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All posts by Walter Frei

Solving Multiphysics Problems

December 16, 2013

Here we introduce the two classes of algorithms used to solve multiphysics finite element problems in COMSOL Multiphysics. So far, we’ve learned how to mesh and solve linear and nonlinear single-physics finite element problems, but have not yet considered what happens when there are multiple different interdependent physics being solved within the same domain.

Thermal Modeling of Surfaces with Wavelength-Dependent Emissivity

December 12, 2013

Whenever we are solving a thermal problem where radiation is significant, we need to know the emissivities of all of our surfaces. Emissivity is a measure of the ability of a surface to emit energy by radiation, and it can depend strongly upon the wavelength of the radiation. This is very relevant for thermal problems where the temperature variation is large or when there is exposure to a high-temperature source of radiation such as the sun. In this post on […]

Meshing Considerations for Nonlinear Static Finite Element Problems

December 10, 2013

As part of our solver blog series we have discussed solving nonlinear static finite element problems, load ramping for improving convergence of nonlinear problems, and nonlinearity ramping for improving convergence of nonlinear problems. We have also introduced meshing considerations for linear static problems, as well as how to identify singularities and what to do about them when meshing. Building on these topics, we will now address how to prepare your mesh for efficiently solving nonlinear finite element problems.

Nonlinearity Ramping for Improving Convergence of Nonlinear Problems

December 3, 2013

As we saw in “Load Ramping of Nonlinear Problems“, we can use the continuation method to ramp the loads on a problem up from an unloaded case where we know the solution. This algorithm was also useful for understanding what happens near a failure load. However, load ramping will not work in all cases, or may be inefficient. In this posting, we introduce the idea of ramping the nonlinearities in the problem to improve convergence.

Load Ramping of Nonlinear Problems

November 22, 2013

As we saw previously in the blog entry on Solving Nonlinear Static Finite Element Problems, not all nonlinear problems will be solvable via the damped Newton-Raphson method. In particular, choosing an improper initial condition or setting up a problem without a solution will simply cause the nonlinear solver to continue iterating without converging. Here we introduce a more robust approach to solving nonlinear problems.

Solving Nonlinear Static Finite Element Problems

November 19, 2013

Here, we begin an overview of the algorithms used for solving nonlinear static finite element problems. This information is presented in the context of a very simple 1D finite element problem, and builds upon our previous entry on Solving Linear Static Finite Element Models.

Solutions to Linear Systems of Equations: Direct and Iterative Solvers

November 11, 2013

In this blog post we introduce the two classes of algorithms that are used in COMSOL to solve systems of linear equations that arise when solving any finite element problem. This information is relevant both for understanding the inner workings of the solver and for understanding how memory requirements grow with problem size.

Meshing Your Geometry: When to Use the Various Element Types

November 4, 2013

In a previous blog entry, we introduced meshing considerations for linear static problems. One of the key concepts there was the idea of mesh convergence — as you refine the mesh, the solution will become more accurate. In this post, we will delve deeper into how to choose an appropriate mesh to start your mesh convergence studies for linear static finite element problems.