Design & SimulationMay 13, 2021

Simulating Compressible Flows with PowerFLOW

Fluid dynamics are an important part of simulation in the aerospace industry.…
Avatar Clare Scott

Fluid dynamics are an important part of simulation in the aerospace industry. It is extremely important to be able to evaluate how air will flow over and around an airplane, changing depending on the aircraft’s design, shape and speed. One branch of fluid dynamics deals with compressible flows, which are defined as flows that have significant changes in fluid density.

Compressible flows come into play when aircraft reach speeds of Mach 0.3 and higher. They have historically been difficult to simulate with Lattice-Boltzmann methods because they were originally developed for the incompressible flows that occur at lower speeds. More recently, however, those methods have been extended to cover higher Mach numbers, such as those achieved by modern commercial aircraft, high-speed trains, or even supersonic aircraft and rockets, etc.

SIMULIA PowerFLOW technology enables compressible scale-resolving simulations for industrial applications up to Mach 2. PowerFLOW is a differentiated Lattice-Boltzmann solver whose high order scheme is capable of recovering compressible fluid dynamics while maintaining computational efficiency. Coupling to a newly developed Lattice-Boltzmann based energy equation ensures exact energy conservation.

As aircraft are being designed to be faster than ever before, it is increasingly important for engineers to be able to simulate compressible flows with ease and accuracy. Commercial supersonic aircraft have not flown since 2003; however, engineers are currently working on developing supersonic aircraft that do not create a sonic boom. Sonic booms were the reason that commercial supersonic flight has not been allowed in more recent years, but if that issue could be eliminated, we could potentially see a future of ultra-fast air travel. Achieving this goal is only one example of why the accurate and efficient simulation of compressible flows is so important.

In the e-seminar Lattice-Boltzmann Simulations for Compressible Flows, SIMULIA Fluids Industry Process Expert Benjamin Duda will be discussing compressible flows and how PowerFLOW is instrumental in their simulation. The e-seminar will introduce the concept, definition and examples of compressible and transonic flows. After some background on macro vs. mesoscopic description of fluids, Benjamin will discuss the necessary extensions in the Lattice-Boltzmann methods that allow accounting for compressible and transonic flows, or figuratively speaking: breaking the sound barrier of LBM.

The e-seminar will also present some validation examples of compressible flows, including some fundamentals such as nozzle flows and compressible shear layers, as well as more industrially relevant cases from the airframe and turbomachinery field.

SIMULIA PowerFLOW is well-positioned to be a leader in the simulation of compressible flows, thanks to its easy mesh generation and fast turnaround times, its ability to handle complex geometries and its accuracy due to its proprietary VLES turbulence model.  The use of PowerFLOW can reduce the number of expensive physical tests that would otherwise be required to measure compressible flows, eliminating the need for wind tunnels and allowing fully virtual testing. It also enables simulation-driven design decisions by offering insight into flow physics that are inaccessible during physical tests.

The e-seminar will be taking place on May 19th at 11:00 AM EST, and will be available on-demand after the live event has ended. Click here for more information and to register.

SIMULIA offers an advanced simulation product portfolio, including AbaqusIsightfe-safeToscaSimpoe-MoldSIMPACKCST Studio SuiteXFlowPowerFLOW and more. The SIMULIA Community is the place to find the latest resources for SIMULIA software and to collaborate with other users. The key that unlocks the door of innovative thinking and knowledge building, the SIMULIA Community provides you with the tools you need to expand your knowledge, whenever and wherever.

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