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What's New in FLOW-3D Version 10

Version 10.0 is a major advance for FLOW-3D, featuring finite element-based fluid structure interaction and thermal stress evolution models, plus a lot more. Read brief summaries about these two models and the many other new developments available now in FLOW-3D v10 below.

Contact us to find out how you can purchase or lease the new version of FLOW-3D.

New Models and Features

Fluid structure interaction (FSI) model

Deformation of a steel container (magnified 400x) in response to pressure waves from a controlled detonation inside.

The fluid structure interaction model describes fully-coupled interaction between fluid and solid using a finite element approach to model stresses and deformations in solid components in response to pressure forces from the surrounding fluid, thermal gradients, and specified constraints. Currently, the model is limited to small deformations.


Development Focus: Fluid Structure Interaction

Material Properties Database

Thermal stress evolution (TSE) model

Thermal Stress Evolution model in FLOW-3D version 10.0.
Von Mises stresses in the solidified aluminum V6 engine block.

The thermal stress evolution model describes the evolution of stresses and deformations in metal during cooling. Stresses are simultaneously computed in the mold and in solidifying metal with simple options for the interaction between them.


Development Focus: Fluid Structure Interaction

Casting applications using the Thermal Stress Evolution Model


Optional solid properties database

An optional Material Properties Database (MPDB) contains temperature-dependent properties for a vast array of solid materials, complementing the Fluid Structure Interaction and Thermal Stress Evolution models.

JAHM Software's material properties database software provides easy access to over 2,600 materials and 21,000 sets of temperature-dependent data for elastic modulus, thermal expansion, thermal conductivity, S-N fatigue curves, stress-strain curves, and more. JAHM has been customized to work seamlessly with FLOW-3D version 10 and above and will be sold as a separate module from FLOW-3D.

Solidification shrinkage models

The simple solidification shrinkage model (formerly rapid solidification shrinkage model) has been extended to work with multi-block meshes. It can also be applied to tilt pour and centrifugal castings. The dynamic shrinkage model has been reinstated, thanks to improvements in its accuracy and convergence.

Cast iron solidification model in FLOW-3D version 10
Carbide (red) and graphite (blue) rich areas in a solidified gray iron casting.

Iron solidification model

The cast iron solidification model describes eutectic and near-eutectic solidification of cast irons, coupled with the simple solidification shrinkage model. The formation of austenite, graphite and carbide phases is also predicted.


Development Focus: Cast Iron Solidification Model

Granular flow model (including sand core blowing)

The granular flow model describes the behavior of granular media. In particular, it allows users to model the sand core shooting process.

Granular flow model in FLOW-3D version 10
A partially-filled sand core. Remaining air pockets are shown in blue.



Development Focus: A Continuum Model for High Concentration Granular Media

Simulating Sand Core Processes with FLOW-3D


Permeable mold model

A new 'Permeable Mold' property of a geometry component, in combination with the adiabatic bubble model, allows users to include the escape of air through porous sand molds during filling without the need to use the porous media flow model. This addition complements the existing valve model, often used when modeling the high pressure die casting filling.

Surface wave generator additions

Random waves generated by a sustained wind at open sea.

Several additions went into the surface wave generator model. A solution based on Fourier series extends the wave generation capability to all periodic non-linear waves. Tsunami waves can be simulated using a solitary wave model, and a random wave generator creates realistic wave conditions at open sea. Finally, a periodic wave profile can be used to define fluid initial conditions to speed up the approach to a steady-state wave pattern.

Solitary wave generator - animation shows a solitary wave hitting a structure.



Development Focus: New Wave Generators


The definition of the wind shear at the surface of a reservoir has been extended to include time-dependent conditions.

Shallow water model additions

The shallow water model now includes separate models for laminar and turbulent flows, and a way to define Earth rotation by simply defining the latitude. The additions extend the use of the model to large scale flows.

Redesign of mass and mass/momentum source models

The mass and mass/momentum source models have been redesigned so that properties, such as fluid type, density and temperature, mass or volume flow rate, can be defined for individual sources, greatly enhancing the capabilities of the model.

Moisture drying model in FLOW-3D version 10
Remaining areas of stiff wet sand after core drying process by hot air. Courtesy of BMW.

Moisture drying model

Two models are now available to describe the evolution of moisture in porous components. A simpler, isothermal model is suitable for sand molds and cores during filling and solidification. The second option uses a more sophisticated two-phase liquid/gas model and is designed to simulate the drying process of porous materials such as paper, fabric and sand cores.


Application Note: How Paper Drying Became Sand Core Drying


Solid solute dissolution model in FLOW-3D version 10
Streamlines, colored by dissolved salt concentration, in flow over a solid block of salt (gray).

Solid solute dissolution model

The model describes the dissolution of solid solute, such as rock salt or crystals of a medication, in the surrounding liquid. The density of the brine is altered according to the local solute concentration to include buoyancy effects.


Development Focus: Sweet Application using the Salt Dissolution CFD Model in FLOW-3D


Van Genuchten model for unsaturated flow in porous media

The Van Genuchten model enhances the capabilities of the unsaturated porous media model by expanding the pressure-saturation functions available to the user.

Baffle definition using STL files

Baffle definition using STL files
Baffle representation after processing STL data.

STL files can now be used to define baffles, providing the means to create complex, and thin, geometry. The STL data is converted to the standard stair-step representation of baffles.

