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Check it Out: Read What They Didn’t Teach You in Engineering School About Heat Transfer

By Anthony J. Lockwood

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

National InstrumentsToday’s Check It Out offers a white paper that brings to mind what Winston Churchill once said to his cabinet about America: Britain need not worry about the Americans helping them battle the Nazis. The Americans will try everything else first and then do the right thing. Bet that sentiment could hang as an inspirational poster in your cafeteria because so many existing processes in the engineering design and analysis cycle are running fast on that “try everything else first” treadmill. Arguably, designers not using embedded and concurrent CFD (computational fluid dynamics) technology may take the cake.

“What They Didn’t Teach You in Engineering School About Heat Transfer” from Mentor Graphics covers a lot of ground in its 11 pages. The premise here is that CFD is no longer the province of the specialist. Yes, at times you need the CFD wizard. But you no longer need to, say, hire a consultant, do busywork waiting for their report, redesign, re-submit the design, and repeat this loop as a normal part of doing business. Designers can do most of the analyses, saving you a bundle of time and expense.

You may think this boils down to “up front CFD.” But what they are getting at is called “Concurrent CFD,” so an analogy to concurrent engineering is more apt. The new normal advanced here—MCAD-embedded Concurrent CFD—is software-engineered to fit within the designer’s frame of reference. That means you use it intuitively to optimize models and make key decisions as your design evolves. You CAD slingers just need to know your model’s physics, which you do already. The Concurrent CFD will take care of performing the heat transfer analysis.

Taking care of the analysis is where this paper begins. It fits FloEFD CFD simulation software into design. Mentor Graphics gets a tip of my hat because while the paper shows how FloEFD provides an environment that combines all the phases of heat transfer analyses—solid modeling, problem set up, solving, results visualization, optimization, and reporting—it’s not a heavy-handed sales pitch. It just shows you what the software does and what it could mean for you. The writer assumes you’re intelligent.

The second part of the paper has a few brief case studies demonstrating how companies have leveraged FloEFD Concurrent CFD to advance their business. These are interesting discussions, with a couple of them being more technical than expected in such a short paper.

I’m constantly amazed at the ways people use and do not use technology. This paper offers a gateway on how design and mechanical engineers could use Concurrent CFD technology to compress development cycles if only you stopped trying everything else first. Hit the link over there to sign-up for your copy.

Thanks, Pal. – Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering

What They Didn’t Teach You in Engineering School About Heat Transfer

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About the Author

Anthony J. Lockwood's avatar
Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Digital Engineering’s founding editor. He is now retired. Contact him via [email protected].

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