Finite element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamic (CFD) software are, independently, big fields. But many products can be better served if the interaction between structures and moving fluids has some interaction—think liquid cooling in a computer.
These fluid-structure interaction problems now have viable solutions, as vendors in each of these software fields link up to address multi-domain challenges. "The only way to do this is to let customers use code they're familiar with. Other companies tried to address fluid-structure interactions, but users had to learn new code. Now they can use software they already have," says Dale Berry, director of industry solutions at Abaqus Inc. of Providence, RI.
Abaqus has teamed up with Fluent Inc. of Lebanon, NH, enabling users to share data and see how structures react to fluid movement and analyze how these structural changes impact fluid flow.
Code from the two programs isn't altered—third party software handles communications between the two packages. "The programs aren't really into a single package, we're just changing where the data goes and where it comes from," Berry says.
Analysis tool for heat sink design
MSC.Software Corp. of Santa Ana, CA, has signed agreements with Fluent and other CFD suppliers, focusing on close interaction between programs. "You want them to be truly coupled. Staggering high speed events can cause problems," says Reza Sadeghi, an MSC vice president. Heat sink design is a growing area, given the increasing density and speed of various types of ICs. Sadeghi also notes that biomedical applications like heart valves are a key market, along with MEMS. In automotive, airbag designers need to understand how moving gases and structures interact. For more information, visithttp://rbi.ims.ca/4416-695.
Automaker reduces manifold stress
Cold starts create significant thermal stresses in the exhaust manifold. The bolts and gaskets impact local stress, while material creep/plasticity contribute further to the complexity of the analysis. Inclusion of heat transfer to and from the hot exhaust stream and manifold is critical to understanding thermal stress histories. The model created by Abaqus and Fluent factors how a 22C cold start changes cast iron's material properties when it sees an instantaneous hot gas flow at 650C. The ability to understand fluid velocity vectors and structural temperature contours will also be applicable to water jackets, coolant flow, and turbine blade cooling problems. For more information, visithttp://rbi.ims.ca/4416-696.
Inkjet flow is optimized
Software from Algor Inc. of Pittsburgh, PA, has been used for analysis as different as seeing how airflow around a light bulb changes its lifetime to analyzing ink usage—and plenty of applications involving cooling of electronics. When Hewlett Packard updated the print head for one of its thermal inkjet printers, it used Algor software to analyze the interaction between the print head and the ink. The resulting revision yielded optimal ink flow, with improved print quality with optimal ink usage. For more information on Algor software, go tohttp://rbi.ims.ca/4416-697.