How to Model Fluid-Structure Interaction in a Water Balloon

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 Christopher November 24, 2017

Magnetic flow meters are a noninvasive option for measuring blood flow. However, when patients move, displaced blood vessels can affect the sensitivity of the flow meter. Researchers from ABB Corporate Research used multiphysics modeling to study how the displacement of blood vessels in a moving patient impacts the performance of a magnetic flow meter.

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Brianne Christopher 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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Bridget Paulus November 6, 2017

Optimizing fuel for nuclear reactors can increase the amount of power they generate, improve their safety, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. However, studying nuclear fuel can be complex, as it involves interactions between multiple physical phenomena. In his keynote talk from the COMSOL Conference 2017 Boston, Andrew Prudil of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) discussed using multiphysics models to gain insight into nuclear fuel. If you missed his presentation, find a video recording and summary below.

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Fanny Griesmer 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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Caty Fairclough September 29, 2017

Fusion energy is 30 years away — and always will be. The joke certainly rings true for inertial fusion energy (IFE), which must overcome a number of obstacles before it can become a reality. For example, the current methods for creating IFE targets cannot meet the predicted demand and cost requirements. To solve this problem, researchers designed a new microfluidics method that could address these production bottleneck issues while complying with the strict geometrical requirements of IFE target design.

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Andrew Young September 27, 2017

When simulating flow in porous media, it can be efficient to simplify the geometric complexity of the real porous material using a homogenized macroscale approach. But what if we don’t know what the effective macroscopic properties are? Here, we look at how to extract the macroscopic flow properties of porosity and permeability from a fully resolved microscale submodel.

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Bridget Paulus September 18, 2017

Maintaining an even temperature for buildings in hot climates often requires a lot of energy. One option for improving thermal performance is by including phase change materials (PCMs) in parts of the building. To study the effectiveness of PCMs in regulating temperature, researchers used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to model a novel plaster that includes a PCM. They then analyzed the thermal performance of the PCM-enhanced plaster and compared the results with a reference plaster.

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Caty Fairclough September 8, 2017

Generating complex emulsion droplets that can be used to fabricate highly compartmentalized microconstructs is difficult to achieve with classic droplet-forming fluidic junctions. These junctions have simple geometries, which can result in a narrow range of flow rate control. To address this issue, one research group designed an oscillatory microfluidic junction with a more complicated geometry. This junction, called the bat-wing junction, can consistently produce uniform and complex double-emulsion droplets, with bespoke components and encapsulated reagents.

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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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