Modeling a Pratt Truss Bridge

Fanny Griesmer December 28, 2012

The simple design of a Pratt truss bridge makes it useful to hold everything from pedestrians to trains. While this type of bridge is easy to construct, engineers must make sure that it lasts and is safe to use. A bridge needs to hold its own weight, support the load placed upon it, and withstand frequencies generated by wind and earthquakes. To determine whether a Pratt truss bridge design can handle these factors, we turn to simulation.

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Fanny Griesmer December 25, 2012

This holiday season most of us will have burned our fair share of candles. The flickering light of candles can really enhance the ambiance and put you in festive spirits. This reminds me of an analysis of a burning candle developed by AltaSim Technologies back in 2010. So, in tune with the holiday cheer, here are some candle physics.

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Andrew Griesmer December 18, 2012

SOund NAvigation Ranging, or Sonar, has been an important part of naval warfare and since the 1950’s. Although it is a relatively simple way to locate objects, it’s the best for doing so in water, emitting sound waves and listening for echoes made by objects in the water. In today’s world of undersea warfare, the threats and the necessary responses to them are becoming more important and urgent. Sonar systems are required to detect these threats, making it necessary for […]

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Fanny Griesmer December 12, 2012

A while back, I wrote about permanent magnet generators and how they generate electricity upon being set in motion. When browsing the papers from our conference in Bangalore, one on the topic of ultrasonic micro motors caught my eye. These motors are electromechanical in nature and instead initiate motion with the application of an electric voltage. Furthermore, these motors are miniaturized to fit a micro-scale environment.

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Andrew Griesmer November 29, 2012

Growing older is an inevitable part of life, and with it, our body slowly begins to show that. I recently started wearing eye glasses because my eyesight is weakening. It’s a little unnerving, but I am comforted by the ever-improving technology being produced. My hearing is still fully intact, but the same cannot be said for 17% (36 million) of American adults who report some degree of hearing loss. In most cases, regular hearing aids are sufficient in treating hearing […]

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Phil Kinnane November 28, 2012

One of the differences between this year’s COMSOL Conference, and previous years’, is that this year we filmed a lot of it. During the next few weeks we will be publishing some of these videos for those that were there, to enjoy it once again, and for those that weren’t to get a taste of what went on. To kick these all off, I’m proud to present the first keynote video, which takes us to Babel.

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Phil Kinnane November 27, 2012

Many engineers and scientists have worked in their chosen application areas for many years. It is not unusual that their first models consisted of a few lines of code that they wrote themselves. Or, the application was so specific that the engineer was forced to write code, as none of the commercial simulation packages available could handle their unique application. Then there’s the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, which enables you to enter your own equations. What’s the best option?

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Fanny Griesmer November 20, 2012

Reducing the amount of plastic used in the production of bottled water would both help companies save on packaging costs and be more sustainable. That seems easy enough, until you consider the fact that during storage and transportation, the bottles are stacked on top of one another. With a lot of bottles comes a lot of mechanical load. How can companies reduce the amount of plastic without compromising the structure of the bottles?

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Fanny Griesmer November 12, 2012

December of 1903 marked the commencement of the Age of Powered Flight, and the Wright brothers went down in history. This was a time before personal computers and simulation software existed. Determining the optimal design of their airplane had to be done using physical prototypes and real-life experiments. What had the design looked like if the Wright brothers had been able to use computers and modeling software? Three researchers from Pennsylvania State University sought to find out how the design […]

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Fanny Griesmer October 31, 2012

When you need to mix something at a very small scale you don’t reach for a teeny-tiny whisk. If you’re working with microscale biochemical applications you’d be more likely to rely on diffusion to mix fluids. With highly ordered laminar flow there is no turbulence involved, thus making diffusion a prime candidate for “getting the job done”. But what if you need to mix larger molecules? Larger molecules mean higher molecular weight, which in turn leads to very long equilibration […]

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Fanny Griesmer October 26, 2012

Out of all metals, the most frequently extruded is aluminum. Aluminum extrusion entails using a hydraulic ram to squeeze an aluminum bar through a die. This process will form the metal into a particular shape. Extruded aluminum is used in many manufacturing applications, such as building components for example. The process of shaping metal alloys, like aluminum, can be modeled using COMSOL Multiphysics.

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