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General Blog Posts

Optimizing Dialyzer Design Using Multiphysics Simulation

December 19, 2013

A while back, I had the opportunity to speak with Steven Conrad, a critical care physician at the Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Science Center in New Orleans. Not only is Dr. Conrad a physician as well as a professor at LSU, he’s also a biomedical engineer who uses finite element analysis (FEA) to conduct research on the design of dialyzers. Dr. Conrad uses COMSOL Multiphysics to gain a deeper understanding of the physics behind these devices, and to create […]

Simulating Viscous Fingering Using Equation-Based Modeling

December 18, 2013

A prospective user of COMSOL approached me about modeling viscous fingering, which is an effect seen in porous media flow. He hadn’t found a satisfying solution elsewhere, so he turned to COMSOL. I’d like to share with you some of my insight on how to go from idea to model to simulation by taking a “do-it-yourself approach” and utilizing the equation-based modeling capabilities of COMSOL Multiphysics.

Solving Multiphysics Problems

December 16, 2013

Here we introduce the two classes of algorithms used to solve multiphysics finite element problems in COMSOL Multiphysics. So far, we’ve learned how to mesh and solve linear and nonlinear single-physics finite element problems, but have not yet considered what happens when there are multiple different interdependent physics being solved within the same domain.

Meshing Considerations for Nonlinear Static Finite Element Problems

December 10, 2013

As part of our solver blog series we have discussed solving nonlinear static finite element problems, load ramping for improving convergence of nonlinear problems, and nonlinearity ramping for improving convergence of nonlinear problems. We have also introduced meshing considerations for linear static problems, as well as how to identify singularities and what to do about them when meshing. Building on these topics, we will now address how to prepare your mesh for efficiently solving nonlinear finite element problems.

Nonlinearity Ramping for Improving Convergence of Nonlinear Problems

December 3, 2013

As we saw in “Load Ramping of Nonlinear Problems“, we can use the continuation method to ramp the loads on a problem up from an unloaded case where we know the solution. This algorithm was also useful for understanding what happens near a failure load. However, load ramping will not work in all cases, or may be inefficient. In this posting, we introduce the idea of ramping the nonlinearities in the problem to improve convergence.

Dedicated Multiphysics Node Introduced in COMSOL 4.4

November 29, 2013

To make it easier and more transparent to define models involving multiple physics phenomena in COMSOL, a separate Multiphysics node has been added as a new feature in COMSOL version 4.4. The Multiphysics node gives you control over the couplings for thermal stress and electromagnetic thermal effects involved in your models. Future versions will include further multiphysics couplings through the Multiphysics node in addition to the multiphysics couplings methods already available since previous versions.

Video Tutorial: Introducing the New User Interface in COMSOL 4.4

November 28, 2013

Each COMSOL release aims to create a better modeling experience for our users, usually in the form of new add-on modules and new functionality in existing products. COMSOL 4.4 brings you all that, but it also includes another significant change: a brand new user interface (UI). The new UI contains a ribbon at the top of the interface (for our Windows® users) to make your modeling easier and faster. The ribbon gives you direct access to the functions you would […]

Load Ramping of Nonlinear Problems

November 22, 2013

As we saw previously in the blog entry on Solving Nonlinear Static Finite Element Problems, not all nonlinear problems will be solvable via the damped Newton-Raphson method. In particular, choosing an improper initial condition or setting up a problem without a solution will simply cause the nonlinear solver to continue iterating without converging. Here we introduce a more robust approach to solving nonlinear problems.