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October 13, 2010

Not Your Parents’ CFD

Tiffany Trader

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a sophisticated computer modeling technique that allows engineers to simulate the flow of gases and liquids, and predict fluid-structure interaction. CFD provides deeper insights into the design, allowing the user to assess what will happen under a given set of circumstances. Being able to work out kinks and flaws prior to prototyping and physical testing is an obvious benefit, yet many feel that CFD is either too slow, too complex or too expensive for mainstream design use. According to a recent article at Design World, those objections are outdated and need to be re-examined. In order to set the record straight, Dr. Ivo Weinhold, product marketing manager at Mentor Graphics, Mechanical Analysis Division, presents “The five myths of CFD.”

Dr. Weinhold explains that these “myths are standing in the way of greater use in the early phases of mechanical design [and] help explain why only about 30,000 out of over 1 million mechanical design engineers worldwide use CFD to simulate fluid flow inside and around their products.” He maintains that while these myths may have held merit 10 years ago, times have changed, and CFD has become more user-friendly, quicker, and easier on the pocket-book.

Here is a quick rundown on the big five:

Myth #1: CFD is too difficult to be used in the design process
Myth #2: CFD takes too long to use during the design process
Myth #3: CFD is too expensive to be used by mechanical engineers
Myth #4: You can’t directly use your CAD model to do CFD analysis
Myth #5: Most products don’t need CFD analysis

This is a must-read article for all you design engineers out there or anyone related to the industry.

Full story at Design World