Executive Programs

Workshops

Projects

Blogs

Careers

Student Reviews

More

Informative Articles

Find Jobs

We are Hiring!

All Courses

Choose a category

All Courses

All Courses

18 May 2023

# A Brief Guide to the Steps Involved in CFD Simulation

Skill-Lync

Fluid mechanics is a branch of mechanical engineering that deals with the behavior of fluids (liquids, gases, and plasmas) and their interactions with forces. In mechanical engineering, fluid mechanics is crucial in designing and optimizing various devices and systems, such as engines, air conditioners, spacecraft, and batteries. However, solving fluid problems by hand can be challenging and time-consuming, and physical testing is often expensive and time-consuming.

To overcome these challenges, engineers rely on CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) to model and simulate the behavior of fluids. CFD is a robust tool that permits engineers to analyze and optimize fluid flows using computational power. This blog will quickly review Computational Fluid Dynamics and the CFD future scope in detail and depth. Continue reading to learn more.

## Computational Fluid Dynamics: Definition

CFD, or Computational Fluid Dynamics, has revolutionized designing and optimizing new products, such as race cars, by mathematically predicting physical fluid flow using powerful computers. Aerodynamics plays a crucial role in the overall performance of a design, but it isn't easy to quantify during the concept phase. Traditionally, physical tests on prototypes were the only way to optimize designs, but CFD has become a commonly used technology due to the increasing computational power of computers.

CFD software simultaneously calculates fluid flow and its associated physical properties, such as pressure, velocity, density, viscosity, and temperature, based on defined operating conditions. Numerical methods and mathematical models are used to predict the desired flow physics, and the most common tools are based on the N-S (Navier-Stokes) equations. Additional terms can be added or removed from the N-S equations based on the considered physics, such as phase change, heat transfer, or chemical reactions.

To conduct a successful and accurate CFD analysis, it is crucial to consider the proper operating conditions, numerical methods, and physics. Performance insights can be obtained quickly, resulting in a better-performing and more efficient final product.

## Why Do Engineers Rely on Computational Fluid Dynamics?

The ability to peek into the future and see how a designed system will operate before manufacturing is a dream come true for engineers. It allows them to adjust and perfect their system during design, resulting in a more efficient and cost-effective final product.

A CFD model provides an excellent way to predict how a system will operate during the design phase. It enables engineers to see what will work and what will not, allowing them to intervene early in the process before anything has been constructed. Engineers can identify potential issues using a CFD model and optimize their designs to achieve the desired performance.

Furthermore, CFD analyses have immense potential to save time in the design process, making them a cheaper and faster alternative to conventional testing. In addition, unlike in real-life tests where a limited amount of quantities can be measured simultaneously, CFD analyses can measure all desired quantities simultaneously with high resolution in time and space.

## Steps Involved in a CFD Simulation

The workflow for CFD modeling often begins with specifying the geometry to be simulated. The geometry is then placed into a computational domain and discretized into a mesh (computational grid). To compute the answer, numerical and physical models must be created, together with beginning and boundary conditions that specify entirely the issue to be addressed. The answer is achieved by executing the numerical method after the simulation has been set up. Finally, in the post-processing step, the results are examined.

The following sections discuss the standard CFD modeling steps in further depth:

• ### Geometry

The initial stage in the CFD modeling process is to specify the geometry of the issue to be addressed, which is often derived from a CAD model or a simplified representation. The geometry may be included in a computational area. The computational domain is the area of space where the solution is needed. In external flow issues, the computational domain is often a volume centered on the geometry of interest with suitable dimensions.

• ### Mesh

To solve the flow using a numerical approach, the computational domain and geometry must be discretized in order to build the computational mesh. Meshing is often accomplished by dividing the volume inside the computation domain but outside the simulated object into "mesh cells." Fluid flow equations will be solved within each cell to calculate. These features are conveyed by flow across the domain, influencing the solution at each cell.

• ### Setup

In CFD modeling, selecting the most suitable models that accurately represent the physics of the problem being solved is crucial. We can choose between transient or steady-state simulations, depending on whether the flow varies only in space or time. Transient simulations are necessary to capture a discharge's unsteady nature or temporal variations in the onset flow or moving parts of the geometry. We may need additional physics models to describe the problem accurately, such as determining if the flow is compressible, considering temperature as a variable, and using turbulence models depending on the Reynolds number.

To achieve a flow solution, boundary conditions must be provided to the surfaces defining the geometry and computational domain, and a starting value must be assigned to each cell's flow variables (pressure, velocity, etc.). The beginning and boundary conditions are mathematical presentations of real-world flow circumstances.

• ### Solution

After the CFD model is defined, a numerical algorithm is used to solve the mathematical problem. An iterative process is used for steady-state simulations, and the solution evolves based on the boundary conditions. The rate of change of the solution is measured by residuals, which should decrease with each iteration until a small number is reached, indicating convergence. The maximum number of iterations must be decided beforehand, but the correct number is difficult to predict. Therefore, convergence criteria are defined to stop the solver when either the residuals or physical quantities of interest no longer change significantly. Although slight variations in the residuals might still exist, the results are considered stable enough for convergence.

