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Smart gas appliance manufacturers use rising gas costs to their competitive advantage
Oct29

Smart gas appliance manufacturers use rising gas costs to their competitive advantage

With gas prices predicted to skyrocket in the next few years, an opportunity exists for engineers and designers of gas-fired appliances at smart manufacturers to use CFD to gain an edge in the competitive Australian market.

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Guest Blog: The untold CFD story of James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenger
Aug26

Guest Blog: The untold CFD story of James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenger

Phil Durbin from Finite Elements explains the untold CFD story of the design and testing of James Cameron's DeepSea Challenger, a solo manned submarine that ventured 11km down to the deepest place on earth, the Marianas Trench, in March 2012.

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CFD keeps Emirates Team New Zealand on course to reclaim the America's Cup
Aug27

CFD keeps Emirates Team New Zealand on course to reclaim the America's Cup

LEAP staff, in particular our team of CFD engineers, have been watching with interest as the 2013 America's Cup unfolds in San Francisco. Despite being the oldest active trophy in international sport, the America's Cup is continually evolving thanks to an often dramatic combination of ...

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5 key areas where ANSYS Multiphysics will help overcome the engineering challenges of Elon Musk's Hyperloop
Aug16

5 key areas where ANSYS Multiphysics will help overcome the engineering challenges of Elon Musk's Hyperloop

This week marked the public release of Elon Musk's much anticipated proposal for a new mode of high-speed transport to be built between LA and San Francisco, dubbed the Hyperloop.  The concept is equally compelling for other busy air routes of between 500-1000 km, such as Sydney to Melbourne (which is the 3rd busiest air route globally, according to Wikipedia).  For engineers, the Hyperloop is an exciting concept which promises to provide an alternative to high-speed rail that is both faster, cheaper and more energy efficient, but the reality is that numerous engineering challenges need to be overcome to deliver this project on-time and on-budget with an acceptable level of safety (in one of the most seismically-active regions on earth!). ANSYS Multiphysics software is uniquely placed to help the eventual collaboration partners make the Hyperloop a reality.  Indeed, Elon Musk is no stranger to the ANSYS engineering community, with simulation technology already helping power two of his greatest achievements: SpaceX and Tesla Motors .  Musk himself notes in his proposal the potential to use CFD and FEA engineering simulation tools to further reduce the cost of the Hyperloop, stating "additional technological developments and further optimisation could likely reduce this price" along with multiple references to the use of simulation technology (such as his comment that "aerodynamic drag will be improved and/or validated by computational methods"). Within the global ANSYS community, there are already individual examples of how ANSYS simulation technology is used to design, validate and optimise all of the individual components of the Hyperloop.  For engineers here at LEAP Australia, the most intriguing part of the Hyperloop is that it is the perfect example of next-generation technological innovation that demonstrates the growing need for multidisciplinary engineering and predictive simulations combining multiple physics: fluid dynamics, electromagnetics and structural mechanics. All of these physics have a unavoidable influence on the function, cost, efficiency and safety of all key aspects of the Hyperloop design. As engineers, let's consider just some of the critical design components that will go into successfully delivering this innovative and (as yet) untested mode of transport, and how the use of CFD, FEA and Electromagnetics simulation tools will be used. 1. Capsule aerodynamics Streamlining of the capsule will reduce aerodynamic drag, as well as help identify the design and placement of the compressor used to ingest oncoming air and feed into systems for suspension and propulsion.  Computational fluid dynamics simulations have already been used to demonstrate the validity of the Hyperloop's "compressor within a tube" concept. vehicle external aerodynamics to minimise drag and maximise lift (to supplement air bearings), as well as avoid shock wave formation (relating to capsule/tube ratio) stability of air bearing suspension 2. Capsule onboard systems...

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Insights from Sir James Dyson on accelerating product development through CFD with design exploration
Mar13

Insights from Sir James Dyson on accelerating product development through CFD with design exploration

Sir James Dyson was in Australia recently for the launch of Dyson's Airblade Tap hand dryer. During his visit, he gave a particularly enlightening interview with the ABC One-Plus-One program (which can be viewed at this link).   Dyson is a world-leader in the field of industrial design and is most famous for his invention of the cyclonic vaccuum cleaner (which now seems to have been copied and/or reverse engineered by all of his major competitors!).  I'd suggest that the battles that Dyson has had on the Intellectual Property front are undoubtedly a factor that requires Dyson to keep ahead of the competition through constant innovation.   During the interview, Dyson offered an interesting perspective on the need for perserverance in product design as he reflected on the product development process undertaken for his original cyclonic vaccuum cleaner.   In a previous engineering role he had observed the use of cyclones in an industrial setting (at a much larger scale) and saw the opportunity to apply this same principle to the humble vaccuum cleaner, which he felt could be radically improved to provide constant suction and remove the need for a bag.  He claims that in the end he had built 5,127 prototypes before he arrived at the final cyclonic design, observing that "5,126 of these prototypes were failures in some way". Interestingly, I have heard many other successful people, in engineering and business alike, who stress the importance of failure.  I believe that it is when you can fully understand why you are failing, that you can implement the changes required for success.  In any product design, the failure or poor performance of a prototype contains insight into how the product can be improved.  Combine the knowledge from tens, hundreds or even thousands of failed prototypes (as in James Dyson's case), and the insight required to arrive at an optimum product design is found.  Compared to physical prototyping, the use of CFD tools can provide a complete picture of why a particular design is performing a certain way, using detailed flow visualisation and the ability to query all variables (such as temperatures, pressure, velocities, species concentrations) at all points in the domain.  (Image courtesy Dyson Ltd) The use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools (as well as finite element analysis (FEA) and other computational techniques) has now moved on from "single point" simulations (which are more akin to traditional build and test practices) to fully embrace Simulation Driven Product Development (SDPD).  For SDPD to be effective, your CFD tool needs to work within the infrastructure (ANSYS Workbench) that allows a Design of Experiments study incorporating tens, hundreds or even thousands of possible design points.  This matrix of design possibilities can then be...

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