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Hygroscopy of Brown vs. White Sugar, the Banana Bread Test

September 11, 2014

Baking is just like chemistry class, except you get to eat the results. Today, we narrow in on one ingredient in particular: sugar. More than just a sweetener, sugar serves several other purposes in baking. For one, it keeps our baked goods moist thanks to its hygroscopic properties.

Sometimes a Cigar Is More Than Just a Cigar

September 10, 2014

As a chemical engineer, I can’t just smoke a cigar and leave it at that. Here, I investigate the anatomy, structure, and chemical process zones of a cigar and show you a simple model of the temperature distribution of the smoke in a cigar as well as the concentration of oxygen.

Infrared Pothole Repair: A More Permanent Solution

September 9, 2014

Due to their hazardous nature, potholes are often addressed quickly using temporary repair methods. These short-term fixes tend to be inefficient, however, requiring additional future repairs. Infrared pothole repair is one method that could offer a more durable solution.

Vinyl Records: A Sound All Their Own

September 5, 2014

Since their arrival on the music scene in the 1930s, vinyl records became a staple in the recording industry. While their use decreased due to digital recording methods becoming more dominant over the last couple of decades, this older medium continues to be valued for its unique and rich sound. Let’s take a closer look at this method of analog recording.

2D Axisymmetric Model of a Conical Horn Antenna

September 4, 2014

We’ve blogged about how you can save time setting up your electromagnetic models by using symmetry, anti-symmetry, and periodic boundary conditions. Today, we’ll show you a model that takes advantage of axisymmetry — a conical horn antenna model.

A Strategy for Designing Corrosion-Resistant Materials

September 3, 2014

Billions of dollars are spent each year in the U.S. to repair corrosion damage. To help reduce the high cost of corrosion, engineers at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, D.C. are using multiphysics simulation to gain a better understanding of the fundamental mechanism. A successful research outcome at NRL will establish the correlation between metal microstructure, corrosion, and mechanical strength. Material designers could then develop stronger, corrosion-resistant materials using this new information.

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.

Surface, Volume, and Line Plots: Visualizing Results on a Heat Sink

September 1, 2014

Plotting visual simulation results on a model geometry is a great way to unveil the sometimes-mysterious physics happening behind the scenes in a device. Like learning a language, knowing how to use postprocessing tools helps designers investigate and understand their designs and processes more fully. Surface, volume, and line plots are three of the most common plot types used in postprocessing, and are applicable to many simulations.


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