Learning SimScale through CAE Workshops: Guillermo Giraldo

Guillermo GiraldoGuillermo Giraldo is an engineer from the Caribbean coast of Colombia. He studied Mechatronics Engineering at Universidad Tecnológica de Bolívar in Cartagena, a main industrial center built around the refinery and petrochemical industries, harbors, shipyards and construction.

After graduation he worked as a design engineer in a metal shop and after that as a safety analyst. Recently he has made the jump and started a company for design, simulation, and analysis services. 

He is very passionate about design and development in engineering, especially for systems that have a direct impact on people and can improve their living conditions. For him, simulation is a crucial tool for the success of any engineering design.

What experience do you have with engineering simulation?

My experience with simulation started when I was at university. For my research projects, I studied and developed routines for Finite Elements Analysis in statics, dynamics, and harmonic analysis. I then began applying the method for practical structural designs, piping flexibility, and in other industrial contexts. I have also used CFD for consultancy projects and most lately in the SimScale F1 workshop.

I have used many tools for FEA, such as ANSYS, Abaqus, and Code_Aster, which is now my preferred tool. For CFD, I have used OpenFOAM.

How did you find out about SimScale?

I found SimScale through the Onshape partners program.

What was your first impression of the platform?

Cloud-based simulation had been a concept in my mind for some time before learning about SimScale. I had even thought about developing one of these systems on my own so discovering SimScale was a great surprise with the well-executed concept, the multi-discipline approach, and especially the visibility and ease of access to very powerful open source tools such as Code_Aster and OpenFOAM that one gains through using the platform.

You participated in the F1 Workshop. How was the experience? 

The F1 Workshop was a great opportunity to get to know the SimScale platform and its capabilities. It also gave me access to F1 engineering, which is one of my passions, and insights from people involved in the medium.

My favorite part was the real F1 car geometry and simulation, and the opportunity to analyze the results of the race car aerodynamics using CFD. Also, the discussions on the homework assignments were very informative.

What other simulations have you done on SimScale?

I have mainly created test projects to learn the platform, but apart from the workshop assignments, I made a pressure vessel simulation.

Propane Tank Burst Analysis - pressure vessel

This kind of simulation is called a burst-pressure analysis, and the basic idea is to apply the pressure and start augmenting it until some final value. Generally, the load condition carries the material beyond yield and even until rupture. This makes the simulation more advanced than a linear static analysis.

I first performed a preliminary validation simulation using a linear static analysis and the maximum pressure. This allowed me to check that the mesh was working and that yield was indeed occurring. Then I moved to the quasi-static simulation, which has a marching “time” but no inertia effects, and the elastic-plastic material can be specified along with the varying load. The results were very interesting, as plastic hinges were detected.  The results turned out to be very realistic, compared to actual commercial ratings. You can check the discussion thread for the project for more details, there is a complete explanation there.

What features would you like to see improved or added to the platform?

The most urgent feature that I find missing from SimScale are structural elements, that is trusses, beams, shells, cables, composites, etc. For this, meshing has to take into account non-3D geometries as well as the interactions between structural and solid elements, for some more advanced analysis. So it is a lot of work, but I hope it is coming soon.

On the CFD side, OpenFOAM has a lot of features that could benefit the SimScale user, such as combustion and other chemical reactions. However, the current capability of setting up the simulation locally and then uploading it to the cloud for execution is really great.

What projects are you planning to work on in the future?

There is an open design project I have for a racing kart, and I expect to carry all simulations using SimScale, that is, structural and aerodynamics. I hope to have more time to execute this. Also, I am planning to execute consultancy projects using SimScale, so I am waiting for the next real life case worth simulating!

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