The majority of mechanical engineers are likely to mention fluid dynamics when asked what vital components go into the items they create. Designers in almost every industry are searching for the next big performance breakthrough, whether it be in the hydraulic manifold’s pressure drop or the drag coefficient of an automobile. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that since the first code was created at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1957, CFD (computational fluid dynamics) software has grown to be a valuable tool to help with the design process.
The most effective solution for SOLIDWORKS users to verify such issues has historically been SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation, which allows users to activate CFD capabilities directly from their design environment. This design technique will remain the best for many years to come for projects requiring heat transfer, particularly those using electrical devices or heat exchangers. However, SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation has some intrinsic limitations that make it unable to analyze particular scenarios, much like any other CFD tool based on the Navier-Stokes equations.
A novel CFD technique known as the Lattice-Boltzmann method aims to overcome these limitations. This method, which employs a particle-based methodology, can compute very dynamic flows and visualize turbulence in great detail, even in non-continuous fluids like hypersonic airflow or near-vacuum situations.
Highlights of SIMULIA XFlow
SIMULIA XFlow is a new CFD solution built on top of this technology. With the ability to connect to Dassault Systemes’ 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, XFlow may operate on a desktop computer running Windows or Linux and import a range of solid CAD files to begin computing sophisticated fluid effects without the need for traditional meshing. With the help of additional cutting-edge technologies like liquid surface tension and free body motion, the Lattice-Boltzmann approach enables XFlow to mimic a wide range of scenarios, including a boat riding waves, oil sloshing in a gearbox, an airplane performing flying maneuvers, and much more.
This method can provide benefits even for typical design difficulties. This classic ball valve example, which demonstrates how SOLIDWORKS Flow Simulation can forecast internal pressure drop and flow rates, may be recognizable to seasoned SOLIDWORKS users. The conventional method for moving assemblies, such as this valve, is to use the Parametric Study feature to run the simulation in batches in various places. However, by dynamically modeling the valve opening or shutting and clearly viewing the turbulent eddies in the water as this occurs, SIMULIA XFlow can elevate this example to a new level:
XFlow has several of the same user-friendly features as SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD, while not being incorporated into it. These include an updated GUI that allows for both setup and results viewing, as well as automated fluid space and boundary layer detection. It may be as simple as importing a.STEP file, setting some boundary conditions, and clicking Run to begin an analysis.