As we move into the summer months, I am ever thankful that modern commercial aircraft systems have been developed to provide a safe and comfortable passenger experience. The Environmental Control System (ECS) is responsible for keeping the cabin at a comfortable temperature, pressure and humidity throughout the flight profile. This is done through a complex system of ducting, pressure regulators, heat exchangers and air conditioning components. Before the FAA can certify a new aircraft for commercial flight, the manufacturer has to be able to provide proof that the system can respond to situations where things go wrong.

When my kids were younger, one of the favorite entertainment options at children’s parties was the balloon artist. These artists were able to make anything from a monkey to a pirate hat simply by twisting balloons together. Usually, but not always, you could tell what the animal or object was meant to be, but it would take the most imaginative child to see the multi-colored lumpy lion in front of them as the real thing.

Whilst lions are not the most common shape for non-spherical DEM particles, should you have the need to model such a thing, previously your only option would have been the composite DEM particle and the result would have been much the same, a bunch of spheres of various sizes stuck together.

All of that is set to change with the polyhedral DEM particle in STAR-CCM+® software version 12.04. Now you will be able to accurately model real objects, putting the corners back into your particles, by building or importing a realistic representation as a geometry part which then forms the basis of your particle. For many objects, this new polyhedral particle is less computationally expensive then a composite particle which can require many spheres to get close to a realistic shape. Polyhedral particles also provide a more efficient solution, reducing simulation time.

As an effect of globalization, the patent life of newly discovered drugs has decreased considerably, forcing manufacturers to minimize drug development time as well as maximize throughput. To achieve this, existing manufacturing processes need to be upgraded, and new approaches and methodologies developed. Simulation applying CFD and optimization is an ideal tool to investigate such concepts early in the design phase, tying it into the Product Life Cycle Management Process – and thus avoiding costly troubleshooting exercises later.

What are the trends and developments when it comes to Lyophilization? Are the simulation methods and tools for this technology ready for prime time? Alina Alexeenko, Professor for Aero and Astronautics at Purdue University and the Co-Director of LyoHUB, was able to answer these questions for us.

At any marine conference or workshop, you will hear many topics being debated: validation and accuracy of CFD predictions, best practices in simulation, the latest industry regulations affecting ship design and many more. One topic that always gets engineers talking and arguing is whether to run your CFD simulations at model scale or full ship scale. There are benefits and drawbacks to both approaches.

Running at model scale means the result can be easily validated by comparison with towing tank data before running new analyses. The model scale results can then be transformed to full-scale data using standard semi-empirical scaling up procedures. However, this approach can introduce uncertainties as the scaling methods may not be suitable for new or unusual geometries or running conditions. This is one of the reasons why ship designers are reluctant to change anything in their designs for which they have collected operational data and know the performance. Running CFD simulation at full-scale may require a higher grid resolution to accurately capture aft end flow especially when appendages are present, but removes the possible errors from the semi-empirical scaling methods.

In the early hours of Saturday May 6, at the Monza motor racing circuit in Italy, Eliud Kipchoge ran 26.2 miles in 2 hours and 25 seconds, beating the existing marathon world record by 2 minutes and 32 seconds. The run was the culmination of Nike’s “Breaking 2” project, a two year program aimed at demonstrating that it is physically possible for a human to run a marathon in less than two hours.

Before the run, much of the publicity had focused on Nike’s spring loaded Vaporfly Elite running shoe, which they had claimed improves running efficiency by as much as 4%. However in the days afterwards much of the conversation turned to aerodynamics, and the influence of the unfeasibly large timing board that was mounted on top of the pace car that drove in front of Kipchoge, and the “delta formation” adopted by his team of “relaying” pacers. By some calculations drafting was responsible for about 1:30 of the 2:32 that Kipchoge knocked off Kimetto’s world record.

In order to determine just how much influence "aerodynamic trickery" had in getting Kipchoge within 26 seconds of the mythical 2 hour barrier, we decided to run a series of computational fluid dynamics simulations using STAR-CCM+,

The objective in auto racing is pretty simple to understand: the fastest car wins.

Easy enough, right?

Well, maybe not quite that easy. After all, car manufacturers can’t control what happens on the track during any given race, but they can put drivers in the best possible position to succeed through the design of their car.

Spark Racing Technology is well aware of this, and to gain that extra inch, that extra split second that can be the difference between exhilarating victory or humbling defeat, turned to AOTECH in search of aerodynamic expertise for its FIA Formula E Championship car.

Over the past 10 years, bat populations in the United States and Canada have been decimated by an invasive fungus called Pseudogymnoascus destructans, or pd. Millions of bats have died. Considering that they are a keystone species, losing bats and their contributions to our ecosystem could have devastating results for plants, other animals and humans. The epidemic bats are facing is akin to the massive die off of bees that’s a threat to agricultural food supplies. Understanding what is happening to bats as well as the conditions they’re exposed to is essential for us to try and find a way to reverse the epidemic.

With devices involving the combustion of gas – whether that is a gas turbine combustor, a furnace burner, an industrial process heater or boiler, a burner of a stovetop appliance, or a gas-fired water heater – if your primary objective is to use simulation to “discover better designs, faster” – then I’d say that yes, CFD performed with STAR-CCM+ can be trusted to help you achieve that goal.

About four years ago, I was invited to an event near SEATAC airport at a friend’s house on a hot summer day. I remember being surprised by the nearly constant noise from aircraft on approach for landing. I asked the host how he managed to live with the noise, to which he explained that he was working with airport officials to reduce noise levels which should help.

Last summer, he invited me over to his home for an event and I was pleasantly surprised by the much-reduced sound levels. It was incredible just how much quieter it was since the last time I was there. This is the case all across the country and, in fact, the world - urban airports are getting quieter, but how?

When you ask anyone to name a famous ship, the answer is usually “the Titanic.” Sure, there are other contenders depending on what part of the world you come from, but none left their mark on the wider public’s consciousness - or indeed continues to hold it - some 105 years since she sunk this coming April 15. In conversation with some colleagues the question was posed “I wonder if anyone’s ever really looked into simulating the Titanic?” There are computer animations, but this is not simulation. From a brief scan of the internet it seemed that this perhaps wasn’t the case. There are quite a few attempts at hand calcs to work out the physics involved, and plenty of debate about the precise nature of what happened with the propeller cavitation or the rudder being too small. But with the current set of computational tools available to engineers these days, specifically computational fluid dynamics (CFD), I thought it would be interesting to look back on the most famous ship of all time in STAR-CCM+ and what I learned was not exactly what I was expecting, but more on that later.


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Matthew Godo
STAR-CCM+ Product Manager
Stephen Ferguson
Marketing Director
Brigid Blaschak
Communications Specialist
James Clement
STAR-CCM+ Product Manager
Dr Mesh
Meshing Guru
Joel Davison
Lead Product Manager, STAR-CCM+
Ravindra Aglave
Director - Chemical Processing
Sabine Goodwin
Director, Product Marketing