Transient simulations advance the solution in physical time and require a time step to be defined by the user. At each time step, the solution must be fully converged. The time step choice is crucial for solution stability and quality.

• ### Post-processing

After the CFD simulation, the solution provides the values of flow variables, such as pressure and velocity, in every node of the computational grid. However, interpreting these raw numbers can be difficult, so post-processing is carried out to obtain integral quantities, graphs, and plots for straightforward interpretation and comparison. Post-processing aims to make the final user's data and flow structures intuitive. It typically presents values in graphical form with colors that vary according to user-defined settings. It allows users to create colored surface plots, such as a pressure field on a motorbike surface, in order to gain insights into flow physics and design. Post-processing is essential to identify design improvements and compare designs to determine the best solution.

### What Is the Future of CFD?

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has become a prominent tool in the engineering industry, allowing engineers and researchers to simulate fluid flow and analyze complex problems. However, as problems become more complex and diverse, there is a growing need for CFD to evolve into a multi-physics tool.

In the future, it is expected that CFD will merge with other computational tools such as solid mechanics, heat transfer, and magnetohydrodynamics to create a more comprehensive computational continuum mechanics software. This transition is inevitable, especially considering the current hot topics in CFD, such as FSI (Fluid-Structure-Interaction), Combustion, and Conjugate Heat Transfer.

The primary focus of this shift towards multi-physics modeling will be physics modeling. It involves implementing existing theories into computational environments and developing new theories that better represent simulated physical phenomena.

#### Conclusion

CFD is a rapidly evolving field that has revolutionized how engineers tackle complex fluid flow problems. The ultimate goal is to reduce development costs and time while improving product quality and efficiency before expensive prototyping. Using CFD, engineers can virtually test and optimize designs, improving performance, increasing safety, and reducing environmental impact. As computing power grows and modeling techniques become more advanced, the possibilities for CFD applications are endless. The CFD future promises even more accurate and efficient simulations, allowing for further optimization of engineering designs and continued advancements in various industries.

Skill-Lync’s Post-Graduate Program in Computational Fluid Dynamics is one of the finest CFD courses for you if you're especially fascinated by the concept of fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, IC engine simulations, and drag. The online CFD certification course will equip you with the necessary skills to work as a professional CFD manager or CFD engineer and provide practical hands-on experience with the software. Talk to our experts to get your free demo.

Author

Anup KumarH S

Author

Skill-Lync

Related Blogs

A Guide to Help FEA Engineers Get Started With Vehicle Dynamics - Part 1

Explore the fundamentals of vehicle dynamics and ultimate trends in the field from design and modeling to control with Skill Lync's exclusive course on the subject. Read about how Skill-Lync's CAE courses can help you get employed.

29 Jul 2020

How Using GT-Power in CFD Can Benefit the Automation Industry

In this article, we will briefly discuss the working, applications, and features of the one-dimensional systematic simulation tool, GT-Power, in Emission Control Strategy, engine calibration, hybrid vehicle modeling. Read about how Skill-Lync's CAE courses can help you get employed.

29 Jul 2020

Design Basics of Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing

This article offers a brief introduction to the globally accepted standard of Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing, and its importance for the entire manufacturing process. Read about how Skill-Lync's CAE courses can help you get employed.

29 Jul 2020

Chapter 5 – Going a step into Biomechanics

10 May 2020

The Basics of the Powertrain NVH: Part 2

The powertrain is the most prominent source of vibrations that affects the driving experience for the people on board. This blog from Skill-Lync examines these vibrations to help enhance that experience.

22 Aug 2020

Author

Skill-Lync

Related Blogs

A Guide to Help FEA Engineers Get Started With Vehicle Dynamics - Part 1

Explore the fundamentals of vehicle dynamics and ultimate trends in the field from design and modeling to control with Skill Lync's exclusive course on the subject. Read about how Skill-Lync's CAE courses can help you get employed.

29 Jul 2020

How Using GT-Power in CFD Can Benefit the Automation Industry

In this article, we will briefly discuss the working, applications, and features of the one-dimensional systematic simulation tool, GT-Power, in Emission Control Strategy, engine calibration, hybrid vehicle modeling. Read about how Skill-Lync's CAE courses can help you get employed.

29 Jul 2020

Design Basics of Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing

This article offers a brief introduction to the globally accepted standard of Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing, and its importance for the entire manufacturing process. Read about how Skill-Lync's CAE courses can help you get employed.

29 Jul 2020

Chapter 5 – Going a step into Biomechanics

10 May 2020

The Basics of the Powertrain NVH: Part 2

The powertrain is the most prominent source of vibrations that affects the driving experience for the people on board. This blog from Skill-Lync examines these vibrations to help enhance that experience.

22 Aug 2020

Book a Free Demo, now!

Related Courses

MATLAB Python and CFD using Solidworks for Mechanical Engineering Applications
4.7
13 Hours of content
Cfd Domain
4.8
35 Hours of content
Cfd Domain
Recently launched
18 Hours of content
Cfd Domain
Showing 1 of 6 courses