FEA Solver, Results Viewing Tool & Vibro-Aeroacoustic comes to STAR-CCM+
Shawn Wasserman posted on March 24, 2015 |
STAR-Global conference relates what’s new in CD-adapco’s simulation portfolio

CD-adapco announces FEA Solver

FEA solver expected in version 10.04.

Viscous solver expected in 10.06.

The STAR-Global Conference 2015 (SGC15) was marked with the announcement of a new release of STAR-CCM+ version 10, an FEA solver, and a new vibro-aeroacoustic product dubbed Wave6

Perhaps the biggest news is that STAR-CCM+ will be diving deeper into structural analysis with version 10.04’s Finite Element Analysis (FEA) solver.

This FEA solver has got Jean-Claude Ercolanelli, CD-adapco VP of product management, quite excited.

“Solid mechanics is a big breakthrough. We have had mechanics in STAR-CCM+ before, but this was based on finite volume analysis (FVA) which is not suitable for solving all structural problems,” Ercolanelli said.

Matthew Godo, product manager at CD-adapco, was particularly impressed with the FEA solver’s ease of use, noting how moving between the physics is done automatically under the STAR-CCM+ hood.

“Ease of use is a big deal for our structural solver. Moving from the structural finite element or finite volume solver to computational fluid analysis is, pun intended, fluid,” joked Godo. “And coupling the solvers together opens up the doors to many other physics such as non-Newtonian viscous flows, and fluids with memory.”

STAR-CCM+ users were quite happy with the addition of FEA to the tool. “I’m excited about the interactions between FEA & CFD,” said Ben Kenney of the Research Engineering, HTAD Team at Dana Holding Corporation. “Currently, we need to get two software to talk to each other and it can be hard to get the map of one to work with the map of the other. Getting all the solid/fluid interactions into one software is beneficial.”

User Hans Jørgen B. Mørch, managing director at CFD Marine, agreed with Kenney. “I appreciate the efficiency of adding physics to meet customer interests,” he said. “This year will highlight the expectation of structural analysis just as previous years’ updates of contact forces between solids and fluids.”

New Aero-Vibro-acoustic CAE software wave6

wave6 examples.

The keynote event of SGC15 was capped with a short announcement of the  aero-vibro-acoustic simulation software, wave6. In subsequent talks, CD-adapco VP, Phil Shorter went into more details of the software.

He explained that even though wave6 will be a separate product, it would complement its bigger CFD cousin. The software takes the unsteady surface pressures and predicts the transmission of flow induced noise and vibrations through complex structures.

“This is an important application for many of our customers. From the presentations at SGC15 you can see we've been collaborating with key customers to ensure the software is validated. We wouldn't have been able to simulate these types of problems five to 10 years ago. The introduction of new analysis methods along with the the ability to perform large detailed CFD analysis, is opening up many new applications,” said Shorter.

However, as STAR-CCM+ can perform some acoustic simulations, there was some confusion at the conference as to when wave6 is applicable. The confusion may have been further propagated with a few slides comparing results from wave6 and STAR-CCM+.

In addition to the acoustic simulations performed by STAR-CCM+, “wave6 can also be used to account for installation effects in aero-acoustic applications” Shorter explained. “For example, we can use wave6 and STAR-CCM+ to simulate sound radiated from fans and propellers and account for the way the sound is modified by the presence of nearby structures and acoustic treatments.”

STAR-View+ Improves Collaboration view Results without STAR-CCM+

Another interesting tool released in 10.02, STAR-View+, will help to improve collaboration. This tool allows engineers to share their simulations with ease; STAR-View+ will be able to open and view simulations without requiring any licenses.

The viewer can move the 3D images around and focus on the points that interest them the most. Additionally, the tool has the ability to share the 3D images in PowerPoint, so get ready to impress some executives.

