conrad uses COMSOL Multiphysics to gain a deeper understanding of the physics behind these devices, and to create […]

3D Printing: Material Matters

December 4, 2013

In the past, we’ve discussed a few of the extraordinary uses of 3D printing (or additive manufacturing) technology by some innovative engineers, and even printed a few of our COMSOL models. In one of our previous posts on 3D printing, we discussed some of the limitations that this technique poses from both a consumer and manufacturing stand-point — you can only print one material at a time. Now however, as was mentioned in an article in Desktop Engineering, not only […]

The Next Generation of Moore’s Law

November 25, 2013

At the COMSOL Conference in Boston, Lam Research Corporation held a keynote talk about Moore’s law and its role in computational modeling. The keynote touched on how Moore’s law has not only impacted the advancement of simulation tools, but also how the development of these tools have themselves allowed Moore’s law to hold true. The concept was something that interested me, and I know it’s been on the minds of many electrical engineers as well. Case in point, when browsing […]

Learn about Modeling Vacuum Systems in COMSOL

November 7, 2013

Until recently, simulation had not been widely used by vacuum system designers because of an absence of commercial simulation tools. Last October, my colleague James Ransley held a webinar about how to model vacuum systems using COMSOL Multiphysics. The webinar was a great success, and it inspired us to produce a dedicated product for modeling vacuum applications: the Molecular Flow Module (new with version 4.3b). This year, on November 21st, James will be giving a webinar explaining the new features […]


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