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The First Flyer Optimized Using Multiphysics

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 […]

Modeling Static Mixers

November 9, 2012

A mixer that doesn’t move may sound like an oxymoron, but it’s not. Used in various chemical species transport applications, static mixers are inexpensive, accurate, and versatile. Still, there is always room for improvement. Optimizing the design of static mixers calls for computer modeling, but traditional CFD methods may not be the best way to model these mixers. How do these motionless mixers work and how can their performance be simulated?

Simulating Permanent Magnet Generators

November 6, 2012

Permanent magnet generators, or PM generators as they are also called, generate power without batteries. PM generators consist of a magnetic stator coiled with wire and a wheel with permanent magnets rotating inside the stator. From motorcycles to wind farms, PM generators can be used in many electrical machinery applications. Let’s take a look at how these types of generators work and how they can be simulated.

Photos from the European COMSOL Conference

November 5, 2012

They say that an image is worth more than a thousand words, and I couldn’t agree more. In that vein, we’d like to show you our enthusiasm over the European COMSOL Conference held in Milan, Italy earlier in October, through a slideshow of pictures from the event. We already thanked you in advance for making this our most-registered for event of the year. Now we want to thank you again with this slideshow.

Microfluidics Model of an Electroosmotic Micromixer

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 […]

Halloween Special: Cloaking Devices and Capes of Invisibility

October 30, 2012

What if this Halloween you could take your costume to the next level and turn yourself invisible? There are bounds of references to invisibility throughout fairy tales, folk lore, and pop culture. From capes and hats to cloaking devices, many fictional characters have been provided with a means for rendering themselves invisible. In the spirit of Halloween, let’s have a closer look at cloaking from a fictional and scientific stand-point.

FSI: Aluminum Extrusion Model

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.

Oil Companies Rely Heavily on Engineers

October 24, 2012

It’s no secret that there’s a lot of guesswork involved in oil production. Oil companies make “Big Money” decisions based on estimates – estimates with huge margins of error. What’s more, there is an incredible amount of risk involved, but with the potential for a large pay-off if all goes according to plan. The plan is based on “best guesses” and less than perfect data. Still, there are many big players in the oil industry that are doing very well […]


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