Computational Fluid Dynamics
Using the volume-of-fluid (VOF) technique in the solver FLOW-3D®, the motion of a sliding wedge is simulated to predict the wave run-up height.
With faster processors and better numerical techniques, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools have revolutionized engineering design and optimization, limiting expensive experimentation and providing virtual solutions with short turnaround times. Today, CFD is used extensively to analyze a wide variety of applications, from aircraft wing design to sportswear manufacturing.
Simulation and Experimentation
Because the processes are complex and uncertain, CFD simulations in the geosciences field may require experimental support for input data and validation. The Geosciences and Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has extensive experience and capabilities in simulation and experimentation of complex engineered and natural systems and experimentation. Results provide clients with optimized design solutions.
Our integrated multidisciplinary approach incorporates code customization, analytical model development and applications, and experimental investigation to accurately and effectively solve complex fluid flow and heat transfer problems, including:
- Conjugate heat and flow analysis with multimode heat transfer and phase change
- Complex turbulent unsteady flow and acoustic analysis
- Numerical simulation of porous media flow
- Integrated flow and thermal analysis of engineered and natural systems with interface modeling
- Mesh-free, particle-based computing and smoothed particle hydrodynamics
- Particulate and droplet flow simulation
- Free surface flow and fluid-structure interaction
- Fire dynamics simulation
Extensive research and technical assistance for CFD in the geosciences area is tailored to client needs by SwRI in the areas of:
- Nuclear power industry and power plant applications
- Spent nuclear fuel storage and transportation analyses
- Environmental flow and transport associated with plant effluents
- Oil and gas production from reservoirs
- Chemical processing plants
Engineers also have expertise in CFD code modification, algorithm development, and experimental benchmarking to address specific client needs. They have provided extensive CFD research and technical assistance to a variety of programs. The broad spectrum of staff experience is applied to:
- Fluid flow and transport analysis of pressure vessels
- Chemical process streams
- Environmental systems and natural hazard analysis for tsunamis and volcanic eruptions
- Simulation of subsurface flow in porous fractured rock
- Fire dynamic analysis of onshore and offshore structures
- Flow and thermal study of mixing chambers
Using a tailored selection from among commercial, open source, and in-house CFD software, we address diverse client requirements. Dedicated pre- and post-processing tools for mesh generation and visualization enhance solving problems and communicating the results to clients.
SwRI maintains a SUNFIRE-X4100 cluster with 100 computational nodes and 1-TB storage capacity. Regular system backups assure that data and computational results are protected.
computational fluid dynamics • turbulence • unsteady flow • acoustics • experimental fluid dynamics • multiphase flows • particle-based methods • smoothed particle hydrodynamics • porous media • hazard assessment