Released May 18, 2011
COMSOL Multiphysics 4.2 represents a significant expansion of the software’s applications, features, and functionality. Version 4.2 empowers current users to do more with their simulation environments, while new industries will now be able to leverage the innovation of multiphysics simulation. With this release, COMSOL continues to deliver on its promise to supply the science and engineering markets with the state-of-the-art simulation products for an expanding set of applications.
The Geomechanics Module is a specialized add-on to the Structural Mechanics Module for simulation of geotechnical applications such as tunnels, excavations, slope stability, and retaining structures. The Module features tailored interfaces to study plasticity, deformation, and failure of soils and rocks, as well as their interaction with concrete and human-made structures.Learn more
LiveLink™ for AutoCAD®
With the new LiveLink for AutoCAD interface you can transfer a 3D geometry from AutoCAD to COMSOL Multiphysics. The synchronized geometry in the COMSOL model stays associative with the geometry in AutoCAD. This means that settings applied to the geometry, like physics or mesh settings, are retained after subsequent synchronizations. The LiveLink interface is also bidirectional to allow you to initiate a change of the AutoCAD geometry from the COMSOL model.Learn more
The Electrodeposition Module brings the power of COMSOL Multiphysics to electrochemical processes for such diverse applications as chrome plating in automotive industry, e-coating, electro-coloring, decorative electroplating, and electrodeposition for PCB manufacturing.Learn more
The Microfluidics Module brings easy-to-use tools for the study of microfluidic devices and rarefied gas flows. Important applications include simulations of lab-on-a-chip devices, digital microfluidics, electrokinetic and magnetokinetic devices, inkjets, and vacuum systems.Learn more
LiveLink for SolidWorks has been extended with a One Window Interface where a SolidWorks user can stay inside of the SolidWorks environment and work synchronously with COMSOL Multiphysics.
When analyzing multiple slightly modified versions of the same part, Coordinate-Based Selections provide a quick way of repeating a simulation without having to change any material settings, boundary conditions or mesh parameters. Coordinate-Based Selections can be parameterized in the same way as geometry objects.
assembly is analyzed:
first with eight mounting
bolts and then with twelve mounting bolts. A coordinate-box selection is used to select all objects within the box and to apply fixed constraints to the eight mounting bolts. In the next step, four mounting bolts have been added and the coordinate-box selection automatically applies the fixed constraints.
The Cap Faces geometry operation makes it easy to cover the ends of fluid channels and subsequently mesh the interior of imported CAD parts. Just select the edges that trace out the surface to be formed. This operation makes for a quicker and easier transition from a purely mechanical model to a fluid or fluid-structure interaction (FSI) model. This feature requires the CAD Import Module or one of the CAD LiveLink products.View Screenshot
Meshing using Virtual Geometry Operations
New Virtual Geometry tools allow for modification of CAD models without changing the underlying surface curvature. By applying the Form Composite Faces operation, a much more useful mesh is produced that accurately represents the surface shape without adding too many elements. COMSOL Multiphysics is furthermore capable of using higher-order elements to represent curved surfaces during analysis.View Screenshot
The new Parametric Surfaces feature allows for creation of surfaces based on analytical expressions or look-up table data. You can tune the resolution of the underlying NURBS surface to enable a more detailed surface representation and finer mesh when called upon.
Time-Dependent Adaptive Mesh Refinement
Two-phase flow simulations can now be solved more efficiently with a new time-dependent adaptive mesh refinement algorithm. In addition to two-phase flow, time-dependent adaptive meshing is available for any time-dependent simulations.
Automatic Remeshing for Moving Meshes
For a simulation that includes a moving mesh, a new automatic remeshing feature makes more extreme deformation states possible. When the mesh is deformed beyond a user-defined mesh quality threshold, the automatic remeshing activates, and the simulation is automatically continued, starting from the new mesh.
