Flow analysis for designers

Jan. 8, 2004
Until recently, computational-fluid dynamics (CFD) have been the job of Ph.D.s and expert analysts.
Results from FloWizard for the exhaust manifold show flow tracers in just one port. The inlet is at the bottom and colors represent temperatures. This 3D view can be rotated for a more thorough examination.
When simulating flow in an exhaust manifold, users would follow the steps in the accompanying menu.

The recent FloWizard from Fluent Inc., Lebanon, N.H. (www.fluent.com), promises to bring flow simulations to a wider audience through a simplified GUI and a solver and mesher from high-end Fluent products.

The software works much like other simulation programs: Users import a model, identify inlets and outlets, apply pressures, identify the fluid and whether it is internal or external flow, create a mesh, and run the analysis. A list on the setup screen guides user through this sequence. And the software checks each off when the user has supplied sufficient information.

Because it's easier to use than a high-end CFD system, the software encourages more flow simulations earlier in a development cycle. Results can pinpoint turbulence, stagnation, proper or insufficient mixing, and other flow characteristics that would be difficult to impossible to find by other means.

The flow wizard imports models from SolidWorks, Solid Edge, Autodesk Inventor, and it works with Catia V5. Users can prepare CFD analysis models in Catia V5. By maintaining associativity between design and analysis models, Fluent's CAA V5 reduces the time required for analysis and allows applying CFD more readily to product optimization.

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