5 examples of curious applications of CFD tools


To say that CFD technology is increasingly applied to a greater number of fields in the technology industry is nothing new. For decades, CFD has been used in the aerospace, aeronautical, marine, automotive and general manufacturing industries. Traditionally, CFD (and FEM) studies have been used to perform fluid-dynamic, thermal, transport phenomenon, structural calculations … applied to a multitude of industrial elements.

In recent years, the performance of CFD studies has grown exponentially, so that today they are applied to all kind of elements. In this blog post we will cite some of them and see why they are useful in each field in question.


Evaluation of tensions in the human jaw.

In medicine and bioengineering in general, CFD is widely used to obtain information on human behaviour in the face of certain circumstances or the design of prostheses. Within this broad field, and more specifically in that of dentistry, we can cite the study called “Simulación y evaluación de tensiones en la mandíbula humana ” by Orlando Pelliccioni and Miguel Cerrolaza carried out in 2017.

In this study, they evaluate, using finite elements, the stresses and deformations suffered by the temporomandibular joint and the jaw when making bite patterns typical of the human being. The study leads to interesting conclusions about the unilateral bite pattern.


Analysis of the blades in UAV.

In terms of drones and unmanned aerial vehicles, CFD studies are also gaining more and more presence thanks to the versatility of them to optimize designs. In this case we will cite the publication called “CFD Analysis of two and four blades for multirotor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle” by Héctor Guillermo Parra, Victor Daniel Angulo and Elvis Eduardo Gaona from 2018.

In this case, they use CFD tools to analyse the velocity and pressure fields, as well as the turbulent kinetic energy and the vorticity of a UAV when it has blades made up of 2 or 4 blades. In this way they can analyse the advantages and disadvantages of one configuration compared to the other


Propagation of blast waves.

The use of CFD also has a place in the field of explosion analysis. This is a field where carrying out experimental measurements usually has a very high cost and it is not usually feasible to carry them out on a large scale given the danger of this phenomenology. It is true that there are theoretical models to analyse explosions and specific design regulations to prevent them, the CFD is a tool that applied to this field can complement these theoretical models.

As an application example, we will cite the study “Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for Blast Wave Propagation under Structure” by Arif S. M. Sohaimi et al. from 2016 that compare the results of experimental explosions with those simulated by CFD.


Evaluation of the probability of contagion of Covid-19.

A very topical field where the use of CFDs is being very useful is the analysis of the spread of COVID-19. In this field, simulations of all kinds have been observed in recent months, either to determine the effectiveness of masks when performing simulations with or without them; determine the minimum safe distance when simulating a person breathing in front of another while walking; determine the spread of the virus in a place with different ventilation conditions and a long etcetera.

In this case, as a specific example, we cite the news published by the Aragón university engineering research institute “Simulación numérica de la probabilidad de contagio de COVID-19 usando CFD”.

In this publication it is observed how they determine the probability of contagion in a university teaching classroom where there is an infected person in different ventilation conditions, in addition to analysing how the probability of contagion varies when the infected person is a student or a teacher.


Elements present in our day to day.

Finally, we would like to mention those CFD studies applied to elements that we find in any house today and not for that reason they are not worth studying.

An example of this could be the case study of ventilation of a pc that appears in another entry of our blog or the fluid-dynamic study of a toilet.

In relation to the latter, the article “Using CFD in the Design Process of a Toilet Bowl” by António Gameiro Lopes and Victor Costa from 2018 is a great example of toilet optimization.

In it, they carry out a first phase of validation / calibration between simulation and experimental tests of a base toilet and then they carry out the simulation of an optimized toilet where they achieve a design with a more uniform water distribution that leads to a flusher rate coming down.

Of course, this is all just a small sample of CFD applications. Today the versatility offered by the use of finite element techniques is so high that it can be applied to thousands of elements whose physical phenomenology is desired to know.

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