Contact line pinning

Droplets sitting on a rough surface may have the contact line 'pinned' due to surface imperfections, instead of moving in response to external forces. This can be achieved in a simulation by using a special type of phantom component, IFOB(n)=1.

Temperature slip model in FLOW-3D version 10.0
Temperature distibution in liquid and gas phases during sloshing. 1.Initial temperature distribution. 2.Temperature distribution after 10 oscillations, t=15 s, standard model. 3.Temperature distribution after 10 oscillations, t=15 s, temperature slip model.

Temperature slip at liquid/gas interface

FLOW-3D uses a one-temperature approach to modeling two-fluid problems. This may result in excessive numerical diffusion of temperature at the interface between the two fluids, especially when the thermal boundary layer is not resolved by the mesh. The new temperature slip model (similar to the existing velocity slip model) greatly reduces numerical diffusion, improving the accuracy which is particularly important in liquid/gas sloshing problem with phase change.


SMP parallelization

SMP parallelization of the solver, based on OpenMP technology, has been extended to most physical and numerical models, including the General Moving Objects model and all VOF models.


Development Focus: Parallelizing FLOW-3D using OpenMP

SMP parallel scaling in FLOW-3D version 10
SMP parallelization of FLOW-3D's physical and numerical models.

Simplified definition of cooling channels

Cooling channels can now be defined using a special type of geometry subcomponents called 'Cooling channel', simplifying the set up process by eliminating the use of void pointers. Three types of cooling channels can be defined, identified by the heat transfer coefficient to the die. Each subcomponent can define multiple cooling channels of the same type.

Reduced pressure noise at curved wall surfaces

The parameter that controls the cutoff value for the FAVOR quantities such as area and volume fractions, EPS, is now an input parameter in the namelist LIMITS. The default value is 0.01 meaning that any cell volume or face blocked less than 1% is assumed fully open. Conversely, any cell volume or face blocked more than 99% is assumed fully blocked. Reducing the value of EPS may help achieve more accurate pressure solution near walls, which is useful when accurate evaluation of forces acting on solid objects is of primary importance. EPS is accessible from the GUI's Numerics tab, under Stability factors and is called FAVOR tolerance.

Ability to change the number of SMP threads at runtime

The ability to change some numerical parameters at runtime has been available in FLOW-3D for some time. In this release the number of parallel threads to the list of these parameters has been added. As long as a parallel token has been checked out at the beginning of a simulation, the user can change the number of cores used by the solver without even pausing it, providing more flexibility in the use of the computer resources.

Viewing initial conditions for restart simulations

The prpgrf file for restart simulations, created by running the pre-processor now contains the data extracted from the restart source file rather than from the prepin file, making it easier to view the actual initial conditions for restarts.

Switched to Intel FORTRAN compiler version 11.1 on Linux and Windows

Users involved in solver customizations should update their compilers accordingly.

New Output

Flow tracers

Flow tracers for CFD visualization
A flow tracer (red) originating at a flux surface.

Flow tracers can be introduced at flux surface to enhance flow visualization. Each flux surface can introduce a unique tracer, while a combined tracer provides a view of all tracers at the same time.

Graphical Users Interface (GUI)

Object names

All objects in Meshing & Geometry, e.g., components, mesh blocks and baffles, can be given names for easier identification during setup.

Disabling geometry components

Components and subcomponents can be disabled during setup without the need to completely delete them from the input. This allows users to easily temporarily remove and then add geometric features without having to reenter all the related data.

Removal of initial and boundaries tabs

The Initial and Boundaries tabs were removed and their functionalities integrated into the Meshing & Geometry tab.

Help links added to all physics dialogs

Help links to on-line documentation have been added to all Physics dialogs.

Capability to determine what makes a control active (or inactive)

By selecting a control (radio button, edit box, etc.) with <ctrl>left-click, the requirements needed to make the control active (or selectable) can be determined.

Capability to import CSV files

The capability has been added to import CSV files for both time and temperature dependent tables.

Re-organization of the prepin file

The prepin file is now rewritten into a more logical and readable format.

Capability to specify temperature units

Temperature units can now be specified in Model Setup and for analyzing results.

Capability to save probe points

Probe points are saved to the clipboard and can be used to create Valves, History Probes, Fluid Pointers and Void Pointers.

Saving simulations

It is no longer required to save a simulation before editing the simulation or before switching to another simulation.

Tree structure enhancements

The state of all tree structures are now saved and restored for each simulation. To enhance tree traversal, Expand and Collapse functions have been implemented in all tree structures.

Graphics settings saved in Model Setup

Camera angles, colors, and transparency settings are now saved and restored for each simulation on the Meshing & Geometry tab.

Visualization enhancements in Model Setup

The capability was added to view the finite element mesh used for the FSI and TSE models. Mass momentum sources, valves, history probes, and sampling volumes can now be visualized on the Meshing & Geometry tab.

Perspective view

In addition to orthographic view, perspective view is now available on both the Meshing & Geometry and Display tabs.


Ability to process output from FLOW-3D and FLOW-3D/MP

Output files created by both SMP and MPI parallel version of the FLOW-3D solver can now be postprocessed using the same interface and postprocessor.

Multiple color variable selection

In 3D visualization, it is now possible to select more than one color variable on the Analyze tab. Then, on the Display tab, any of those color variables can be displayed without having to return to re-render from the Analyze tab.

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