Physics Selection in Study Steps
A new Physics Selection utility makes it easy to activate or deactivate select Physics Interfaces during the modeling process. You can use this to control which physics should be considered for a particular study step.View Screenshot
Convergence Plot for Solvers
Convergence plots are now available for monitoring convergence of nonlinear, iterative, and time-dependent solvers. For nonlinear simulations, separate convergence plots show the convergence of the nonlinear iterations and the core linear algebra solver iterations.View Screenshot
Fast Parallelized Assembly and Solvers
The COMSOL Multiphysics direct solvers have been multicore and cluster-enabled for several years. With Version 4.2, the multiphysics assembly algorithms and iterative solvers are also parallelized which brings faster and more memory efficient computations for a wide range of applications on virtually any type of computer platform from laptop to cluster.View Screenshot
The new Report Generator generates HTML reports of models. The Report Generator is an integrated part of the model, and you can add several reports to a model. A report includes a table of contents with clickable links to the contents below. The Report Generator uses a built-in Style Sheet, but you can use a custom Style Sheet to change the appearance of the report in a web browser.
A Nyquist plot shows the magnitude and phase of a frequency-response simulation result. This type of plot shows the magnitude as the distance from the origin and the phase as the angle using a curve with the frequency as the parameter. Nyquist plots have important applications for users of the AC/DC, RF, Structural Mechanics, Acoustics, MEMS, and Batteries & Fuel Cells Modules.View Screenshot
Streamline Ribbon Plot
Streamlines can now be visualized using ribbon plots where the width and color of the ribbons can be controlled by an arbitrary expression. The pictures show two different ribbon plots for a turbulent flow simulation.View Screenshot
Adjustable Position of Color Legends
You can now position the color legends to the right, to the left, above, below, or on alternating sides of the plot.
Variable Aspect-Ratio Visualization
High aspect-ratio models can now easily be visualized also in a non-aspect-ratio preserving mode.
Improved 2D Renderer
The new, faster 2D renderer comes with improved axis labels, easier selection of overlapping pair boundaries, and a new drawing table with grid and rulers that show the position of the pointer.View Screenshot
Histogram plots, available in Results, is used to show the distribution of data throughout volumes, surfaces, edges, or points in a model. You can control bins based on number of bins or data limits. Plots can be continuous or discrete and data normalization options include Neutral, Peak, or Integral.View Screenshot
RMS and Variance of Data Series
For Derived Values, you can apply an operation such as the integral or maximum of the averaged quantity for the data series. For example, you can immediately display the integral or maximum of the averaged quantity for each step in the data series. Additional operations made available with Version 4.2 are RMS (the root mean square or quadratic mean) and Variance.View Screenshot
In the Results node of the Model Builder tree, new default plots are now adapted to the physics in the model with descriptive names of the created plot groups.
New PDE and ODE Interfaces
The interfaces for partial differential equations (PDEs) are extended with an additional set of templates for equations defined on surfaces and edges. Applications include using the new Coefficient Form Boundary PDE interface for surface diffusion, accumulation of material on boundaries, and equation-based shell modeling for any type of physics.
A new set of interfaces are available for spatially distributed ordinary differential equations (ODEs) and differential algebraic equations (DAEs). Applications include material-memory simulations, such as bioheating damage computations or material creep, where the material state is represented with a unique state-variable at each point in the computational volume.
The Classical PDE interfaces now include templates for the Heat Equation and the Convection-Diffusion Equation.
All PDE, ODE, and DAE interface templates can be used freely in multiphysics combinations with any application-specific modules.
Materials are now rendered using color, texture, and reflectance. Gold, copper, air, water, concrete, and some other common materials have their own specific material appearance properties. A material’s appearance can be customized and includes separate settings for specular, diffusive, and ambient colors as well as texture noise levels. To enable texture rendering, set the Visualization preferences to be Optimized for Quality.
Drag-and-Drop in the Model Builder Tree
Drag-and-drop is now supported in the Model Builder tree. Using this feature, you can change the order of existing nodes or copy or duplicate nodes.View Screenshot
Updated Progress and Log Windows
Progress and Log information is now available in separate windows. The Progress window features Auto-clearing. The Log window supports Clear and Lock as well as Resume scroll. There is now an extra log divider with model name when opening a new model.View Screenshot
Small-signal analysis is now generally available for all modules, including the AC/DC Module.
