Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is the use of computer programs to solve problems in fluid flow. While it might seem like a simple task to calculate if a certain design will be powerful enough to lift a specific object, building a solid understanding of CFD is a lot more involved than you might think. It encompasses the knowledge of several complicated topics, such as OpenFOAM pipe flow. This is why we’re here – to help you get there. In this article, we will try to introduce you to some of the most important roles and responsibilities of a CFD engineer so that you can prepare yourself mentally and skills:
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a computational method that uses mathematical equations to predict the flow of fluids. Fluids can be gases, liquids or any other material that has mass and viscosity. The idea behind CFD is to solve a set of differential equations that describe how the fluid flows in space and time.
CFD engineers are responsible for developing codes for solving or analysing problems related to fluid dynamics. They also create computer models which can be exported into a CFD software package such as ANSYS or Fluent. The CFD engineer must be able to write code in at least two languages: C++/C# and MATLAB/Python.
- CAD preparation
The CAD engineer prepares preliminary engineering drawings for their projects using CAD software such as AutoCAD or SolidWorks. These drawings include all relevant information such as schematics, technical specifications, parts list and bill of materials (BOM). The CAD engineer also creates templates for shop drawings such as those used by engineering firms with large-scale manufacturing processes.
- Design changes
Computational fluid dynamics engineers use numerical models to simulate the flow of fluids through different experimental setups. They are also able to design new experiments based on results from previous ones. For example, a CFD engineer could use the knowledge gained from analysing an experiment to design a new one that might reveal even more information about that particular problem.
CFD engineers can also take their models and run them again with different input conditions or configurations, or settings to see what happens if they run them differently. This is called post-processing, and it’s useful for finding out how certain things affect your simulation results. It’s much better than just running your simulation once and then looking at your results; by running it multiple times (or several simulations), you can get a better idea of how many variables are affecting your model and how those variables change over time.
- Writing Wrapper – GUI
A computational fluid dynamics engineer will be responsible for writing the code for the wrapper, which is a user interface that allows users to interact with the simulation and view results. The engineer will also be responsible for writing reports and documentation that describe how to use the wrapper.
A very important step in CFD is meshing the geometry, which is a process where you take your data and try to create a model of it. This can be very time-consuming, especially when dealing with large datasets. You need to be able to visualise your data to make sense of it.
Depending on the complexity of the model you’re trying to create, different methods can be used for meshing. A simple approach would be using polygonal meshes (i.e., triangles), whereas more complex models may require more advanced methods like NURBS surfaces (e.g., quadrilaterals).