Studying the Thermal Performance of Phase Change Materials

Bridget Paulus September 18, 2017

Maintaining an even temperature for buildings in hot climates often requires a lot of energy. One option for improving thermal performance is by including phase change materials (PCMs) in parts of the building. To study the effectiveness of PCMs in regulating temperature, researchers used the COMSOL Multiphysics® software to model a novel plaster that includes a PCM. They then analyzed the thermal performance of the PCM-enhanced plaster and compared the results with a reference plaster.

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Bridget Paulus August 29, 2017

Nonconducting film (NCF) is an emerging underfill adhesive technology used to assemble electronic components in the microelectronics industry. Optimizing the NCF material and process can be difficult, as they must achieve a fast bonding time, high degree of cure, and correct underfill fillet shape. Achieving a successful bond depends on the interaction between the material’s chemorheology and the bonding process parameters. To understand these interactions, Veryst Engineering simulated the flow and cure on an NCF during the thermocompression bonding process.

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Bridget Paulus June 8, 2017

Solar-grade silicon is becoming more popular for applications such as communications and photovoltaics. While it’s important to keep up with this growing demand, the current method of producing solar-grade silicon is energy intensive and expensive. To find a more efficient process, researchers at JPM Silicon GmbH explored a novel method using a microwave furnace. By simulating the internal processes, they aim to optimize their microwave furnace design to produce low-cost solar-grade silicon.

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Bridget Paulus February 6, 2017

If bubbles in a microfluidic device become stuck, it can cause the device to malfunction. Bubble entrapment depends on several factors, including the geometry and flow characteristics of the microchannel, as well as the surface properties of its walls. To study these aspects, Veryst Engineering modeled a bubble in a microchannel using the COMSOL Multiphysics® software. Today, we look at their results, which shed light on the device geometries and contact angles that lead to bubble entrapment.

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Bridget Paulus January 16, 2017

When a pipe springs a leak, it’s important to find its location with a quick and accurate method. Engineers at Echologics — a Mueller Technologies Company — use a combination of acoustic sensors and simulation applications to pinpoint such leaks. Sebastien Perrier of Echologics discussed the benefits of this approach and gave a live demonstration of an acoustics modeling app during his keynote talk at the COMSOL Conference 2016 Boston. If you missed Sebastien’s presentation, you can watch it below.

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Bridget Paulus November 29, 2016

Transdermal drug delivery (TDD) patches continuously deliver drugs into the body for a certain amount of time. However, the skin is designed to keep out foreign substances, like drugs. To create a TDD patch that successfully bypasses this barrier, simulation can be used to study drug release and absorption into the skin. To analyze this process, Veryst Engineering created a TDD patch model with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software and compared the results to experimental data.

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Bridget Paulus October 17, 2016

Developing a device that generates nuclear fusion would provide a nearly limitless amount of clean energy on Earth. But while work on thermonuclear fusion began in the 1950s, engineers are still trying to make this goal a reality. One approach has been to use magnetic confinement devices known as tokamaks. See why a group of engineers at MIT’s Plasma Science Fusion Center (PSFC) turned to simulation to address a key challenge in tokamak design: instability due to plasma disruptions.

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Bridget Paulus August 29, 2016

Leon Theremin, a Russian inventor, is best known for creating the theremin as well as the Thing, also called the Great Seal bug. Referred to as the “Russian Edison”, his passion for physics and music fostered the growth of electronic instruments on an international scale. Today, we celebrate the life and accomplishments of this influential figure.

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Bridget Paulus August 9, 2016

We rely on power transformers for everyday tasks, but these devices also create a loud buzzing or humming noise. This sound comes from vibrations in different parts of the transformer and is impossible to eliminate completely. To reduce the noise, a team of engineers at ABB Corporate Research Center simulated the acoustic, electromagnetic, and mechanical behavior in their transformer systems with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software.

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Bridget Paulus August 8, 2016

Imagine a vehicle where you could simply plug in a destination and arrive without ever having to touch the steering wheel. Fully autonomous cars would revolutionize society, benefiting those who already drive and increasing the mobility of those who can’t. While technological advancements have brought us closer to such a reality, there are still many challenges to overcome. Today, we’ll explore the future of autonomous cars and what needs to happen before they can become a viable option.

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Bridget Paulus May 16, 2016

When an electronic device overheats, it risks starting a fire. Cooling components, such as heat sinks, are designed to prevent this, but can’t always keep up with advancing technology. Simulation offers a solution by illustrating how well various heat sink designs conduct heat and how adding elements like manifold microchannels (MMC) improves performance. Today, we’ll explore how an MMC heat sink operates with simulation.

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