Lumped Ports for AC/DC Analysis
A Lumped Port boundary feature is now available in the Magnetic Fields interface and in the Magnetic and Electric Fields interface. This feature is used for easier excitation of coils and other conducting structures. It also gives access to S-parameters.View Screenshot
A new multiphysics interface for Acoustic-Piezoelectric coupling makes piezo-acoustics functionality easier to use. Analyses are available for frequency domain and time domain studies and combine features from the Pressure Acoustics, Solid Mechanics, Electrostatics, and Piezoelectric Devices interfaces.View Screenshot
A new multiphysics interface for Acoustic-Shell Interaction enables modeling of vibrating thin elastic structures and their induced sound pressure field. The coupling is bidirectional and is available for frequency domain and the time domain studies in 3D. The Acoustic-Shell Interaction interfaces combine features from the Pressure Acoustics and Shell interfaces of the Acoustics Module and the Structural Mechanics Module, respectively.View Screenshot
Elastic and Poroelastic Waves
The Acoustics Module features two new interfaces for waves in solid and porous media. The Elastic Waves interface, for general elastic solids, can be combined with a new Poroelastic Waves interface for frequency-domain analysis of poroelastic wave propagation.View Screenshot
The Acoustics Module features new dedicated modeling tools for thermoviscous acoustics that enable highly accurate simulation of miniaturized speakers and microphones in handheld devices.
The need for thermoacoustics emerges whenever the dimensions of an acoustic device become small compared to the viscous and thermal boundary layers.
Batteries & Fuel Cells Module
The Batteries & Fuel Cells Module features a new AC Impedance Study type for simulating Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS). A new Surface Reactions interface enables modeling of surface reactions on boundary surfaces. A Material Library comes with common battery electrode materials and electrolytes.
- Edge Effects In a Spirally Wound Li-Ion Battery
- Thermal Modeling of a Cylindrical Li-Ion Battery in 2D
- Thermal Modeling of a Cylindrical Li-Ion Battery in 3D (additionally requires the Heat Transfer Module)
- Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy in a Fuel Cell
- Primary Current Distribution in a Lead-Acid Battery Grid Electrode
- Soluble Lead-Acid Redox Flow Battery
High-Mach Number Fluid Flow
The new High-Mach Number Fluid Flow interface applies when the flow velocity is large enough to introduce significant changes in the density and temperature of the fluid; the thermodynamic properties of the fluid are coupled. Appreciable changes in the fluid properties are encountered as the flow velocity approaches, or exceeds, the speed sound. As a rule of thumb, velocities greater than 0.3 times the speed of sound are considered to be high Mach number flows. Important applications include: nozzles, pipe networks, valves, and aerodynamic phenomena.
A new physics interface for Reacting Flow, Diluted Species, makes coupled mass and momentum transport in free and porous media available from one single user interface. A similar physics interface for Concentrated Species is also available. The model coupling for the velocity field and mixture density is set up automatically. In addition, the effective transport coefficients in a porous matrix domain can be derived based on the corresponding values in for a non-porous domain.View Screenshot
Infinite Elements for Diffusion
COMSOL Multiphysics Version 4.2 introduces a new way of defining Infinite Elements for simulation of unbounded regions. Since different physics can share the same Infinite Elements, you can now define Infinite Elements in the Model Definitions node, eliminating redundant action on each Physics Interface.
The interface for Transport of Diluted Species now provides Infinite Elements for diffusion simulations using the new mechanism. The picture shows the new Model Builder tree node.View Screenshot
Parameter Estimation in Chemical Reaction Models
By combining the Chemical Reaction Engineering with the Optimization Modules, you can use a new Parameter Estimation feature for predefined reactor types in the Reaction Engineering interface.
