What is CFD Simulation Software

CFD Simulation Software

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Software is used to analyze designs of new products, affected by fluid flows. Using CFD software in early designs phases is especially useful as in these early stages. This is beacause usually only simple CAD data of a new product is available. Therefor by using CFD, it is possible to understand if the new product will perform as intended and create design iterations based on the results. Consequently the results can then be used to make informed decisions about the future development. As a result, surprises and redesigns in later development phases can be avoided.

Results of a CFD Simulation:

Successful CFD Simulations show a number of results. Among these are various visualization of the fluid flow, plots of forces or other monitored values over time and numerical values.

Typical numerical results from CFD simulations include:

Aerodynamic forces:

  • Lift / Downforce
  • Drag
  • Moments
  • Distribution of these forces

Mass or volume flows - Understand how much air (or other fluids) pass through a surface:

  • Mass flow through radiator or heat exchanger
  • Volume flow through a fan
  • Averaged flow through certain inlets or outlets
  • Flow through certain arbitrary areas of interest

From thermal CFD simulations:

  • Min. and maximum temperatures
  • Average temperatures
  • Temperature of parts over time

Plots of monitored values:

  • Forces over time
  • Force development plot
  • Monitored values

CFD Simulations allow great visualizations:

  • Isosurfaces
  • Streamlines
  • Cuttingplanes
  • Surface visualizations

Free CFD Simulation Software

There are various stand-alone, commercial CFD solutions available, like Fluent® or CCM+®. In addition, there are more embedded systems available like Autodesk® CFD. On the other hand, there are also many free CFD software solutions available and many of them are open source. Therefore, these solutions usually do not need a license, they can be used unlimited, which is especially good when running DoEs or optimizations. Here is a short list of some free options:

CFD Software tutorials:

If OpenFOAM® is your CFD code of choice, you are in luck. There is now a great and growing sites available with many tutorials. In a addition, here is a short list of some other good tutorials:

Learn how CFD Software works and how to code it:

OpenFOAM® is an example of an open source CFD code which is fairly simple to code and modify existing solvers. However, a good knowledge of C++ is recommended though. Alternatively, a much simpler way to start with basic solvers and in Python is:

12 Steps to CFD

Provided by:
Barba, Lorena A., and Forsyth, Gilbert F. (2018). CFD Python: the 12 steps to Navier-Stokes equations. Journal of Open Source Education, 1(9), 21, https://doi.org/10.21105/jose.00021


Download Demo

If you want to try to run your own CFD simulation, just download the free demo of MantiumFlow: