Computational Fluid Dynamics in Everyday Life

Computational fluid dynamics, or CFD, is part of the science of fluid mechanics, employing numerical methods and computer algorithms to interpret data and analyse problems concerned with fluid flow.

Computational fluid dynamics isn’t limited to fluids. It is used by architects when they are designing buildings (most people have heard of the “wind tunnel effect”); automobile designers and, of course, aeronautical engineers. Fluids cover liquids, vapours and gases of all kinds.

In CFD programming, the interaction of fluids with solid surfaces is simulated via computer programs. Millions of complex calculations are performed; even so, solutions are often only approximated, even with today’s high-powered hardware.

That being said, new and improved software is continuously being developed, especially in the aerospace arena. It’s important that the digital realization reflects what happens naturally. Simulations of, for example, turbulent or transonic air flow are initially created by means of a wind tunnel, before being validated in flight tests. These results are then used to create the digital version.

Computational fluid dynamics uses CAE (computer aided engineering). A pre-processor program is first used to create a graphical user interface, which determines various physical parameters, namely the physical boundaries of the problem and the volume that the fluid occupies. This volume is then divided among cells in a mesh, and physical modelling and boundary conditions (i.e. how the fluid behaves at the boundary of the problem) applied. The simulation is then commenced, with a postprocessor program used to visualise and analyse the solution that results.

CFD is just one of the areas that we at Enventure Technologies have expert experience and knowledge in. We are also experts in environmental compliance, PCB design and more besides.

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