Modeling the Flow of Ice in COMSOL Multiphysics®

Nathan Martin February 8, 2018

In a 2013 report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that Earth’s cryosphere is “a natural integrator of climate variability and provides some of the most visible signatures of climate change.” (Ref. 1) The cryosphere is the part of the climate system that contains frozen water and makes up 80% of our fresh water. Using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, we can simulate classical ice flow to analyze cryosphere dynamics and assess climate change effects such as rising sea levels.

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Bridget Paulus February 7, 2018

Natural convection is a type of heat transport found in engineering applications of all sizes. For instance, this phenomenon helps maintain a reasonable temperature in both small electronic devices and large buildings. No matter the application area, design engineers can use the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to model natural convection in air for both 2D and 3D geometries.

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Chandan Kumar January 4, 2018

A sphere slightly lighter than water is dropped into a small liquid-filled beaker. How do you model the resulting shape of the water surface and the motion of the sphere as it floats on the surface? In this blog post, we demonstrate how to model this system in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. Although we are considering the case of a small sphere, the technique discussed here can be applied to other larger shapes as well.

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Phillip Oberdorfer December 15, 2017

The physics behind filling a water balloon seem simple at first glance, but involve a rather complex interplay of fluid flow and a nonlinear hyperelastic material. Fortunately, it is easy to set up and solve this type of model in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. Let’s see how…

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Brianne Costa November 22, 2017

There is a lot we know about the brain, and a lot we don’t. Optogenetics is a relatively new area of study in which light is used to stimulate brain activity and study neurological behavior. Stimulating neurons with light is more precise than electrical stimulation — and safer. Researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) used simulation to design an optical probe that can be implanted into the brain to stimulate nerve impulses.

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Caty Fairclough November 10, 2017

Skyscrapers, highway bridges, and other heavy manmade structures often use drilled shafts. Despite their widespread application, these shafts suffer from anomalies due to suboptimal designs and issues with the flow of concrete. To better understand such problems and improve the concreting process for drilled shafts, researchers used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. Here, we take a peek at their preliminary research and findings.

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Fanny Littmarck October 26, 2017

Important question: If you pour hot coffee into a vacuum flask, how long will it stay warm? There are two different modeling approaches for studying this scenario, but the more accurate method is also more computationally expensive. Let’s see what they are and when they are appropriate — and hopefully find an answer to the question.

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Phillip Oberdorfer September 6, 2017

When simulating heat transfer in fluids with forced convection, we can often neglect the influence of temperature variations on the flow field unless the requirements on accuracy are very high. Computing the flow field independently might substantially decrease the computational cost with a negligible impact on accuracy in the solution. In this blog post, we demonstrate the advantages of using a one-way coupling in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software with a nonisothermal flow example.

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Bridget Paulus August 29, 2017

Nonconducting film (NCF) is an emerging underfill adhesive technology used to assemble electronic components in the microelectronics industry. Optimizing the NCF material and process can be difficult, as they must achieve a fast bonding time, high degree of cure, and correct underfill fillet shape. Achieving a successful bond depends on the interaction between the material’s chemorheology and the bonding process parameters. To understand these interactions, Veryst Engineering simulated the flow and cure on an NCF during the thermocompression bonding process.

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Caty Fairclough August 16, 2017

Research shows that microgravity exposure has an effect on the human body, such as by suppressing immune cell activity. This phenomenon also affects cancer cell migration. Making use of this fact can lead to the identification of new therapeutic targets for metastatic cancer cells. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how a research team used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to design a culturing system to study cancer cell migration in microgravity.

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Siva Sashank Tholeti August 10, 2017

Have you ever been curious about how to model supersonic flows, like those around Concorde or fighter jets? Generally, this process requires the resolution of shocks or expansion fans in the flow. Resolving discontinuities (e.g., shock waves) requires a high resolution and the numerical stability of strongly coupled mass, momentum, and energy conservation equations for fluid flow. Let’s discuss how to model supersonic flow past a diamond airfoil, which involves resolving shocks and expansion fans.

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