In all, more than 100 new features are available, enhancing FLUENT software's capabilities in many areas including moving mesh, reacting flows and multiphase flows. FLUENT 6 technologies are now part of the ANSYS(R) CFD suite, from the company's recent acquisition of Fluent Inc.
"With FLUENT 6.3, ANSYS continues to evolve the standard for commercial CFD software, both through the expansion of existing models and the addition of new features that allow difficult engineering problems to be solved more robustly, faster and with greater flexibility than ever before," said Ferit Boysan, vice president and general manager at ANSYS, Inc. "This release enhances the ability of ANSYS to provide world-leading simulation capabilities to customers."
The main focus of this release is on core solver improvements. A pressure-based coupled solver joins the existing solver options and improves solution efficiency as well as convergence and robustness for many cases. Polyhedral meshes, new in FLUENT 6.3 software, allow the flexibility of an unstructured mesh to be applied to complex geometries without the overhead associated with a large tetrahedral mesh.
The automatic nature of the techniques used to create polyhedral meshes saves the user time, and, since a polyhedral mesh contains many fewer cells than the corresponding tetrahedral mesh, convergence is faster. Additionally, in support of the ongoing FLUENT commitment to parallel processing, improvements to parallel efficiency and flexibility have been implemented including speed improvements for reading and writing case and data files. HPC customers can also benefit from running FLUENT 6.3 on 64-bit Windows platforms such as Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003.
"The polyhedral meshing function in FLUENT 6.3 has been especially useful in accelerating simulations. For one case, the mesh size went down from about 800,000 cells to 150,000 and the solution speed went up accordingly. For scoping a preliminary solution, this coarse mesh is ideal," said Keith Gawlik, senior engineer at National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). "Overall I'm very happy with the new version. It also works great on multiprocessor platforms."
With FLUENT 6.3, industry-leading dynamic mesh capabilities for modeling moving objects, such as pistons and valves in IC engines and impellers in baffled mixing tanks, can now be applied to a series of related steady-state simulations, reducing the amount of time that a user spends on pre-processing. Additional new functionality adds flexibility for simulating complex object motion. Reacting flow simulations benefit from new models for slow chemistry and micromixing. Emissions modeling is more comprehensive through the addition of new SOx and NOx modeling capabilities. Multiphase modeling continues to be an area of focus: FLUENT 6.3 offers improvements to the accuracy of transient multiphase solutions as well as enhancements that extend the regimes in which multiphase models can be applied.
Another improvement in FLUENT 6.3 is the ability to work with third-party CAE packages. Now it is easier to import and export files to and from other analysis tools (for fluid structure interaction, for example). These and many other features make FLUENT 6.3 a significant addition to the ANSYS software suite.
Contours of velocity magnitude and polyhedral mesh inside a mixing tank modeled using the new pressure-based coupled solver in FLUENT 6.3 software.