Analyze the Electrodynamics of a Magnetic Power Switch via Simulation

Caty Fairclough September 21, 2017

Have you ever plugged one too many devices into an electrical circuit? This can overload the circuit and damage its components. To avoid this issue, many homes have devices like electric switch circuit breakers to interrupt the current when a critical current is reached. Other types of circuit breakers are used to prevent issues in high-voltage situations, like citywide power lines. In this blog post, we discuss using simulation to study a class of heavy-duty circuit breakers: magnetic power switches.

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Caty Fairclough September 12, 2017

When thinking about natural selection, antennas are probably not the first thing that comes to mind. But with genetic algorithms, we can use the basic principles of natural selection to solve antenna optimization problems. For example, genetic algorithms enabled one research group to optimize the geometry of an optical antenna. They implemented their study by using LiveLink™ for MATLAB®, an add-on product to the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Caty Fairclough September 8, 2017

Generating complex emulsion droplets that can be used to fabricate highly compartmentalized microconstructs is difficult to achieve with classic droplet-forming fluidic junctions. These junctions have simple geometries, which can result in a narrow range of flow rate control. To address this issue, one research group designed an oscillatory microfluidic junction with a more complicated geometry. This junction, called the bat-wing junction, can consistently produce uniform and complex double-emulsion droplets, with bespoke components and encapsulated reagents.

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Caty Fairclough August 23, 2017

During his lifetime, Osborne Reynolds contributed to many fields, such as mathematics and thermodynamics. However, his most famous achievements were in the realm of fluid mechanics. To celebrate the anniversary of his birthday, let’s take a brief trip through the life and work of Reynolds, including one of his key accomplishments: the Reynolds number.

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Caty Fairclough August 16, 2017

Research shows that microgravity exposure has an effect on the human body, such as by suppressing immune cell activity. This phenomenon also affects cancer cell migration. Making use of this fact can lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets for metastatic cancer cells. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how a research team used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to design a culturing system to study cancer cell migration in microgravity.

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Caty Fairclough August 15, 2017

Zone electrophoresis separates different species in a sample into distinct well-resolved peaks, giving scientists the ability to analyze substances like proteins and nucleic acids. Improving this electrophoretic separation technique requires us to accurately model the transport and separation of these species. Here, let’s look at how the COMSOL Multiphysics® software can be used to simulate the movement of species during zone electrophoresis.

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Caty Fairclough August 9, 2017

Studying vacuum system designs can be difficult, since some analysis methods only work when the relative speed of the gas molecules is very large compared to the velocity of the enclosing walls. This is not the case for turbomolecular pumps, which we can model and analyze using a Monte Carlo approach and the Rotating Frame feature in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. Let’s check out one example below.

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Caty Fairclough August 7, 2017

Metamaterials are artificial materials with properties that rely on a particular structural design rather than chemistry. Their structure is often complicated, making these materials challenging to fabricate. Here, we present numerical research that investigates one such material — a poroelastic metamaterial (made from a single material with voids) with the ability to expand under hydrostatic pressure.

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Caty Fairclough August 2, 2017

When designing heat sinks, it’s important to accurately measure their cooling capacity. By modeling heat transfer in these systems, we can calculate the temperature of the electronic components. The modeling approach we use will affect the accuracy of the results and the efficiency of the simulation. In this blog post, we compare two modeling approaches for analyzing electronic chip cooling. We also discuss new features in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software that make it easier to set up heat sink geometries.

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Caty Fairclough July 31, 2017

One application of acoustic streaming (AS), the process of using sound waves to generate steady fluid motion, is adjusting grain morphology during the metal solidification process. Since ensuring the best product possible is key, engineers in the metal processing industry must improve AS, which can require costly field tests and test rigs. To see if simulation can be used to reduce this need, researchers analyzed AS treatment with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Caty Fairclough July 24, 2017

If you were to travel back in time half a billion years to the Ediacaran period, you would find seas full of strange-looking creatures known to paleontologists as the ‘Ediacara biota’, the world’s first large, complex, multicellular lifeforms. We still have a lot to learn about these ancient creatures, including if they could move and how they fed. A research team sought answers to these questions by using CFD simulation to study an extinct organism from Earth’s early oceans: Parvancorina.

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