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All posts by Brianne Christopher

Modeling a Stacked Piezoelectric Actuator in a Valve

May 13, 2015

Piezoelectric valves are opened and closed by stacked piezoelectric actuators that are positioned above a seal. By applying a voltage to the stacked piezoelectric actuator, it can be made to expand or contract and the resulting deformation is used to open and close the valve. In this blog post, we feature a tutorial model of a stacked piezoelectric actuator in a pneumatic valve, new with COMSOL Multiphysics version 5.1.

Simulating Analog-to-Digital Microdroplet Dispensers for LOCs

May 11, 2015

Microfluidic biochips have a variety of applications and are valued for their low cost, fast response time, and high efficiency. In the paper “Design and Simulation of High-Throughput Microfluidic Droplet Dispenser for Lab-on-a-Chip Applications”, which was presented at the COMSOL Conference 2014 Boston, researchers designed a microfluidic biochip with an analog-to-digital converter. They used COMSOL Multiphysics software to understand the mechanism of the device and verify its function.

Simulating Antenna Crosstalk on an Airplane

April 29, 2015

As communication systems in aviation become more complex, multiple antennas are often placed on the same airplane. This creates crosstalk, or cosite interference, which occurs between the antennas and can disturb the operation of the aircraft. The Antenna Crosstalk on an Airplane’s Fuselage tutorial model shows that you can simulate the interference between two identical antennas — one transmitting and one receiving — to analyze the crosstalk effect on an aircraft.

Studying the Airflow Over a Car Using an Ahmed Body

April 3, 2015

As the burning of fossil fuels becomes a more pressing issue, manufacturers are introducing more fuel efficient cars to the market. One main contributor to fuel burn is the car’s aerodynamic drag. Complexly shaped, cars are very challenging to model and it’s difficult to quantify the aerodynamic drag computationally. The Ahmed body is a benchmark model widely used in the automotive industry for validating simulation tools. The Ahmed body shape is simple enough to model, while maintaining car-like geometry features.

Tears of Wine and the Marangoni Effect

March 24, 2015

Try pouring some wine into a glass. Don’t drink it yet — this is a scientific experiment. When you hold up your glass, you’ll see what look like teardrops running down the sides. These tears of wine are caused by the Marangoni effect, which describes a mass transfer along the surface of two fluid phases caused by surface tension gradients along the interface between the two phases (for example liquid and vapor).

Simulating Injection Mold Cooling

March 23, 2015

Behind the wheel of a car is not the ideal place to discover that the steering wheel is defective. That’s why special precautions are taken during the manufacturing process. The carefully controlled cooling of an injection mold ensures that whatever the product may be, its standards are up to par. Here, we use the Non-Isothermal Pipe Flow interface with the Heat Transfer in Solids interface to study the cooling path of an injection mold for a polyurethane car steering wheel.

Happy Birthday, Gustav Kirchhoff

March 12, 2015

Gustav Robert Kirchhoff was a German physicist famous for his vast contributions to the study of spectroscopy, electrical circuits, thermochemistry, and more. Kirchhoff developed laws and theories fundamental to electrical engineering, heat capacity in chemical reactions, and the composition of light emission from incandescent objects. He even helped discover two new elements! In honor of what would have been his birthday, here is a look at Kirchhoff’s legacy.


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