Multipurpose

Laura Bowen | 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.

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Fanny Littmarck | July 7, 2014

There’s a new book out there for those of you who work with or research electromechanical system design. It’s titled Multiphysics Simulation: Electromechanical System Applications and Optimization and is more than your average textbook. This is a reference guide on simulation and topology optimization written with both students and industry engineers in mind.

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Lexi Carver | June 18, 2014

Cardiovascular disease is a condition where the arteries in the heart are blocked by plaque. Narrowed arteries can restrict blood flow and cause chest pain and shortness of breath. Bare metal stents can be used to resolve the problem, but excessive tissue can grow over them and narrow the artery again (a process called restenosis). Engineers at Boston Scientific are using simulation to understand the release mechanisms in drug-eluting stents, which can be used to prevent this excess cell growth.

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Walter Frei | February 17, 2014

COMSOL’s Optimization Module is a powerful tool for improving the performance of your devices and systems. Here, we will look at optimizing the power applied to two heaters in a flow channel with the objective of heating up the fluid as much as possible as it passes through the channel, while constraining the peak temperature at the heaters themselves. One application of this technique is improving the efficiency of thermal processes.

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Fanny Littmarck | January 3, 2014

Before conducting certain blood sample analyses, researchers need to separate the red blood cell particles from the blood plasma. Using lab-on-a-chip (LOC) technology, red blood cell separation can be achieved via magnetophoresis, i.e. motion induced by magnetic fields. Since the magnetic permeability of the particles is different from the blood plasma, their trajectory can be controlled within the flow channel of the LOC device and thereby separated out from the fluid.

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Christopher Boucher | December 5, 2013

The trajectories of particles through fields can often be modeled using a one-way coupling between physics interfaces. In other words, we can first compute the fields, such as an electric field, magnetic field, or fluid velocity field, and then use these fields to exert forces on the particles using the Particle Tracing Module. If the number density of the particles is very large, however, the particles begin to noticeably perturb the fields around them, and a two-way coupling is needed […]

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Alexandra Foley | October 1, 2013

Laminar static mixers are used for the accurate mixing of fluids (both liquid and gas). Unlike a mixer containing moving blades, a static mixer contains twisted stationary blades that are positioned at different angles throughout the cylindrical flow channel of the mixer. When a fluid is pumped through the channel, the alternating directions of the cross-sectional blades cause the fluid to become mixed as it passes along the length of the channel. This mixing technique allows for precise control over […]

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Walter Frei | August 2, 2013

The COMSOL Optimization Module includes both gradient-based and gradient-free optimization techniques. Whereas the gradient-based optimization method can compute an exact analytic derivative of an objective function and any associated constraint functions, it does require these functions to be smooth and differentiable. In this blog post, we examine the use of the gradient-free optimizer, which can consider objective function and constraints that are not differentiable or smooth. The dimensions of a spinning wheel are optimized to reduce the mass while maintaining […]

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Andrew Griesmer | February 26, 2013

Metamaterials are a new and emerging technology with vast potential to reshape our views on what is and isn’t possible in this physical world of ours. Unlocking the mysteries and overcoming the obstacles associated with metamaterials would lead to a host of technological advances once thought impossible by even the most imaginative of individuals. From making computer chips smaller and faster than the most advanced current ones, to protecting structures from earthquakes, to developing imaging technology that doesn’t harm tissue […]

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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 Littmarck | November 9, 2012

A mixer that doesn’t move may sound like an oxymoron, but it’s not. Used in various chemical species transport applications, static mixers are inexpensive, accurate, and versatile. Still, there is always room for improvement. Optimizing the design of static mixers calls for computer modeling, but traditional CFD methods may not be the best way to model these mixers. How do these motionless mixers work and how can their performance be simulated?

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