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Heat Transfer & Phase Change Blog Posts

Modeling a Burning Candle, How Would You Do It?

December 25, 2012

This holiday season most of us will have burned our fair share of candles. The flickering light of candles can really enhance the ambiance and put you in festive spirits. This reminds me of an analysis of a burning candle developed by AltaSim Technologies back in 2010. So, in tune with the holiday cheer, here are some candle physics.

Make-shift Air Conditioner: How Engineers Can Stay Cool at Work (Maybe)

December 21, 2012

The winter here in Boston has been very mild so far. A few days I would even have liked to have the air conditioning back on. I checked in with one my colleagues to check if he was having an equally hard time staying cool, and to my surprise, he was not. Why? He had constructed a make-shift air conditioner (A/C).

First Keynote Video Takes Us to Babel

November 28, 2012

One of the differences between this year’s COMSOL Conference, and previous years’, is that this year we filmed a lot of it. During the next few weeks we will be publishing some of these videos for those that were there, to enjoy it once again, and for those that weren’t to get a taste of what went on. To kick these all off, I’m proud to present the first keynote video, which takes us to Babel.

FSI: Aluminum Extrusion Model

October 26, 2012

Out of all metals, the most frequently extruded is aluminum. Aluminum extrusion entails using a hydraulic ram to squeeze an aluminum bar through a die. This process will form the metal into a particular shape. Extruded aluminum is used in many manufacturing applications, such as building components for example. The process of shaping metal alloys, like aluminum, can be modeled using COMSOL Multiphysics.

Solar Radiation: How Engineers Can Stay Cool on the Beach (Maybe)

August 29, 2012

The end of August marks the end of summer here in New England. Already nostalgic and unwilling to let the season go, I decided to look into some “beach physics”. In May we released a new solar radiation feature in our Heat Transfer Module that will be helpful in many solar applications — including how to avoid overheating on the beach, apparently. Here’s how engineers can stay cool on the beach.

Modeling a Light Bulb, All Forms of Heat Transfer

August 21, 2012

When it gets dark, you flick on the lights. If you were to model this simple example, you would need to take all forms of heat transfer within consideration; convection, conduction, and radiation are all at play when a light bulb is flicked on.

A Closer Look at the Physics Involved in Lava Lamps

July 19, 2012

Remember those retro desk ornaments of the 1960’s, those lamps filled with colorful wax that began to move when the lamp was lit? I’m talking about lava lamps, or as I like to call them, “Rayleigh–Taylor instability machines”. They may not be popular among today’s youth, but I still own one and I thought it would be interesting to look beyond the dyed blobs of wax and observe the physics involved in lava lamps.

Investigating the Fundamentals of an “Old” Technology

July 13, 2012

Transformers were first commercially used in the late 1800’s, but they are still being investigated at their fundamental levels. One of the stories from our latest COMSOL News concerns ABB (who themselves have been around since the late 1800’s) and their research into these apparatuses.


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