Performing a Multiphysics Analysis of a Thermal Microactuator

Bridget Paulus March 8, 2019

Small, powerful, and efficient, thermal actuators are a good choice for devices such as thermostats and MEMS. This type of actuator heats up via an applied voltage and deforms in such a way that it “actuates” another component. Thermal actuators involve tightly coupled electrical, thermal, and structural phenomena that affect device performance and must be accounted for. Using the COMSOL® software, you can gain insight into these multiphysics interactions and optimize thermal actuator designs.

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Guest F. Xavier Alvarez February 28, 2019

Today, we invite guest blogger F. Xavier Alvarez of Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) to discuss modeling heat transfer at the nanoscale using a novel theoretical framework and the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Bridget Paulus February 12, 2019

Heating circuits can be found in airplanes, electronic message boards, medical storage devices, and much more. Like many other heating elements, these circuits work through resistive heating, a multiphysics process involving electric currents, heat transfer, and structural deformation. To account for these phenomena and other key design factors, engineers can create virtual prototypes of heating circuits using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Brianne Christopher January 21, 2019

In a fluid-structure interaction (FSI) scenario, the fluid can affect the structure, the structure can affect the fluid flow, or both. When modeling a device that relies on FSI, you may want to simulate one of these options, a combination, or all three. The Fluid-Structure Interaction multiphysics coupling in the COMSOL® software makes it easy to implement FSI in your analyses. In this blog post, we study the flow through a ball check valve for different flow directions and pressures.

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Jinlan Huang December 20, 2018

Piezoelectric devices are widely used as sources to generate sound waves or receivers to detect acoustic signals. In applications such as ultrasound imaging and nondestructive testing, the same transducer can be used as a transmitter to send a source signal and receiver to detect echoes. Modeling these devices often requires transient analyses with time of flight as output. Let’s discuss how to use the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to model a piezoelectric device as both a transmitter and receiver.

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Mats Danielsson November 7, 2018

Material deposition is an essential ingredient in certain manufacturing processes, including welding and additive manufacturing. Say that you want to simulate such a manufacturing process. A challenge that you will face during the simulation is depositing material in a way that introduces it in a state of zero stress. Here, we look at the Activation functionality in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software and how it facilitates the simulation of material deposition.

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Christopher Boucher November 5, 2018

Modern optical systems are often required to operate in harsh environments, including high altitudes, space, underwater, and in laser and nuclear facilities. Such optical systems are subjected to structural loads and extreme temperatures. The most accurate way to fully capture these environmental effects is through numerical simulation via a structural-thermal-optical performance (STOP) analysis. STOP analysis is the quintessential multiphysics problem. In this blog post, we show how to combine structural, thermal, and optical effects using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Jiyoun Munn April 3, 2018

Since high-speed communication is inevitable for evolving wireless systems, the demand for a higher data rate, higher frequency, larger spectrum, and wider bandwidth increases. When dealing with a wide bandwidth, multiple devices may have to be deployed in a wireless communication system to filter out unwanted noise and interfering signals, enhance the signal-to-noise ratio, and improve the sensitivity. A single tunable filter can replace these devices, reducing the system’s size and weight and the fabrication cost of multiple components.

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Bridget Paulus January 19, 2018

In civil engineering and the biomedical field, strain gauges are used to measure deformation sustained by various objects. Typically, foil gauges are used, but they have low sensitivity. MEMS-based gauges, like the double-ended tuning fork (DETF) strain gauge, offer better performance. To optimize the design of a new DETF strain gauge, researchers used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software and compared the results to an analytical model.

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Caty Fairclough October 4, 2017

Kelvin probes provide a nondestructive and contact-free method of measuring the work function differences of various material combinations. These probes can have a variety of designs, including different tip shapes, lengths, and radii. To find an optimal design while minimizing the need for extensive testing, one group of researchers used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. Here’s what they found…

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Henrik Sönnerlind May 22, 2017

In some applications, particularly within the MEMS field, it is important to study the sensitivity of a device’s eigenfrequencies with respect to a variation in temperature. In this blog post, we show how to do this using COMSOL Multiphysics® version 5.3. We also explore effects like stress softening, geometric changes, and the temperature dependence of material properties.

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