SimScale Product Update 10/2015: Marine Simulation

Helping designers and engineers develop better products faster — that’s exactly what the latest SimScale product update is trying to achieve again. Find below the highlights of this month’s release and let us know about your experiences with the new capabilities.

Ship /Marine Simulation

Two new solid body motion types allow to accurately simulate moving objects in a free surface flow, which is especially helpful in ship/boat design but is also relevant to other marine simulation applications such as oil rigs. With these new methods, the object, e.g. the boat, can be modeled floating and not fixed within the flow such that the acting forces are predicted more accurately.

Boat flow analysis - Marine simulation

For the users that want to know the details behind the two new motion types, they are called:

  • “Ship design analysis” which defines the movement of a floating body via sinusoidal roll, heave and the sway component of the motion and
  • “Six degrees of freedom (6DOF)” which allows the definition of constraints on translation and rotation as well as restraints through springs and dampers

The animation below shows a simple example of a floating object being released within a water reservoir, simulated using the 6DOF approach.

Floating object simulation with SimScale

Material Library for Fluids and Gases

For a faster and less error-prone setup of flow simulations, a material library for fluids and gases was introduced. This means that you no longer have to look up and type in (e.g. the viscosity of water or air) but can simply import these physical properties from the material library. Right now it only contains the most common fluids as it’s not meant to be a database of materials. The connection to a big material database is already under development and will follow soon.

Material library SimScale

Together with the material library, more material models were added, that allow physically more accurate simulations of compressible and buoyant flows. The new models do allow to:

  • define equations of state for fluids and gases,
  • use polynomials in the definition of properties such as viscosity or conductivity
  • describe thermodynamic properties via JANAF tables

and therefore significantly broaden the spectrum of engineering applications that can be simulated on SimScale.

Enhanced Thermal Analysis capabilities with Latest SimScale Product Update

Since more and more users are asking for more complex thermal simulations, we’ve invested into broadening the scope of possible thermal simulation setups. Some exciting new capabilities are still under development, but in a first step, you can now:

  • define boundary conditions depending on time and place, which can be used, for example, to simulate moving heat sources during laser welding
  • use additional result control items for faster post-processing such as probe points or face flux calculations to give you fast access to the quantitative results you need and avoid long 3D data post-processing

Thermal analysis with SimScale

The animation above shows the transient temperature field of a plate being warmed by a moving heat source.

Robustness, Stability and Speed

Being a completely web-based application means that we are much closer to our users and their design and simulation work than a standard desktop application can be. We do use this close contact and insight to constantly improve and optimize all aspects of the simulation workflow on SimScale, starting from the CAD model import down to result post-processing. With each release, there are a lot of small improvements that never make it into these blog posts as they most of the time make a small portion of the workflow more robust, reliable and/or faster but are not obvious enough that users immediately take note. As this time we have shipped numerous improvements in nearly every aspect of the workflow (CAD import, Mesh processing, 3D viewer optimizations, solid mechanics simulation performance and more) I want to mention it here explicitly. In case you feel a portion of your simulation work going smoother than before, you might think back to this blog post.

Library and Tutorials expanded

Simulation is not an end to itself but a tool that gives you the insights you need to build a good product fast. So to get you started as fast as possible to make effective use of SimScale, we’ve added quite a few example projects as well as new step-by-step tutorials, most notably one for multiphase flow simulation.

Simulations with SimScale

Among others, the impact of a skull with and without a helmet, the comfort factor in an aircraft cabin as well as the flow characteristics of a boat were simulated and put into the public project library. The example projects from the library or the tutorials are a good way to learn SimScale. For all questions not covered by them, I recommend stopping by the SimScale forum and asking the community.

If you want to read more about the new features added to SimScale, here’s an article with the previous product improvements, focused on mass transport within flows.

Happy simulating!

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