Mechanical

Fanny Littmarck | January 2, 2013

Transistors are building blocks of electronic appliances, and can be found in radios, computers, and calculators, to name a few. When working with electrical systems you typically have to deal with heat transfer; electric heating is often an unwanted result of current conduction. Is a heat sink mounting necessary to keep the transistor cool, or can it manage without? Let’s have a look at power transistors from a heat transfer perspective.

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Fanny Littmarck | December 28, 2012

The Pratt truss is one of several different types of truss bridge designs out there. Said to be the oldest type of modern bridge, the truss is simple and lends itself well to analysis. This type of bridge is typically constructed for the use of pedestrians, cars, trucks, trains, and pipelines.

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Fanny Littmarck | December 25, 2012

This holiday season most of us will have burned our fair share of candles. The flickering light of candles can really enhance the ambiance and put you in festive spirits. This reminds me of an analysis of a burning candle developed by AltaSim Technologies back in 2010. So, in tune with the holiday cheer, here are some candle physics.

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Valerio Marra | December 21, 2012

The winter here in Boston has been very mild so far. A few days I would even have liked to have the air conditioning back on. I checked in with one my colleagues to check if he was having an equally hard time staying cool, and to my surprise, he was not. Why? He had constructed a make-shift air conditioner (A/C).

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Fanny Littmarck | December 12, 2012

A while back, I wrote about permanent magnet generators and how they generate electricity upon being set in motion. When browsing the papers from our conference in Bangalore, one on the topic of ultrasonic micro motors caught my eye. These motors are electromechanical in nature and instead initiate motion with the application of an electric voltage. Furthermore, these motors are miniaturized to fit a micro-scale environment.

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Andrew Griesmer | December 10, 2012

The latest version of COMSOL Multiphysics features a brand new way to use COMSOL. With LiveLink™ for Excel® you can modify and run COMSOL models in Microsoft Excel® 2007 or 2010. This combines the familiarity of Excel® with the physics simulation capabilities of COMSOL. Thus, making it easy for users of Excel to run multiphysics simulation without operating COMSOL themselves. A new LiveLink™ for Excel® video tutorial demonstrates the powerful combination. In the video, the main features to help you […]

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Phil Kinnane | November 27, 2012

Many of the engineers and scientists that we collaborate with have been in the game for years. All of them are great experts in the applications that they want to model, and many of them are also proficient at computer science — it was not unusual that the first model or simulation of their application was a few lines of code they wrote themselves. Moreover, in a number of situations I’ve come across their application has been so specific that […]

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Fanny Littmarck | November 20, 2012

Reducing the amount of plastic used in the production of bottled water would both help companies save on packaging costs and be more sustainable. That seems easy enough, until you consider the fact that during storage and transportation, the bottles are stacked on top of one another. With a lot of bottles comes a lot of mechanical load. How can companies reduce the amount of plastic without compromising the structure of the bottles?

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Fanny Littmarck | November 12, 2012

December of 1903 marked the commencement of the Age of Powered Flight, and the Wright brothers went down in history. This was a time before personal computers and simulation software existed. Determining the optimal design of their airplane had to be done using physical prototypes and real-life experiments. What had the design looked like if the Wright brothers had been able to use computers and modeling software? Three researchers from Pennsylvania State University sought to find out how the design […]

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Fanny Littmarck | October 26, 2012

Out of all metals, the most frequently extruded is aluminum. Aluminum extrusion entails using a hydraulic ram to squeeze an aluminum bar through a die. This process will form the metal into a particular shape. Extruded aluminum is used in many manufacturing applications, such as building components for example. The process of shaping metal alloys, like aluminum, can be modeled using COMSOL Multiphysics.

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Phil Kinnane | October 8, 2012

The release of COMSOL Multiphysics version 4.3a introduces the Fatigue Module to the world of multiphysics modeling. As the diagram below shows, the Fatigue Module is used to perform structural fatigue life computations for both strain-based and stressed-based fatigue. Since the release, I’ve come to realize that this has been a sought-after product for COMSOL users. But why should you simulate fatigue?

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