A new Surface Reactions interface is used for reactions involving surface adsorbed species and species in the bulk of a reacting surface. The interface is applied to the boundary of a model and is coupled to a mass transport interface in the adjacent bulk domain. The Surface Reactions interface can be used together with the Chemical Species Transport, Reacting Flow, and the Electrochemistry interfaces. Predefined expressions for the growth velocity of the reacting surface makes it easy to set up models with moving boundaries.View Screenshot
Thermal Wall Functions with Radiation
Thermal wall functions with turbulence now support the Surface-to-Surface Radiation and Highly Conductive Layer features. This enables very sophisticated thermal simulations: including any combination of turbulent flow, heat transfer in fluids, heat transfer in solids, heat radiation, and thin thermally high-conducting layers such as metal sheets.View Screenshot
Heat Transfer in Multilayered Structures
For heat transfer in thin layers, a new multilayer option of the Thin Thermally Resistive Layer makes it possible to quickly model thin structures with multiple layers of different conductivity.View Screenshot
Fan and Grill Boundary Conditions
Electronic cooling simulations are made easier by the new Fan and Grill boundary conditions. A new Fan boundary condition is also available on interior boundaries, called a slit condition. Fan curves can be entered, or loaded from file, in table format for use at inlets in flow models.View Screenshot
Thermal Light Color Table
A new default Color Table (color scale) named Thermal Light is optimized for visualization of heat transfer simulations. The color range is truncated at the lower end and eliminates the darkest shades of red.
Surface Reactions for Plasmas
New tools are available for modeling surface reactions and species.
The picture shows the accumulated height of Silicon deposited on the wafer surface as a function of time. The model verifies that the total mass in the system is conserved. The principle can be applied to study processes like chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and plasma enhanced vapor deposition (PECVD).
Far-Field in a Medium (RF) and New Models
For computing radiation patterns from antennas and radiating components, far-field evaluation is an essential tool. The far-field feature has been extended and now supports computing the far field in a medium other than vacuum. It has changed from being a boundary feature to being a domain feature with a domain selection and a boundary selection.
New Piezoelectric Perfectly Matched Layers (PMLs) are capable of simultaneously absorbing the elastic and electric components of an outwards traveling piezoelastic wave. This feature is important for modeling piezo transducers and acoustic wave filters such as BAW and SAW. The functionality is available in the Structural Mechanics Module, MEMS Module, and Acoustics Module.View Screenshot
Infinite Elements for Solid Mechanics
For Solid Mechanics, certain modeling tasks require the computation of stress and strain for a large slab of material. For practical reasons such models are artificially truncated close to a region of interest and the analyst then faces the problem of what boundary conditions to apply to the truncated domain boundaries. Modeling with Infinite Elements avoids this problem entirely by automatically scaling the computational domain to infinity. The Structural Mechanics and the MEMS Modules offer Infinite Elements as a new feature under the Model Definitions node in the Model Builder tree.View Screenshot
Springs and Dampers
For simulating non-rigid boundaries, new boundary conditions for springs and dampers have been added for points, edges, boundaries, and domains. This functionality is available for all interfaces in the Structural Mechanics Module and for the Solid Mechanics interfaces in the Acoustics and MEMS Modules. Similarly, a new Thin Elastic Layers boundary condition is available on interior boundaries and between pairs in assemblies.View Screenshot
Beam Cross-Section Library with
The Structural Mechanics Module now features a tool for automatic computation of beam cross-section properties for a number of common cross sections when using the Beam interface.View Screenshot
The Structural Mechanics, MEMS , and Acoustics Modules offer new powerful and easy-to use tools for prestressed analysis of eigenmode and frequency-response. Structures modeled with the Solid Mechanics interface can be prestressed by mechanical, thermal, or arbitrary multiphysics-based loads.
Added mass can now be specified for edges, boundaries, and domains for all interfaces in the Structural Mechanics Module and for the Solid Mechanics interfaces in the Acoustics and MEMS Modules. Important applications are: modeling non-structural added mass for a vibrating structure immersed in a fluid, adding mass from thin layers that are not contributing to the structure's stiffness, correcting for mass changes due to CAD defeaturing, or including mass from components that are not represented by any geometry in the model.View Screenshot
Subsurface Flow Module
The Subsurface Flow Module (previously named the Earth Science Module) benefits from many of the new features of Version 4.2.
Combining the new Geomechanics Module with the Subsurface Flow Module enables new geotechnical multiphysics combinations such as elastoplastic soil models with poroelasticity as well as rock material models with solute transport.
Thin Diffusion Barrier Boundary Condition
A new Thin Diffusion Barrier boundary condition for interior boundaries in the Solute Transport interface enables modeling of thin layers of much thinner diffusion coefficient than that of adjacent domains.View Screenshot