There has been increased consumption of digital validation tools so as to carry out simulation of various factors in the development of components and products
COMSOL, through its flagship simulation software called COMSOL Multiphysics, addresses a magnitude of challenges that customers encounter from a multitude of industries. In order to consolidate user experiences and learning from the usage of the Multiphysics simulation software as well as provide the market with new product updates, the company recently organised its annual COMSOL Conference at Bengaluru.
As usual, the COMSOL Conference brought together students, industry experts and representatives from companies across industries, who were keen to discuss and learn about the various improvements made in the software. The two-day event offered delegates keynotes from experts in their respective fields, a range of mini courses, user presentations, panel discussions and a poster competition.
COMSOL MULTIPHYSICS VERSION 5.5
The latest version of the COMSOL Multiphysics software includes enhancements in the areas of geometry, add-ins, optics, structural mechanics, acoustics, optimisation and COMSOL Compiler, as well as a few new products. In terms of geometry, the software offers new sketching tools that can create 2D and 3D work plane drawings, and also get dimensions and constraints using design modules, noted Nicolas Huc, Head, development team, COMSOL France. Huc is also the manager of the Heat Transfer Module. He also touched on the updates to the chemical engineering section of the software. Enhancements included materials and chemistry from thermodynamics, electrochemical reactions in the chemistry interface, current distribution in pipes, single-ion conductor charge balance option for solid-state battery modelling and lumped battery interface improvements.
Mats Nigam, Technical Product Manager – Fluid Flow, COMSOL, provided insights into the enhancements around his area of expertise and said version 5.5 updated the CFD module with natural convection with large eddy simulation, compressible Euler flow and Viscoelastic flow, whereas the Mixer module was enhanced with the inclusion of simulation for rotating machinery.
Pawan Soami, Product Manager, COMSOL India, provided updates on the structural mechanics and composite materials modules. The module on structural mechanics has been updated with non-linear shells and contact in shells, random vibration analysis, visualisation of distributed loads, pipe mechanics modelling and non-isothermal fluid-structure interaction (FSI), among others. The composite materials module has witnessed improvements to analyse layered composite structures as well as functionalities, including layered shell elements, specialised pre and post-processing, non-linear material models and layup optimisation.
Jiyoun Munn, Technical Product Manager, RF Module, COMSOL, covered the upgrades focussed on the AC/DC and Plasma modules. The AC/DC module now includes Lorentz Multiphysics coupling and Piezoelectric shells with other modules, while the Plasma module provides corona discharge interface and electrical breakdown detection. There have also been improvements to the modules concerning RF, wave optics and ray optic, noted Munn.
The keynotes at COMSOL Conference India 2019 were delivered by speakers representing research organisations, academia, industry and the student body. Ishant Jain, Head, Material and Process CoE, Raychem Innovation Centre, Raychem RPG, shared his keynote on the non-linear analysis of elastomers, sighting examples of use cases, where the company has successfully utilised simulation solutions to conduct further research. Meanwhile, Dr R Venkataraghavan, Senior Scientist, Unilever R&D Bengaluru, encompassed his speech around the topic of using modelling and simulations as tools to gather critical insights for design and analysis. He beautifully brought out the importance of various segments of the industry to come together in the development of a new product, while also stressing the need for increased levels of industry-academia connect.
The keynotes continued on the second day of the COMSOL Conference 2019, with the first one being given by Shantanu Maheshwari from Shell Technology Centre India. Maheshwari talked about the computational research being carried out using simulation for energy transition. He added that multi-scale modelling of lithium-ion cells and electrolysis for research of hydrogen vehicles are some of the methodologies used by Shell for future energy transition. Another keynote was delivered jointly by Pranit Mehta and Parth Shah, from IIT Madras, who are a part of Avishkar Hyperloop, India’s only entrant in the Hyperloop Pod Competition organised by Elon Musk’s SpaceX. The students provided insights into the usage of COMSOL Multiphysics in prototype development of the pod as well as in in-house R&D of the linear induction motor.
Finally, Jiyoun Munn delivered the last keynote on accelerating the future of IoT, 5G and SatCom with simulation. He spoke about how the role of IoT is growing from the smart home towards autonomous vehicles, and even to building-to-building connection. Be it IoT, or IoS (Internet of Space) the common requirement is for high data rate communication, Munn noted.
The first day included a panel discussion revolving around the academia, which was on the theme “Simulation Apps for Engineering Education: A New Paradigm.” Participants of the discussion included Prof Amol Deshpande from BITS Pilani, Goa Campus; Dr R Venkataraghavan, Unilever R&D Bengaluru; Prof Ram Bharti, IIT, Roorkee, and Prof Mayank Shrivastava, IISc, Bengaluru.
A second panel discussion took place on the final day of the conference, focussing on “Simulation Driven Design and Optimisation for Batteries.” Panellists included Dr AK Jindal, Vice-President, Electric Vehicle Development and Defence Vehicles, Tata Motors; Dr R Sindhuja, Senior Scientist, CSIR-CECRI, Karaikudi; Shashikar Adiga, Head, Materials and Simulations, Samsung Electronics; and Kamakshi Jagannathan, Product Specialist, COMSOL. The discussion surrounded the importance of simulation to predict catastrophic accidents, along with recycling batteries, as well as energy harvesting as an alternate source to battery power. The discussion concluded that to design efficient batteries, simulation needs to be carried out at the cell level.
The COMSOL Conference 2019, with its numerous mini courses, user presentations, poster presentations and panel discussions, brought together the large community of users of simulation tools to share their experiences and needs from this technology. It provided information about the various levels at which simulation is helping enhance product development across industries. The event also presented awards for best paper, best poster and poster by popular choice, based on the presentations of users. This also boosts the enthusiasm of users to participate in such conferences and share about various challenges that can be addressed by simulation technologies.
TEXT: Naveen Arul