Introduction to Modeling Natural Convection in COMSOL Multiphysics®

Ed Fontes | December 23, 2016

Natural convection is a phenomenon found in many science and engineering applications, such as electronics cooling, indoor climate systems, and environmental transport problems. The CFD and Heat Transfer modules in version 5.2a of the COMSOL Multiphysics® software include functionality that makes it easier to set up and solve natural convection problems. In this blog post, we give an overview of natural convection, the new functionality, and some of the difficulties that we may stumble upon when modeling natural convection.

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Caty Fairclough | December 22, 2016

In 3D printers, suboptimal cooling and cure rates can negatively affect the manufactured parts and components. By optimizing a 3D printer’s design, we can ensure the quality of the printed objects. One research group used simulation to analyze the cooling process and the resulting glass-transition temperature of the polymer in a 3D printer. Let’s look at how they modeled the extrusion of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) from a 3D printer that uses fused-deposition modeling (FDM®).

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Bridget Cunningham | December 16, 2016

In rapid thermal annealing, a process step in producing semiconductors, measuring the temperature of a wafer is key. Without accurate measurements, overheating and nonuniform temperature distributions may occur, both of which impact the effectiveness of the process. This is why tools like the COMSOL Multiphysics® software give you the ability to analyze temperature distributions within an RTA design. From these results, you can better assess the performance of the sensor component and optimize its configuration to achieve accurate measurements.

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Brianne Costa | December 2, 2016

Finding a scientific explanation for why ice is slippery seems simple enough, but it has actually been a subject of debate and confusion for centuries. As part of the world begins to bundle up for a blustery winter, let’s explore the science behind how the slipperiness of ice enables us to ski, skate, and even fall down in the parking lot.

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Magnus Ringh | November 18, 2016

One dessert that is sure to amaze your dinner guests is the baked Alaska. This classic treat consists of ice cream placed on a bed of sponge cake and covered in meringue. Although the dessert goes into a hot oven to caramelize the meringue, the ice cream inside surprisingly remains frozen. In this blog post, we use the heat transfer simulation capabilities of the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to find out how the baked Alaska works.

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Caty Fairclough | October 19, 2016

In certain food and pharmaceutical industries, different types of dryers are used to dry heat-sensitive products. Vacuum dryers offer one solution for removing water and organic solvents from these sensitive substances. For optimal vacuum dryer design performance, engineers need to balance the dual needs of a rapid drying time and high-quality end products. To achieve this, you can study the vacuum drying process with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Caty Fairclough | September 6, 2016

Refrigerated trucks must maintain a cool temperature in order to avoid damaging the products that they carry. Optimizing the insulation materials and cooling systems of these vehicles is therefore an important step in their design. To ensure that such components work effectively under open- and closed-door cycles, Air Liquide teamed up with SIMTEC, a COMSOL Certified Consultant, to perform heat transfer and CFD simulations with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Caty Fairclough | August 26, 2016

Around the world, trash is added to landfills at an increasingly rapid rate. Since these landfills take up large areas of land and can cause environmental issues, researchers are looking for safer, space-saving solutions. One option is to convert traditional anaerobic landfills into aerobic bioreactor landfills. This conversion process needs to be studied further, which could take years experimentally. For faster results, researchers at the University of Western Ontario used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to efficiently analyze this process.

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Beatrice Carasi | August 22, 2016

The numerical analysis of fluid flow and temperature fields can offer valuable insight in many engineering applications. Efficiency, of course, is important when performing such simulations. Here, we’ll discuss the various formulations for fluid flow equations in the COMSOL Multiphysics® simulation software and when it’s best to use each option, paying particular attention to how this selection influences heat transfer analyses. We will also cover how to set up both natural and forced convection simulations using these formulations.

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Bridget Cunningham | August 16, 2016

Like many crops, the quality of dates is heavily impacted by agronomic practices. In Tunisia, for example, such elements have caused these soft edible fruits to become drier in nature. One approach to improving the quality of these dates is thermal processing, where the key unit of operation is hydration. Combining the power of experimental studies with simulation analyses, a team of researchers sought to optimize the hydration process in order to foster greater efficiency and reliability.

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Peng-Chhay Ung | August 15, 2016

The flash method, first described by W.J. Parker et. al in 1961, is a widely used technique for measuring the thermal conductivity of materials. Our Flash Method demo app, highlighted here, performs a numerical simulation of this experiment, offering a simplified approach to modifying parameters that can impact its overall accuracy. Today, we’ll take a closer look at this easy-to-use app, as well as the theory behind it.

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