“The ability of STAR-View+ to share results in a scene is very powerful,” said Sr. engineer Romuald Laqua of ACCESS Technology. “This is especially true for transient results. Instead of sharing a video with a set view, the customer can have more control on what the shared results can show them. This is useful for our product STAR-case, which always works with transient results.”

CD-adapco Top Brass’ Top Improvements of STAR-CCM+ Version 10

This year’s first release of STAR-CCM+, version 10.02, was launched this past February. The next releases, versions 10.04 and 10.06, will be available in June and October, respectively.

NIck Appleyard is the general manager and VP of the Americas sector at CD-adapco. His favorite improvements in version 10 is the focus on Multidisciplinary Design Exploration (MDX).

“MDX allows teams to add simulations to their designs quickly in the development cycle,” Appleyard said. “The Heeds platform is a plug-in tool that uses a flowchart to represent your design. It allows your simulation to be hooked into other platforms (like MATLAB, or Excel), control systems, structural dynamics, and more. This platform also offers optimization algorithms which are automatically chosen to fit your problem. Users can even connect to CAD and control it natively.”

Many of Ercolanelli’s favorite advancements in version 10 have to do with productivity. “A major pillar of this release is reducing computational time,” he said. “If teams can get results faster, then they can collect more results and test more variations. This allows for further explanation of the design space hence better design decisions. You get more confidence in your decisions.”

A significant time saving addition to version 10 Ercolanelli mentioned is large scale interfaces and free surfaces. The large scale interface will resolve the different flow regimes in a multiphase flow. This will reduce the number of cells needed to solve a traditional VOF multiphase problem. As for free surfaces, he said it will choose the optimal model to solve your problem automatically from Lagrangian to thin films.

Godo explained that two of his favorite timesaving features of version 10 include the improved data mapping, and GPU utilization. “Different physics loads require different meshes, this necessitates a mapping step that can become a bottleneck in sophisticated models,” he said. “The new release, however, can have an order of magnitude improvements in data mapping of large models.”

Godo added, “large models have also had problems rendering in the past, but now version 10 uses GPU’s for exactly what they are designed to do; graphics. You will no longer need to refresh your model when you interact with it.”

STAR-CCM+ Version 10 takes User Feedback to Heart

Pillars of improvement for STAR-CCM+ 10.

Some users of STAR-CCM+ have had concerns about the size of the files produced by the software. These users cited the continuous need to purge unnecessary data, purchase storage, or zip files.

Godo explained that by zipping a file, users will be able to reduce file sizes by a factor of two to three. However, he expressed that this level of reduction isn’t sufficient to meet the needs of these users.

“To solve their issues with storage they will typically need to reduce file size by one to two orders of magnitude,” he explained. “Typically, STAR-CCM+ files are large because they store the full simulation history of the object’s volume. This was intended to maximize the flexibility of post-processing. However, this has become cost prohibitive for said data manipulation and disk space.”

He added: “In the future, the idea will be to give users the option to save just the boundary (10.04 release) or surface results (10.06 release). This will account for the one to two orders of magnitude space reduction the users need. The files will also load in a snap, as opposed to loading the old files which signal a coffee break.”

Similarly, users were also concerned about the versioning of their simulations. Work on the latest versions of the design is imperative to ensure no mistakes and design flaws creep back into the design. However, this could prove difficult to STAR-CCM+’s binary data nature.

Fortunately, Godo explains the benefits offered by a new feature called Reload. “This function ensures that anytime you revise your file a backup will be saved,” he said, “The intent is to easily pull up this backup to start up a new design path or to assess the design decisions. Regardless, the feature will ensure that only one file will be needed with the latest design versions, and all previous versions intact.”

It seems CD-adapco is doing right by its users. For instance, Erwin Schnell has been using CD-adapco’s products for over 25 years. Its ease of use for engineering processes is what has kept him a loyal customer for so long. He said, “STAR-CD is software build from engineers for engineers. It’s not just a software, it’s an engineering process.”

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