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Mechanical Blog Posts

Is Fracking Safe? Scientists Turn to Simulation to Investigate

December 31, 2012

Hydraulic fracturing (popularly referred to as “fracking”) is a method to increase production of oil and gas from certain types of geological formations. It has been used for decades, but recently, as the practice has increased, fracking has become a controversial topic. I will avoid taking sides in this debate, but the fact that there is a conflict implies there needs to be a deeper understanding of the process and its effects.

Modeling a Pratt Truss Bridge

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.

Modeling a Burning Candle, How Would You Do It?

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.

Multiphysics Simulation for Better and Faster Sonar Development

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 […]

Ultrasonic Micro Motors, It’s all in the Shape

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.

Simulation-Based Design of New Implantable Hearing Aids

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 […]

First Keynote Video Takes Us to Babel

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.

Proprietary Code or Off-the-Shelf?

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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