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Mechanical Blog Posts

Rosetta and Philae: A Historic Landing on a Comet

November 12, 2014

How the Sun, solar system, and planet Earth formed and how life began are fundamental science questions that still remain unanswered. Today, we may be one step closer to answering these questions, because the spacecraft Philae, which is aboard the Rosetta, is in the process of landing on a comet for the first time ever. I was able to interview two of the scientists involved in this project to gain insight into how Rosetta’s mission may answer these very questions.

Synthesizing Graphene with Chemical Vapor Deposition

November 6, 2014

With its growing use in numerous applications, the demand for graphene has steadily increased over the years. This heightened interest has prompted new research behind the methods for synthesizing graphene — one of which is chemical vapor deposition. See how one research team used modeling to analyze and enhance the CVD graphene growth mechanism.

Coupling Structural Mechanics Interfaces

November 4, 2014

In addition to the general Solid Mechanics interface, the Structural Mechanics Module consists of specialized interfaces: Shell, Plate, and Membrane for the modeling of thin structures; and Beam and Truss for modeling slender structures. An engineering structure that has a mix of solid, thin, and slender components can be modeled by combining these physics interfaces with each other. Here, we will explore the options for coupling the structural mechanics interfaces by using examples from the Model Library.

Yield Surfaces and Plastic Flow Rules in Geomechanics

October 16, 2014

In order to ensure safe geotechnical building methods, specific applications require certain foundations and structure reinforcements. Tests are quite expensive to carry out, so simulation can be really useful and even essential. Many numerical models have been developed to give a deep insight into soil behavior. Here, we introduce the most widespread models for soils available in COMSOL Multiphysics and analyze a tunnel excavation example.

Piezoelectric Materials: Understanding the Standards

October 2, 2014

Standards form an integral part of the work we do as engineers, providing a common language for communicating complex information. But standards committees are not omnipotent and sometimes revised standards are not universally adopted. This has happened in the case of the standards for piezoelectric materials, particularly for quartz. This blog post explains the multiple standards used to describe piezoelectrics in literature. Although the particular focus of this post is on quartz, the standards described apply for any piezoelectric material.

Improving the Beer Brewing Process with Simulation

September 26, 2014

There are two aspects of home brewing: the culinary side and the engineering one. Many beer lovers start brewing either to improve a recipe, try to clone their favorite beer, or even simply just to see how it works. After brewing a few batches, however, it turns out that the brewing process can also be very challenging from an engineering point of view.

Video Tutorial: Introduction to Modeling Structural Mechanics

September 17, 2014

I have great news for anyone who is eager to learn the fundamentals of simulating structural mechanics in COMSOL Multiphysics. We have just published a completely revamped version of our video tutorial on the static bracket model. COMSOL Multiphysics version 4.4 and the Structural Mechanics Module are used to analyze the resultant forces, stresses, and deformations that occur on solid structures that are subjected to external loads.

Using Effective Mass for Thermomechanical Calibration

September 2, 2014

Micromechanical sensors are crucial to many standard commercial products in nanoelectronics and nanomechanics. These are sensors that are so small they operate on the nanoscale, with parts measuring in billionths of a meter. Researchers at the University of Alberta are exploring ways to find the effective mass — the mass of a particle when reacting to a force — of micromechanical sensors in a faster way. This measurement is key to performing thermomechanical calibration.

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