Finding a Structure’s Best Design with Topology Optimization

Benjamin Loubet | September 23, 2015

Think about the first architects who designed a bridge above water. The design process likely included several trials and subsequent failures before they could safely allow people to cross the river. COMSOL Multiphysics and the Optimization Module would have helped make this process much simpler, if they had computers at the time, of course. Before we start to discuss building and optimizing bridges, let’s first identify the best design for a simple beam with the help of topology optimization.


Aditi Karandikar | September 16, 2015

Do you drool at the very mention of chocolate? If so, you’re a “chocoholic” like me, and Nestlé’s Kit Kat® bar is one of my favorites. For 80 years, people around the globe have devoured this four-piece delight. To ensure every bar of chocolate produced has the same consistency, texture, and taste, the engineers at Nestlé’s Product Technology Centre in York, UK (PTC York) are using simulation to optimize the Kit Kat® bar manufacturing process.


Walter Frei | September 8, 2015

Good competitive paddling requires strength, timing, consistency, and teamwork. Initially, this may seem quite easy. Simply stick your paddle in the water and make the water go backward so that the boat moves forward. As it turns out, there are actually many different paddling strokes you can use depending on the situation.


Bridget Cunningham | August 26, 2015

Polymerase chain reaction tests have many applications within medical and biological research. In the past, these tests have been performed within a laboratory setting due to their high power requirements and the slow speed at which results are delivered. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have developed a new LED-based polymerase chain reaction system that, with its simplicity and speed, could be used in point-of-care testing.


Caty Fairclough | July 29, 2015

A team of researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany has figured out a new simple mathematical technique for designing mechanical cloaks. This type of cloaking has great potential for practical uses, such as protecting buildings from earthquake damage for example.


Caty Fairclough | July 17, 2015

Microfluidic systems often rely on valveless pumps, as they are both gentle on the biological material and low in the risk of clogging. However, by design, this type of pump is not suitable for viscous fluids and systems with small length scales or low flow rates. To overcome this limitation, you can introduce a micropump mechanism that converts oscillatory fluid motion into a unidirectional net flow.


Henrik Sönnerlind | September 14, 2015

When performing structural mechanics analyses, you will inevitably encounter the concept of geometric nonlinearity. In this blog post, we discuss what is meant by geometric nonlinearity and when you should take this effect into consideration.


Fabio Bocchi | August 27, 2015

Each year, tennis players from around the world compete at the U.S. Open, one of the oldest and largest tennis tournaments. With the 2015 tournament approaching, I found myself reflecting on my own experiences playing tennis, particularly how the feeling you get after hitting the ball is never quite the same. Is this simply a figment of the imagination or is there a physical answer? As I will explain here, so-called “sweet spots” can account for this feeling.


Bridget Cunningham | August 10, 2015

Biofuels are recognized as a valued source of renewable energy, with applications ranging from heating buildings to powering transportation. Increasing the availability of these fuels requires an understanding of the processes behind biomass conversion. With the help of COMSOL Multiphysics® simulation software, researchers at NREL are seeking to optimize such processes, making biofuel conversion more efficient and cost-effective.


Bridget Cunningham | July 23, 2015

3D printing has emerged as a popular manufacturing technique within a number of industries. The growing demand for this method of manufacturing has prompted greater simulation research behind its processes. Engineers at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) have identified their customers’ interest in a particular additive manufacturing technique known as shaped metal deposition. By building a simulation app, the team is better able to meet the demands of their customers while delivering more efficient and effective simulation results.


Bridget Cunningham | July 15, 2015

Phase change energy storage is an effective approach to conserving thermal energy in a number of applications. An important element in the efficiency of this storage process is the melting rate of the phase-change material, the storage medium. Using the principle of the constructal law as their foundation, a team of researchers sought to advance the performance of these storage systems.


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