Introduction to Modeling Soap Films and Other Variational Problems

Temesgen Kindo September 4, 2018

What do soap films, catenary cables, and light beams have in common? They behave in ways that minimize certain quantities. Such problems are prevalent in science and engineering fields such as biology, economics, elasticity theory, material science, and image processing. You can simulate many such problems using the built-in physics interfaces in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, but in this blog series, we will show you how to solve variational problems using the equation-based modeling features.

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Henrik Ekström August 29, 2018

Ion-exchange membranes are widely employed within the field of electrochemical engineering. In polymer electrolyte fuel cells and vanadium flow batteries, they are used to conduct ions and at the same time prevent reactants and electrons from crossing between the two flow compartments. The ability to promote the passage of ions of either positive or negative charge is also used in electrodialysis for cleaning water from ions. In this blog post, we will explore the ion-selective capabilities of ion-exchange membranes.

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Siva Sashank Tholeti August 22, 2018

Sparging, a mass transfer process between a gas and a liquid, is commonly encountered in industrial applications such as beverage carbonation and photobioreactors, or even at home for aeration in aquariums. In this blog post, we detail how to model a type of sparging, carbonation, using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Mats Nigam August 20, 2018

When setting up fluid flow simulations, we typically focus on a single (possibly a few) components in a larger system, such as a pump or sedimentation tank in a water treatment plant. Naturally, this raises a question: At what distance can we apply boundary conditions without interfering with the process? In this blog post, we look at the effects of the proximity of inlet and outlet boundaries for interior and exterior flows of a homogeneous fluid with negligible compressibility.

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Ravi Ranjan July 20, 2018

While working with rotating components, stability analysis is critical, as instability can lead to catastrophic failure. Rotating systems can lead to unstable responses due to asymmetrical inertia of the disk, asymmetrical stiffness of the shaft, or cross-coupling effects due to bearings. From the designer’s point of view, it’s important to ensure that the potentially unstable modes lie outside the operating range of the machine. Let’s explore how to predict the instability in rotor systems using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Nathan Martin July 17, 2018

Following up on a previous blog post about glacier flow modeling, we are going to delve a bit further into a crucial component of geophysics modeling in general: parameterizing numerical models using observations. Let’s see how we can quantify sensitivity and infer unknown parameters through indirect observations using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software and add-on Optimization Module.

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Guest Bojan Jokanović July 5, 2018

Guest blogger Bojan Jokanović of SGL Carbon GmbH, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of carbon-based products, discusses the optimization of thermal processes in the carbon industry. Carbon products are used in many industries, including semiconductors, car manufacturing, ceramics, and metallurgy. Properties of graphite including high-temperature stability, good thermal and electric conducting behavior, and high chemical stability make this material unique. However, carbon manufacturing is an energy-intensive industry. We must build digital process chains to optimize processes and minimize costs.

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Kateryna Vyshenska June 28, 2018

Say you want to compute thermal expansion and stresses in an object. You provide the heat fluxes and temperature constraints on the boundaries, compute, and get a convergence error. Often, this result comes from a lack of displacement constraints. However, it is not trivial to provide constraints that do not induce artificial stresses. Today, we showcase the Rigid Motion Suppression feature in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, which you can use to automatically figure out the constraints you need.

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Yosuke Mizuyama June 26, 2018

In a previous blog post, we discussed the paraxial Gaussian beam formula. Today, we’ll talk about a more accurate formulation for Gaussian beams, available as of version 5.3a of the COMSOL® software. This formulation based on a plane wave expansion can handle nonparaxial Gaussian beams more accurately than the conventional paraxial formulation.

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Kirill Shaposhnikov June 18, 2018

A thorough analysis of a loudspeaker driver is not limited to a frequency-domain study. Some desirable and undesirable (but nonetheless exciting) effects can only be caught by a nonlinear time-domain study. Here, we will discuss how system nonlinearities affect the generated sound and how to use the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to perform a nonlinear distortion analysis of a loudspeaker driver.

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Christian Wollblad June 13, 2018

We have already discussed the factors that make a high-quality mesh and how to prepare a CFD model geometry for meshing. In this follow-up blog post, learn about physics-controlled meshing, adaptive mesh refinement, and how to use a variety of meshing tools in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software for your fluid flow simulations.

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