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Editor’s Pick: COMSOL Multiphysics Update Available Soon

Tony Lockwood

Dear DE Reader:

We live in a multiple physics universe that you designers and engineers have to deal with, which is probably the most “duh” statement you’ll hear today. Equally as obvious is that multiple physics couplings are now a capability that you rely on, but it wasn’t always that way.

COMSOL has been at the forefront of multiphysics analyses for years now. At its recent user conference, COMSOL previewed enhancements coming out in version 5.3a of its COMSOL Multiphysics suite of physics-based modeling and simulation software, as well as its COMSOL Server platform for distributing, managing and running simulation apps. Attendees got to test drive many of the new features. Here’s a peek at some of what’s in store.

The COMSOL Acoustics tools get a boost in this release, which should be music to the ears of those who are using them to design audio equipment, manage noisy vibrations in electric vehicle interiors and what have you. A highlight here is new hybrid BEM-FEM (boundary element method-finite element method) technology.

COMSOL Multiphysics 5.3a's new hybrid BEM-FEM technology was used to model the sound pressure level surrounding this vented speaker. BEM-FEM modeling required 125k finite elements, 20k boundary elements and 250k degrees of freedom. Using finite elements alone would have required a half billion elements for the same accuracy, according to COMSOL. Image courtesy of COMSOL, Inc.

COMSOL Multiphysics 5.3a introduces a hybrid BEM-FEM (boundary element method-finite element method) technology for studying acoustics and acoustic-structure interactions with greater efficiency than finite elements alone. Image courtesy of COMSOL, Inc.

What the BEM-FEM capability lets you do is compute acoustics phenomena as well as acoustic-structure interactions with far less computational overhead than finite elements analyses need to do the job and without a sacrificing analytic accuracy. But more importantly, the BEM-FEM methodology gives you the tools to analyze the acoustic frequencies from way low, glass-shattering bass notes to ultrasounds. You’ll be able to use the BEM-FEM method with any of the multiple physics couplings in the COMSOL suite, giving you modeling power on steroids.

At a Glance: COMSOL Multiphysics and COMSOL Server 5.3a

  • Upcoming release of multiphysics platform for physics-based modeling and simulation.
  • New hybrid BEM-FEM technology efficiently computes acoustics and acoustic-structure interactions.
  • Handles the full range of acoustic frequencies from basses to ultrasound.
  • New impulse response for ray acoustics; shape memory alloy materials for structural analysis.
  • New method for capacitively-coupled plasma simulations.

Learn more here.

For those of you into electromagnetics modeling with the COMSOL AC/DC module, a version of the BEM-FEM capability will provide for magnetostatics simulations of thin structures, conductors, shieldings and things like that.

COMSOL Multiphysics 5.3a will also introduce enhancements for CFD (computational fluid dynamics), plasma and structural modeling and simulations. For RF (radio frequency) and microwave analyses, there will be an additional 60-plus substrate material properties available, and the COMSOL Material Library will see 50 new materials and 1,300 new material properties.

Version 5.3a of COMSOL Multiphysics and the COMSOL Server platform will be available in the fourth quarter of this year, according to the company. Hit today’s Editor’s Pick of the Week to learn a bit more. Make sure to take in a few videos to see what Multiphysics can do for you, and then stop by the COMSOL blog to see what people are talking about.

Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, DE

About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Digital Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@digitaleng.news.