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Mechanical Blog Posts

Using the Boussinesq Approximation for Natural Convection

April 7, 2015

Today, we compare the Boussinesq approximation to the full Navier-Stokes equations for a natural convection problem. We also show you how to implement the Boussinesq approximation in COMSOL Multiphysics software and discuss potential benefits of doing so.

Can We Hear the Shape of a Drum?

April 1, 2015

Over half a century ago, Mark Kac gave an interesting lecture on a question that he had heard from Professor Bochner ten years earlier: “Can one hear the shape of a drum?” He focused on the (then undetermined) uniqueness of the set of eigenvalues given the shape of a vibrating membrane. The eigenvalue problem has since been solved and here we explore the “hearing” part of the question by considering some interesting physical effects.

Simulating the Insertion of a Snap Hook

March 31, 2015

Commonly used in the automotive industry, snap hooks are a type of fastener that involve the insertion of a hook into a slot. When designing snap hooks, it is important to analyze the forces required for the insertion of the hook as well as its removal. We can address this through simulation.

Instability in Portable Washing Machines

March 30, 2015

Lightweight and portable washing machines are great to use in situations where you do not have access to traditional washing machines. Yet problems may occur when a varied distribution of clothing causes walking instability in these machines. We tested for walking instability during the spin cycle of a portable washing machine and used an active balancing method in an attempt to remove this instability.

Improving the Operational Lifetime of a Reciprocating Engine

March 6, 2015

Reciprocating engines are used extensively for power generation in a variety of applications, most notably within the automobile industry. In the design process, it is important to ensure that all of the engine’s parts can withstand high stresses and loads in order to maximize the operational lifetime. Here, we analyze fatigue in an engine’s connecting rods.

The Motions and Mechanics of a Truck-Mounted Crane

February 27, 2015

Truck-mounted cranes are often used for load handling. In many cases, this involves carrying heavy materials, which can exert large forces on various parts of the crane. See how simulation can help identify the impact of these forces and enhance the crane’s operation.

Modeling Room Acoustics with COMSOL Multiphysics

February 25, 2015

When inside a room — a conference room, concert hall, or even a car — everyone has an opinion of when the “acoustics” are good or bad. In room acoustics, we want to study this notion of sound quality in a quantitative way. In short, room acoustics is concerned with assessing the acoustics of enclosed spaces. The Acoustics Module of COMSOL Multiphysics has several tools to simulate the acoustics of rooms and other confined spaces. I will present those here.

Obtaining Material Data for Structural Mechanics from Measurements

February 23, 2015

We often get requests of the type “I would like to just enter my measured stress-strain curve directly into COMSOL Multiphysics”. In this new blog series, we will take a detailed look at how you can process and interpret material data from tests. We will also explain why it is not a good idea to just enter a simple stress-strain curve as input.


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