Bridget Cunningham | August 10, 2015

Biofuels are recognized as a valued source of renewable energy, with applications ranging from heating buildings to powering transportation. Increasing the availability of these fuels requires an understanding of the processes behind biomass conversion. With the help of COMSOL Multiphysics® simulation software, researchers at NREL are seeking to optimize such processes, making biofuel conversion more efficient and cost-effective.

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Caty Fairclough | August 6, 2015

Avoiding corrosion in a harsh ocean environment often requires the use of cathodic protection methods. These utilize different tools, such as sacrificial anodes or impressed currents, to help maritime-based industries stay afloat. One such system, impressed current cathodic protection (ICCP), mitigates corrosion by applying an external current to a ship hull. The efficiency of this method depends on factors such as the use of a coated propeller. Here, we use simulation to investigate how coating a propeller affects ICCP efficiency.

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Walter Frei | August 5, 2015

One useful — but in my experience, rarely used — capability available within COMSOL Multiphysics is the ability to compute design sensitivities. Assuming that you have a single objective function that is computed based on your finite element model, you can easily compute how sensitive this objective function is with respect to any model input, using only the core COMSOL Multiphysics package. In this blog post, we will look at how to use this functionality.

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Andrew Strikwerda | August 4, 2015

Within the research community — and on the COMSOL Blog — graphene has been a topic of great interest. The unique properties that make this material so remarkable can also make it challenging to analyze. In simulation, a particularly difficult question to address is whether graphene should be modeled as a 2D sheet or a thin 3D volume. We provide answers to this question in today’s blog post.

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Brianne Costa | August 3, 2015

Imagine commuting home from work in a dark, dreary subway station. Catching a rare glimpse of natural sunlight could brighten your day and make the ride home much more bearable, but how? With light pipes, natural light can be distributed in otherwise dark areas without any electricity. In this blog post, we explore these simple and elegant devices and show how they can be analyzed in greater detail through simulation.

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Bridget Cunningham | July 30, 2015

When first introduced, simulation was utilized by just a handful of R&D specialists. Today, a wide community uses simulation to design products, enabling organizations to address complex designs and optimize their workflows. Now, simulation-led design is made even more accessible thanks to several recent developments.

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Caty Fairclough | July 29, 2015

A team of researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany has figured out a new simple mathematical technique for designing mechanical cloaks. This type of cloaking has great potential for practical uses, such as protecting buildings from earthquake damage for example.

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Nirmal Paudel | July 28, 2015

Magnetic bearings are used in many industrial applications, including power generation, petroleum refinement, turbo machinery, pumps, and flywheel energy storage systems. Unlike mechanical bearings, these types of bearings support moving loads without physical contact through magnetic levitation. Valued for their frictionless operation and ability to run without lubrication, magnetic bearings are a low-maintenance alternative to mechanical bearings — one with a longer lifespan. Learn how to calculate design parameters like magnetic forces, torque, and magnetic stiffness using COMSOL Multiphysics.

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Temesgen Kindo | July 27, 2015

How do we check if a simulation tool works correctly? One approach is the Method of Manufactured Solutions. The process involves assuming a solution, obtaining source terms and other auxiliary conditions consistent with the assumption, solving the problem with those conditions as inputs to the simulation tool, and comparing the results with the assumed solution. The method is easy to use and very versatile. For example, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have used it with several in-house codes.

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Bridget Cunningham | July 23, 2015

3D printing has emerged as a popular manufacturing technique within a number of industries. The growing demand for this method of manufacturing has prompted greater simulation research behind its processes. Engineers at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) have identified their customers’ interest in a particular additive manufacturing technique known as shaped metal deposition. By building a simulation app, the team is better able to meet the demands of their customers while delivering more efficient and effective simulation results.

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Bettina Schieche | July 22, 2015

You may know of Boreas, the Greek god of North Wind, but did you know that it’s also the name of a German team for Formula 1 in schools? This is no coincidence; it describes their strong will to develop race cars that are “as fast as a storm”. With this spirit and COMSOL Multiphysics, the team won several qualifying races, reached third place in the 2014 world finals, and was honored with the innovation award for Research and Development.

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