The Physics of Sailing, a CFD Analysis

Valerio Marra July 2, 2013

Of all boats, I find sailboats to be the most fascinating, especially when sails are their only means of propulsion. Kinetic energy is transferred from the wind to the sails, which results in a lift force that balances drag forces and allows the sailboat to move through the water. We are all familiar with the parts of a boat above the waterline: deck, spars, sails, and the rudder used to turn the boat (figure 1c). Not everyone pays attention to […]

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Alexandra Foley June 17, 2013

The fact that oil and water don’t mix is something that you are probably all familiar with. At one point or another, you’ve most likely noticed what happens when you shake a bottle of say, Italian salad dressing, and the liquids mix momentarily, only to become separated again within seconds as oil bubbles rise to the surface. Creating a simulation describing how these two immiscible fluids interact is a great way to introduce computational fluid dynamics (CFD) applied to two-phase […]

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James Ransley May 16, 2013

Vacuum technology has many important applications, from semiconductor device and MEMS fabrication, to vacuum coatings for corrosion protection, optical films, and metallization. The new Molecular Flow Module provides vacuum engineers with previously unavailable tools for modeling gas flows within vacuum systems.

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Daniel Smith May 2, 2013

Graphene can be created by way of thermal decomposition at high vacuum. In order to design and optimize these high-vacuum systems engineers might look to simulation, but there are currently not many modeling tools that are up to the task. Let’s have a look at how vacuum systems are relevant to graphene production, why you should simulate them, and how.

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Bjorn Sjodin April 16, 2013

Vacuum is naturally associated with the hostile environment of deep space. To achieve such an environment in an artificial setting here on Earth is a very challenging task, and it turns out one cannot even come close to the low pressures of an interstellar vacuum. It is at these low pressures that molecular flow occurs.

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Jennifer Segui April 11, 2013

If you enjoy ketchup with your food, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced what we’ll call here the all-or-nothing ketchup quandary. You know, that moment when you reach for a new glass bottle of ketchup, remove the cap, and turn the bottle practically upside down — and then nothing happens. Intuitively, you shake or tap the bottle, and then suddenly your food is completely coated in ketchup (unless your reflexes are really good, of course). In this blog post, we […]

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Alexandra Foley March 8, 2013

Water purification is the process by which chemicals, contaminants, and sediments are removed from dirty water to make it clean, and there are many processes through which this can be done. What you might not know, is that ozone molecules can be used as a means of disinfection in the purification process. “Ozonation” has been used to purify water, kill germs and bacteria in food, and even get rid of bad smells. Not only does ozonation provide clean water without […]

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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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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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Fanny Griesmer February 1, 2013

Microbubbles filled with oxygen can be injected into contaminated lakes to restore the water quality. Typically, water is purified via water-treatment plants, but this microbubble technique is both inexpensive and more environmentally-friendly in comparison. As seen in a COMSOL News 2011 article, oxygen microbubbles are a researcher’s way of copying nature’s own self-restoration mechanism for cleaning contaminated lakes.

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Fanny Griesmer January 7, 2013

If I asked you to envision a wind turbine, odds are you’d picture a wind farm in some remote location. With good reason; that’s commonly where they are found. If you’re a student or faculty of Case Western Reserve University, on the other hand, you might think of the wind turbine you have on campus. Does it make sense to set up wind turbines in urban settings? These two researchers suggest that it does.

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