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All posts by Laura Bowen

Using Effective Mass for Thermomechanical Calibration

September 2, 2014

Micromechanical sensors are crucial to many standard commercial products in nanoelectronics and nanomechanics. These are sensors that are so small they operate on the nanoscale, with parts measuring in billionths of a meter. Researchers at the University of Alberta are exploring ways to find the effective mass — the mass of a particle when reacting to a force — of micromechanical sensors in a faster way. This measurement is key to performing thermomechanical calibration.

Acoustic Levitation Puts a Pure Spin on Medicine Fabrication

July 16, 2014

The need for a contaminant-free space to manufacture medicine has led scientists to try many creative new approaches to improve the process. At Argonne National Lab, creating a device that floats and rotates chemical compounds in thin air was just the answer they were looking for. It meant two important changes: the amount of each chemical necessary could be implemented very precisely and the risk of outside impurities disrupting the results was minimized.

Portable Cordless Vaccine Storage Device

June 24, 2014

The Passive Vaccine Storage Device (PVSD) is a highly advanced container that combines ingenuity and insulation technology to empower aid workers delivering vaccines to the toughest-to-reach corners of the globe. Designed as a prototype that improves upon earlier models of vaccine transportation devices, this compact apparatus was developed with all the necessary steps: careful planning, simulation, and testing.

Air Pressure Sensor Performance Relies on a Solid Design

June 11, 2014

With all of the other components of an automobile to consider, it is easy for drivers to forget to routinely check tire pressure. Thankfully, companies are actually beginning to assemble most of their newer vehicles with built-in tire pressure monitoring sensors. These devices are placed at the bottom of the tire hub and measure air pressure automatically — all while the car is still in motion.

Optimizing Recloser Performance with Simulation

December 24, 2013

During snow storms or windy days, a branch might break and short-circuit a power line’s electric current as it falls. The first task of a recloser is to interrupt this short-circuit, i.e. to open or disconnect the affected overhead line from the feeding network source. The second task is to try to re-establish power after a short time by to re-closing the line, taking advantage of the fact that most of the reasons for a short-circuit of an overhead line […]

Modeling Bone Strength Using Isotropic and Anisotropic Materials

December 20, 2013

The question of exactly how strong living bones are poses many important considerations for the medical industry. There is not currently a single-purpose device in the field to test bone strength. However, it is possible for researchers to get measurements of bone strength by modeling the entire makeup of the bone and using multiphysics simulation to perform stress and strain analyses. Simulating bone strength starts with a simple map of the external topology of the bone and then delves into […]

Skimboard Hydrodynamics: It’s All in the Boundary Conditions

August 29, 2013

When it comes to recreational water sports, simulation can make a dramatic difference in performance. Skimboards are a perfect example of this. These short, thin boards are similar to surfboards without fins and they allow riders to float on the water’s surface and glide. In order to improve the design of the board, one group of researchers relied on hydrodynamics to understand the interaction between water and skimboards.

Acoustics Tutorial for Modeling Organ Pipe Design

July 19, 2013

The way the sound is shaped as it passes through the pipe of an organ is the result of a carefully calculated and intricate pipe design. Browsing through the Model Gallery, I came across a model of an organ pipe, and it happens to be a great acoustics tutorial for using the Pipe Acoustics, Frequency Domain interface in COMSOL Multiphysics. Let’s talk organ pipe design, and walk through how we can model it with multiphysics software.


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