First look: Comsol Multiphysics 5.1 expands app capabilities

Published 05 May 2015

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: engineering, simulation, cfd, cae, fea, apps, comsol, app

The new release makes it easier to create simulation apps and share them within your team

A fully integrated environment for users to create their own custom simulation models, build simulation apps and share them with non-experts are the big changes in version 5.1 of Comsol Multiphysics.

Just released, its upgrades to the Application Builder include full integration between it and the Model Builder, improved layout tools for app design, with the flexibility of being able to run applications on multiple computers with Comsol Server.

The move to apps is hoping to spread the use of simulation tools among both CAE professionals and other designers hoping to benefit by employing the benefits of specialised simulation models earlier in the product design process.

This streamlined integration of the Model Builder and Application Builder allows model data to be exchanged between the two tools from within the same environment.

For example, a function or feature available in the Model Builder can be quickly made available in the Application Builder for the application designer to use. There is no need to interface between different software packages and all tools needed are readily available.

Additionally, for instances where the application designer wishes to implement highly-customised commands and operations, code generation is greatly simplified in version 5.1 and many template codes are provided.

“The Application Builder is the only application design environment where the user can create multiphysics apps not only within a single software environment, but within a single window using the same file format,” said Bjorn Sjodin, Comsol’s VP of product management.

“This innovation streamlines the app design process and allows simulation apps to become a truly game-changing engineering solution that will bring powerful design capabilities to non-experts.”

The Comsol Server also includes improvements, foremost is that it can now be run on multiple computers, allowing computations to be run on a separate machine from where the app is being launched.

The updated Application Library in Comsol Server features new grid, detail, and list views with information on which add-on products are needed to create a particular application.

Other new updates and features in Comsol Version 5.1

- Face detection for imported meshes, surface simplification in mesh to geometry conversion, and domain and boundary selections for Nastran Property ID Numbers tools.

-  New matrix-free domain-decomposition solve: Visualisation of a solution outside of the mesh (useful for far fields in electromagnetic waves and acoustic waves). Visualisation of a periodic solution in a unit cell as a custom-sized array. Plots of geometric points or cut-points and their trajectory through time.

- Multi-turn coil computation for coils with varying cross-sections. Surface roughness on lossy conductive boundaries for electromagnetic wave simulations.

- New multiphysics interface for hygroscopic swelling has been added to the Structural Mechanics Module. Membranes can now have nonlinear materials. Trusses can be modelled to include nonlinear springs and plasticity.

- A Part Library has been added for structural applications, which includes beams and bolts.

- A new Algebraic Turbulence model has been added to the Heat Transfer Module. A new multiphysics interface for heat transfer in porous media enables local thermal non-equilibrium simulations (useful for microwave heating, exothermic reactions, nuclear engineering, electronics system design, and full cells).

-  For fluids, flow simulations can now combine porous media flow with turbulent flow, and porous domains are allowed to be unbounded with the aid of infinite elements.

- New pressure loss options for T-junctions, Y-junctions, and n-way junctions available for pipe flow simulations. New Part Library available in the Mixer Module.

- New multiphysics interfaces for particle-field interactions and fluid-particle interactions, inelastic collisions, and release sampling from velocity distributions for particle tracing simulation.

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