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Introduction to CFD in COMSOL Multiphysics

Engineers and scientists use the CFD Module to analyse, predict, and design fluid flow in closed and open systems. In comparison to purely empirical research involving fluid flow, these types of simulations generally lead to new and better products and enhanced operations of devices and processes for a given cost.

Introduction to CFD in COMSOL Multiphysics. This is a complete basic article on what is CFD simulation in COMSOL. The physics interface, features, boundary conditions, fluid flow, the workflow of CFD simulation, everything is explained.

Engineers and scientists use the CFD Module to analyse, predict, and design fluid flow in closed and open systems. In comparison to purely empirical research involving fluid flow, these types of simulations generally lead to new and better products and enhanced operations of devices and processes for a given cost. Simulations provide precise predictions of flow patterns, pressure losses, forces on submerged objects, temperature distributions, and fluctuations in fluid composition within a system as part of a study.

Image showing air flow streamlines. We get similar results using CFD simulations. [image from develop3d.com]

What is CFD Module’s capability in COMSOL

The CFD Module’s general capabilities in COMSOL Multiphysics include modelling stationary and time-dependent fluid flow problems in 2D and 3D spaces.

Supported Fluid Flow Interfaces

A number of Fluid Flow interfaces have established formulas for different forms of flow, allowing you to set up and solve a range of fluid-flow problems. Physical parameters like velocity and pressure, as well as physical qualities such as viscosity, are used to characterise a fluid-flow problem at these physics interfaces.

Fluid Dynamics image [ref]

Different Fluid Flow interfaces in COMSOL

Few examples of flow interfaces are

  • laminar and turbulent single-phase
  • multiphase
  • nonisothermal
  • reacting flows

Physics Interface and Conservation laws

The physics interfaces are based on momentum, mass, and energy conservation rules. These laws are stated in terms of partial differential equations, which the module solves using the initial and boundary conditions supplied.

How are equations solved in CFD simulation in COMSOL

The equations are solved using stabilised finite element formulations for fluid flow, damped Newton methods, and alternative time-dependent solver algorithms for time-dependent problems.

How are results presented in CFD simulation in COMSOL

Predefined plots related to CFD, expressions of physical values that you may freely specify, and derived tabular numbers (for example, average pressure on a surface or drag coefficients) generated from a simulation are all displayed in the graphics window.

Workflow in the CFD Module in COMSOL

The workflow in the CFD Module is quite straightforward and is described by the following steps:

  • define the geometry
  • select the fluid to be modelled
  • select the type of flow
  • define the boundary and initial conditions
  • define the finite element mesh
  • select a solver
  • visualize the results

Hope you got some idea about Introduction to CFD in COMSOL.

Thank you for reading!


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