How to Solve a Classic CFD Benchmark: The Lid-Driven Cavity Problem

Angela Straccia May 8, 2018

The lid-driven cavity is a popular problem within the field of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) for validating computational methods. While the boundary conditions are relatively simple, the flow features created are quite interesting and complex. Here, we demonstrate how to define this benchmark problem in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. We also showcase techniques like mapped meshing and nonlinearity ramping, which can be applied to a wide variety of CFD models.

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Caty Fairclough April 25, 2018

The average human heart beats around 100,000 times in a single day. With each beat, the four valves within the heart open and close, transporting blood unidirectionally through its chambers. By simulating heart valves, medical researchers can study their behavior to address various cardiac health issues. As an example, a team from Veryst Engineering modeled a heart valve opening and closing with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Thomas Forrister April 24, 2018

Wastewater often contains organic and inorganic materials, which can be nonbiodegradable and even toxic. To reuse wastewater, these contaminants are removed via physical, chemical, and biological processes. Clarifiers treat wastewater by separating the particles via sedimentation, but their performance is affected by factors such as settling, turbulence, the ratio of the particles’ outer surfaces to mass, sudden direction changes in the flow, and the velocity profile. To design clarifiers for effective wastewater treatment, engineers can turn to fluid flow simulation.

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Caty Fairclough April 16, 2018

Ejectors have many applications, such as removing debris in outer space and providing refrigeration at your local supermarket. To improve ejectors for these and other uses, engineers aim to find optimal designs and operating conditions as well as accurately describe the flow within these devices. Simulation can help achieve these goals.

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Ed Fontes March 26, 2018

The algebraic multigrid (AMG) solver provides robust solutions for large CFD simulations. Available as of version 5.3a of the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, the AMG method only requires one mesh, in contrast to the geometric multigrid (GMG) solver, which requires at least one extra coarser mesh. This eliminates the hassle associated with creating coarse meshes for complex geometries with small details that are difficult to mesh unless a fine mesh is used.

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Nicolas Huc March 15, 2018

Nonisothermal flow combines CFD and heat transfer analysis. In cases where the temperature of the fluid at an inlet is a known quantity, a Temperature boundary condition can be used. However, there are some important situations where this is not the case, and an Inflow boundary condition can improve the model accuracy and reduce the computational cost of the simulation. Here, we review how this more sophisticated thermal boundary condition can be set at a flow inlet.

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Bridget Paulus February 27, 2018

Due to their small size and efficiency, compact heat exchangers are used in many application areas, including HVAC, nuclear power, and electronics. To help increase heat transfer rates and reduce pressure drops in these devices, a large number of studies have been performed, exploring concepts such as incorporating a deforming wall into the design. Using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, you can evaluate a dynamic wall heat exchanger design.

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Nathan Martin February 8, 2018

In a 2013 report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that Earth’s cryosphere is “a natural integrator of climate variability and provides some of the most visible signatures of climate change.” (Ref. 1) The cryosphere is the part of the climate system that contains frozen water and makes up 80% of our fresh water. Using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, we can simulate classical ice flow to analyze cryosphere dynamics and assess climate change effects such as rising sea levels.

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Bridget Paulus February 7, 2018

Natural convection is a type of heat transport found in engineering applications of all sizes. For instance, this phenomenon helps maintain a reasonable temperature in both small electronic devices and large buildings. No matter the application area, design engineers can use the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to model natural convection in air for both 2D and 3D geometries.

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Chandan Kumar January 4, 2018

A sphere slightly lighter than water is dropped into a small liquid-filled beaker. How do you model the resulting shape of the water surface and the motion of the sphere as it floats on the surface? In this blog post, we demonstrate how to model this system in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. Although we are considering the case of a small sphere, the technique discussed here can be applied to other larger shapes as well.

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Phillip Oberdorfer December 15, 2017

The physics behind filling a water balloon seem simple at first glance, but involve a rather complex interplay of fluid flow and a nonlinear hyperelastic material. Fortunately, it is easy to set up and solve this type of model in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. Let’s see how…

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