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General Blog Posts

Using General Extrusion Operators to Model Periodic Structures

August 11, 2015

In the course of building multiphysics models, we often encounter situations in which the solution to one physics is periodic — or very nearly so — while the solutions to other physics of interest are nonperiodic. If we know this ahead of time, it is possible to exploit the periodicity to reduce computational requirements. Here, we will demonstrate how to accomplish this using the General Extrusion component couplings in COMSOL Multiphysics.

Computing Design Sensitivities in COMSOL Multiphysics

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.

Verify Simulations with the Method of Manufactured Solutions

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.

The MTC Builds a Simulation App to Optimize 3D Printing

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.

Student Team Wins R&D Award for Optimizing a Mini Race Car

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.

Tracking Material Damage with the Previous Solution Operator

July 21, 2015

When modeling a manufacturing process, such as the heating of an object, it is possible for irreversible damage to occur due to a change in temperature. This may even be a desired step in the process. With the Previous Solution operator, we can model such damage in COMSOL Multiphysics. Here, we will look at the “baking off” of a thin coating on a wafer heated by a laser.

Studying Impedance to Analyze the Li-Ion Battery with an App

July 14, 2015

Batteries generally operate through numerous processes that depend on even more parameters. How can you find out more about what’s going on within them? One approach is to look at the cell’s electrical impedance. The Lithium-Ion Battery Impedance demo app, available in the Application Gallery, can be used to interpret the impedance of a specific lithium-ion battery design with minimal effort. It can also help parameterize the system, a useful step for setting up accurate time-dependent models in the future.

Building an IR Microscope App at ZINK Imaging

July 9, 2015

Today, we welcome guest blogger William Vetterling of ZINK Imaging to the COMSOL Blog. If you read the 2015 edition of COMSOL News, you may have seen my review of the newly released Application Builder. In that review, I shared an example of a simple thermal model of an IR microscope that we had created a year earlier for use in our laboratory at ZINK Imaging. Now I will share how we turned that model into an app.


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