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Growing up (30 years or so ago now), shopping for weekly groceries was nothing like it is today. I was born and raised in a small village outside London and getting food for the week meant visiting many different shops, the butchers for our meat, green-grocers for vegetables and so on. Now I have my own family and I do all my shopping in one place: the supermarket. At this one large store I can get my vegetables, meat, household items and even electronics and clothing. Unless I decide to buy a new HD TV on the spot, this benefits me in many ways; my costs are reduced as I don’t have to burn fuel driving around town to different shops, and the time it takes me to shop is far less.

This evolution of the retail experience is indicative of a wider trend of being able to perform multiple functions from a single source. Just look at the smartphone which provides a telephone, camera, web browser and even counts your steps as you are shopping at the supermarket. So what has this got to do with CAE software? Well, the important point I’m trying to make is that integration is revolutionising the way we do things! If you have a tool that performs multiple functions from the same familiar environment, it opens up the possibility to not only do more, but do it better and faster as well.

As we have developed STAR-CCM+ we have always worked to provide a tool based on the philosophy that integration allows the engineering analyst to cut down simulation time and cost while expanding application scope. With v10.04, we make a huge leap forward in these aims, with the release of a finite element solid stress solver to provide computational solid mechanics capabilities from the same integrated user interface you are already very familiar with.

So why did we develop this solid mechanics capability in STAR-CCM+? You don’t have to look very far to see real-world examples where the interaction between structures and fluids is critical. A great example is the Boeing 787 dreamliner whose wings flex much more than conventional aircraft due to their composite construction. By understanding the influence of the airflow on the wing, Boeing were able to design wings that were not only aerodynamically but also structurally efficient leading to significantly reduced fuel consumption and costs. 


Our users have been interested in performing FSI analysis for many years but often the effort of learning and using two different tools as well as getting them to communicate effectively has been time, and accordingly cost, prohibitive. For this reason we felt that providing capabilities for solving and coupling both fluid and solid mechanics problems in a single interface would enable for our users to expand their simulation capabilities into applications that were previously out of reach.

You might reasonably ask why move to a finite element approach when the rest of STAR-CCM+ is built around the finite volume technique? The change comes from a desire to provide the best and most appropriate tools for the physics being studied from within a unique and easy to use interface. To ensure this is realised, CD-adapco has invested heavily to deliver an entirely new framework that can sustain future growth and enhancement to the finite element solver. Now this work is complete, for the first time, you have access to industry standard flow and structural analysis technology without having to swap between different tools and learn different interfaces.

You may not know this but the CCM part of STAR-CCM+ stands for Computational Continuum Mechanics, named as such to reflect the vision for providing a truly multi-disciplinary analysis tool. With the release of v10.04, the name is more appropriate than ever before.

Matthew Godo's picture
Matthew Godo
STAR-CCM+ Product Manager
Stephen Ferguson's picture
Stephen Ferguson
Marketing Director
James Clement's picture
James Clement
STAR-CCM+ Product Manager
Joel Davison's picture
Joel Davison
Lead Product Manager, STAR-CCM+
Dr Mesh's picture
Dr Mesh
Meshing Guru
Ravindra Aglave's picture
Ravindra Aglave
Director - Chemical Processing
Karin Frojd's picture
Karin Frojd
Sabine Goodwin's picture
Sabine Goodwin
Director, Product Marketing