Fluid Software STAR-CCM+ Adds Solid Mechanics

Known primarily for CFD, the latest CD-adapco release includes FEA, erosion model and a heat transfer adjoint solver.

CD-adapco has included FEA for solid mechanics with the recent version of its flagship CAE software STAR-CCM+. Best known for CFD, adding FEA to STAR-CCM+ will allow users to do stress analysis.

The two solvers, one for CFD and one for FEA, will be fully integrated within the STAR-CCM+ platform and will not require an additional license.

The release represents an effort by CD-adapco to empower analysts and engineers to do multidisciplinary design exploration (MDX).

FEA Comes to STAR-CCM+

“Engineers can now easily bridge the gap between the fluid and structure disciplines within one single user interface and environment,” said Jean-Claude Ercolanelli, Senior VP of Product Management at CD-adapco.

As part of this solution, the FEA solver will be fully compatible with the existing meshing, pre-processing and post-processing tools in STAR-CCM+.

Don’t expect everything at once, however, as the new solver will only release with limited FEA capabilities. In fact, it is currently only able to use linear elastic elements. CD-adapco explains that the solver will expand with other FEA capabilities through the rest of the year and into future releases.

“The finite element solid stress solver allows our users to expand their simulation scope and applications,” said Joel Davison, Lead Product Manager at CD-adapco. “They can study solid stresses and fluid interactions without needing to use multiple tools.”

The addition of FEA aligns with the larger trend in the simulation industry of bringing multiphysics into platforms. For instance, ANSYS, COMSOL and Dassault Systèmes all have similar interactions between their fluid and structural solvers.

Other additions to STAR-CCM+ in version 10.04

The STAR-CCM+ release will also include an erosion model for discrete elements modeling, or DEM. This will be particularly useful for the oil & gas, manufacturing and food & beverage industries that work with slurry flows.

The erosion model will be able to simulate the effects of particle impingement and/or abrasion inside pipes and valves.

“We already had an erosion model for Lagrangian capabilities but this was limited to lighter particle loadings and spherical shapes,” said Davison. “The advantage of the DEM model is that it allows you to have heavy particulate loadings, lots of particle shapes, clumps of particles, and particle-to-particle contacts. So you can more accurately capture the physics.”

An adjoint solver for coupled solid energy is also added in this STAR-CCM+ release. This solid conduction solver can be coupled with the adjoint flow solver for optimizations such as conjugate heat transfers.

“The adjoint solver is a way of providing sensitivity analysis and design exploration in the STAR-CCM+ environment,” explained Davison. “It tells you how changes in the geometry and physics will affect your engineering objectives. The conjugate heat transfer studies how changing geometry and physics can affect the heat transfer between a solid and a fluid.”

The ability to study the design space of solid to liquid heat transfer should be useful to many industries that would need to design heat sinks, including automotive, aerospace and electronics.

Other STAR-CCM+ 10.04 advancements include:

  • Overset with dispersed multiphase model for soiling and icing simulations like windshield wipers
  • CAD-client references, transfers and auto-updates CAD data without opening CAD software
  • Toolbar for macro recordings and usage
  • Concurrent mesh load balancing improves load balancing when parallel meshing between cores
  • Optimate monitor tab gives live updates of MDX optimizations for quick feedback
  • Custom HTML reports for review and comparisons of results without opening simulations
  • Boundary data export saves only the boundaries you need to reduce the size of history files
  • Dynamic fluid body interaction simulations sped up for equilibrium of force and moment
  • 22 new color maps for simulation results
Written by

Shawn Wasserman

For over 10 years, Shawn Wasserman has informed, inspired and engaged the engineering community through online content. As a senior writer at WTWH media, he produces branded content to help engineers streamline their operations via new tools, technologies and software. While a senior editor at Engineering.com, Shawn wrote stories about CAE, simulation, PLM, CAD, IoT, AI and more. During his time as the blog manager at Ansys, Shawn produced content featuring stories, tips, tricks and interesting use cases for CAE technologies. Shawn holds a master’s degree in Bioengineering from the University of Guelph and an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.