CAE Solution Helps Transfer Information Between Third-Party Simulation Software
Alex Smith posted on May 12, 2016 |
CoTherm couples STAR-CCM+, Fluent, TAITherm and has API for others.
Sample screenshot of CoTherm workflow interface. (Image courtesy of ThermoAnalytics.)

Sample screenshot of CoTherm workflow interface. (Image courtesy of ThermoAnalytics.)

Would you fancy developing a script to couple that CFD model with an external thermal analysis tool? No, me neither.

Well, thankfully, the team at ThermoAnalytics, a U.S. based simulation software and service provider, has just released a new CAE coupling tool to do just that. The tool also helps to prevent the hassle (and almost inevitable errors) of manual scripting. Enter CoTherm.

On its initial release, CoTherm allows users to couple information between established CFD packages, such as CD-adapco’s STAR-CCM+, ANSYS Fluent and ThermoAnalytics’ TAITherm. The program also has the capability for manual expansion to other packages using the customizable API. Can’t get rid of all those manual imports.

Fundamentally, CoTherm is a standalone package, which sits in between simulation tools. It enables the transfer of information between CAE platforms in a way that each can understand and import easily. This helps to avoid the need for complex manual scripting exercises or, even worse, a time-sapping manual export-import loop.

The package comes with its own user interface, which allows users to create custom workflows using a modular system. This appears somewhat reminiscent of the ANSYS Workbench approach, importing and exporting information as required from the various packages selected while monitoring the results as they develop using an array of built-in data plotting tools.

Josh Pryor, team leader in thermal/CFD engineering services at ThermoAnalytics wrote on the company’s blog, “CoTherm is an ambassador, of sorts, between CAE simulation products that facilitates the flow of information between simulations of coupled physical domains. CAE often requires complex processes that may involve multiple pieces of software, customized scripts, and other components to automate. . . . CoTherm makes this easy and intuitive to implement. CoTherm does the coupling with much more automation—there is no need for the user to write code or develop scripts to make it work.”

Sample screenshot of CoTherm results analysis. (Image courtesy of ThermoAnalytics.)
Sample screenshot of CoTherm results analysis. (Image courtesy of ThermoAnalytics.)

As it stands in this initial release, CoTherm is capable of coupling with STAR-CCM+ and Fluent to run fluid flow simulations, importing and exporting thermal information such as boundary temperature profiles, heat transfer coefficients and fluid temperatures. This information can then be coupled to a transient thermal analysis model in TAITherm, which then updates the boundary conditions and passes it back to the CFD, all in a loop controlled by the CoTherm GUI.

ThermoAnalytics has plans to increase the number of directly supported packages in future releases, introducing FEA, 1D and other CAE tools. However, as a starting selection, two widely used CFD packages alongside ThermoAnalytics’ TAITherm is a solid offering.

For more on ThermoAnalytics, read this release note.

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