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Highlights of COMSOL Ver 3.3a
Posted Wed February 28, 2007 @06:09PM
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News COMSOL has introduced version 3.3a of its leading multiphysics simulation environment. The entire product family, including the COMSOL Script™ suite of scientific computing software, now runs on Microsoft’s Vista operating system as well as on Intel-based Macs.

A new Material Library simplifies the accurate specification of properties for more than 2500 materials. A CHEMKIN® file-import facility makes it possible to read data in a format standard in the chemical industry for gas-phase reactions, combustion, and atmospheric chemistry.

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Finally, all-new repair and defeaturing functions during the import of CAD files make it easy to refine geometry representations so users can model complex designs faster than ever.

New Material Library
Being able to create a simulation that mirrors reality depends not only on accurate geometries and physics but also the specification of real-world materials. Rather than expect users to enter the massive amounts of data necessary to specify materials in a complex model, a new product—the Material Library—automates the process.

This convenient optional product contains information for 2500 materials including the elements, minerals, rocks, soil, metal alloys, oxides, steels, thermal insulators, semiconductors, and optical materials. For each one it supplies property functions for as many as 24 key material properties such as thermal, elastic or electrical. These property functions allow the material property to vary over some variable, typically temperature. The properties can be used in, for example, structural analysis or quasi-static simulations in electromagnetics, and they automatically account for thermal effects on properties once coupled to a thermal analysis. Users can easily find the desired material with a flexible search feature that lets them look for materials by name, UNS (Unified Numbering System) number, or DIN (German Institute for Standardization) number. It is possible to modify the provided property functions, and users can also add their own properties and materials.

Import reaction kinetics from CHEMKIN
“Any package’s usefulness is greatly enhanced by the ability to work with industry-standard data, and compatibility with well-established file formats is crucial for our customers’ success,” says Ed Fontes, VP of Applications. Thus the COMSOL Reaction Engineering Lab now reads kinetics, thermodynamic, and transport-description files in the widely used CHEMKIN format. The Reaction Engineering Lab can use the imported data to set up and solve mass and energy balances for ideal reactor systems and then turn to COMSOL Multiphysics to analyze them in real-world reactor geometries.

Repair and defeaturing of CAD files
The version 3.3a of the CAD Import Module is a major upgrade. This product now adds vastly improved capabilities, specifically the repairing and defeaturing of 3D CAD data being read into COMSOL. “In an ideal world, CAD files would be a perfect representation of devices or systems, and file formats would be totally compatible among all applications. In the real world, though, users know that this isn’t the case,” comments Fontes. ”CAD engineers create a drawing that can be used in manufacturing or the visualization of a prototype or product, but this representation is not necessarily a model suitable for finite element analysis. These files might contain gaps or overlaps that, though very small in magnitude, are unacceptable for FEA.” The new repair feature in COMSOL makes it possible to remove such imperfections in order to create solids and surfaces that are mathematically and physically correct. The CAD Import Module makes imported CAD data suitable for FEA by repairing geometry objects, knitting faces, and filling gaps, either automatically or interactively under user control.

CAD files can also contain details that might not be of importance in FEA but that can create very dense meshes, resulting in extensive memory consumption during simulations. With the CAD Import Module’s defeaturing tools, users can remove irrelevant details and at the same time retain a model’s geometric integrity. They can also detach details to create separate subdomains that represent separate parts in the finite-element model. To remove unnecessary details from a CAD geometry, users have access to defeaturing tools that easily remove fillets, small faces, sliver faces, as well as spikes or short edges. The CAD Import Module is based on Parasolid® geometry kernel and includes ACIS® to support the SAT® format.

COMSOL 3.3a Highlights

  • New Material Library featuring 2500 materials for quick and accurate model setup
  • Platform support for Intel Macs and 64-bit/32-bit Microsoft Windows Vista
  • Automatic repair and defeaturing in the CAD Import Module make it easy to import complex designs suitable for finite element analysis
  • CHEMKIN import for optimizing reactor design using CHEMKIN kinetics, thermo, and transport input files
  • User interface in Spanish
  • Support for MATLAB® 2006b
  • The Chemical Engineering Module and MEMS Module feature predefined level set two-phase flow application mode which includes simulation of capillary flow and surface tension effects
  • The MEMS Module and Structural Mechanics Module add axisymmetric contact
  • The Heat Transfer Module and Chemical Engineering Module get the Wilcox k-ω turbulence model
  • The RF Module exports S-parameters in the Touchstone format

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