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Fluid Blog Posts

Differentially Pumped Vacuum Systems for Spectroscopic Imaging

January 9, 2014

Spectroscopic imaging has been used for decades to map the chemical composition of material surfaces with atomic-scale resolution. In order to achieve adequate chemical specificity and spatial resolution during imaging, both the material sample and the imaging system are placed under high or ultra-high vacuum (UHV). In practice, materials are often used outside of vacuum environments and therefore it is also necessary to evaluate their surface properties at higher or ambient pressure. Differential pumping is the key to designing vacuum […]

Conjugate Heat Transfer

January 6, 2014

In this blog post we will explain the concept of conjugate heat transfer and show you some of its applications. Conjugate heat transfer corresponds with the combination of heat transfer in solids and heat transfer in fluids. In solids, conduction often dominates whereas in fluids, convection usually dominates. Conjugate heat transfer is observed in many situations. For example, heat sinks are optimized to combine heat transfer by conduction in the heat sink with the convection in the surrounding fluid.

Red Blood Cell Separation from a Flow Channel

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 then separated out from the fluid.

Optimizing Dialyzer Design Using Multiphysics Simulation

December 19, 2013

A while back, I had the opportunity to speak with Steven Conrad, a critical care physician at the Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Science Center in New Orleans. Not only is Dr. Conrad a physician as well as a professor at LSU, he’s also a biomedical engineer who uses finite element analysis (FEA) to conduct research on the design of dialyzers. Dr. Conrad uses COMSOL Multiphysics to gain a deeper understanding of the physics behind these devices, and to create […]

Simulating Viscous Fingering Using Equation-Based Modeling

December 18, 2013

A prospective user of COMSOL approached me about modeling viscous fingering, which is an effect seen in porous media flow. He hadn’t found a satisfying solution elsewhere, so he turned to COMSOL. I’d like to share with you some of my insight on how to go from idea to model to simulation by taking a “do-it-yourself approach” and utilizing the equation-based modeling capabilities of COMSOL Multiphysics.

Predicting Microwave Drying of Potatoes

December 17, 2013

You may not think of reheating food in the microwave as a drying process, but as we saw at the COMSOL Conference 2013 Boston, microwave technology — the same technology used in domestic microwave ovens — can be used for drying fruits and vegetables. One poster presented at the conference featured microwave drying of potatoes and how the heat and mass transfer that occurs can be modeled to predict the drying process.

Thermal Modeling of Surfaces with Wavelength-Dependent Emissivity

December 12, 2013

Whenever we are solving a thermal problem where radiation is significant, we need to know the emissivities of all of our surfaces. Emissivity is a measure of the ability of a surface to emit energy by radiation, and it can depend strongly upon the wavelength of the radiation. This is very relevant for thermal problems where the temperature variation is large or when there is exposure to a high-temperature source of radiation such as the sun. In this post on […]

New Mixer Module Showcases CFD Capabilities of COMSOL

December 6, 2013

The Mixer Module provides ready-made interfaces for describing the difficult problem of laminar and turbulent flows in rotating machinery with free liquid surfaces. COMSOL has been developing different techniques for modeling CFD, moving geometries, and free surfaces during the past few years for a number of different applications. This has now culminated in the new Mixer Module that was released with version 4.4, and it clearly showcases the improved CFD capabilities of COMSOL.


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