Happy Birthday, Frances Spence

Thomas Forrister March 2, 2018

Frances Spence was an American mathematician and one of the first computer programmers in history. She is best known for her work as a programmer of the first digital computer, Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC). Although she helped program the computer during WWII, her contributions to computer programming have only recently been recognized.

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Guest René Christensen February 28, 2018

Today, guest blogger René Christensen of GN Hearing discusses including thermoviscous losses in the topology optimization of microacoustic devices. Topology optimization helps engineers design applications in an optimized manner with respect to certain a priori objectives. Mainly used in structural mechanics, topology optimization is also used for thermal, electromagnetics, and acoustics applications. One physics that was missing from this list until last year is microacoustics. This blog post describes a new method for including thermoviscous losses for microacoustics topology optimization.

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Bridget Paulus February 27, 2018

Due to their small size and efficiency, compact heat exchangers are used in many application areas, including HVAC, nuclear power, and electronics. To help increase heat transfer rates and reduce pressure drops in these devices, a large number of studies have been performed, exploring concepts such as incorporating a deforming wall into the design. Using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, you can evaluate a dynamic wall heat exchanger design.

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Caty Fairclough February 21, 2018

Due to their inherent versatility and wideband frequency response, spiral slot antennas have a variety of applications for different microwave frequency bands. For example, these antennas are used for wireless communication, sensing, positioning, and tracking. To optimize the design of spiral slot antennas, engineers can use electromagnetics analysis to accurately calculate characteristics such as S-parameters and far-field patterns.

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Thomas Forrister February 20, 2018

When a car hits a pothole, the suspension system can take on major damage in a matter of seconds. Suspension systems must be able to adapt to myriad road conditions while supporting the wheels, seats, and body of the car. To study the performance of a vehicle suspension system, you can use multibody analyses and a simplified lumped model of a mechanical system.

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Thomas Forrister February 18, 2018

“I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet.” So begins the iconic scene in Frankenstein, which was first published in 1818. While Shelley infused a spark of life into science fiction, Alessandro Volta helped foster innovation in the field of electrochemistry through also trying to “spark life” into a lifeless thing — literally.

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Bridget Paulus February 15, 2018

The interference fit between two parts has to be just right. Think of it as the Goldilocks quandary of structural mechanics: if the fit is too loose, the parts won’t hold together; if it’s too tight, the parts can’t join. For optimal performance of a structure involving joined parts, the interference fit needs to be calculated. One method is to create a simulation app, which can efficiently compute the contact pressure and surface displacement of two joined parts.

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Prashant Srivastava February 14, 2018

Bearings, specifically rolling element bearings, are some of the most commonly used industrial components. These bearings are found in gearboxes, conveyors, motors, and rolling mills due to the low friction and low starting torque compared to hydrodynamic bearings. They can also handle changes in speed, temperature, and loads. In this blog post, we will look at different bearing types and demonstrate how to model a rotor system supported on roller bearings using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Caty Fairclough February 13, 2018

To treat atherosclerosis, a cardiovascular disease in which a buildup of plaque causes an artery to narrow, doctors can insert a tiny wire mesh tube called a stent into the obstructed artery. Expanding the stent opens up the artery and helps restore blood flow. To successfully perform this operation and minimize potential health hazards, stent designs must be thoroughly studied and optimized. To do so, we can perform a nonlinear structural mechanics analysis with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Nathan Martin February 8, 2018

In a 2013 report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that Earth’s cryosphere is “a natural integrator of climate variability and provides some of the most visible signatures of climate change.” (Ref. 1) The cryosphere is the part of the climate system that contains frozen water and makes up 80% of our fresh water. Using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, we can simulate classical ice flow to analyze cryosphere dynamics and assess climate change effects such as rising sea levels.

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Bridget Paulus February 7, 2018

Natural convection is a type of heat transport found in engineering applications of all sizes. For instance, this phenomenon helps maintain a reasonable temperature in both small electronic devices and large buildings. No matter the application area, design engineers can use the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to model natural convection in air for both 2D and 3D geometries.

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