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Mechanical Blog Posts

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.

Thermal Contact Resistance Simulation

August 28, 2014

How does thermal contact resistance affect heat transfer? As the sizes of electronic devices continue to decrease, effective heat management becomes even more important. Today, electronic packaging has transitioned from its original purpose of providing mechanical protection and interconnection to also serving as a means of heat dissipation to the outside environment. Using a model from the Model Gallery, we explore the role of thermal contact resistance on heat management in a simple electronic package and heat sink assembly.

Modeling a Coil Heat Exchanger

August 21, 2014

Coil heat exchangers are simple and easy to manufacture. Here, we consider an axially wound coil of copper carrying hot water that heats air inside of a circular duct. Since the geometry is almost invariant about the centerline, the model is solved in the 2D axisymmetric plane. Additional expressions are added to compute the temperature drop between turns of the coil, which greatly simplifies the modeling.

Reducing Vibrations with Viscoelastic Structural Dampers

August 20, 2014

In the design of many structures, a particular area of concern is exposure to seismic and wind-induced vibrations. Viscoelastic structural dampers have been implemented into structural layouts as a means to limit the strain and decrease the risk of failure in building components due to such excitations.

Phase Change: Cooling and Solidification of Metal

August 12, 2014

Modeling phase change is important for many thermal processes, ranging from the food industry to the metal processing industry. The Heat Transfer Module offers a dedicated interface for modeling the characteristics of phase change. It uses the apparent heat capacity method, which we introduce here.


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