New Features in COMSOL Multiphysics 3.5a

A number of new improvements have been added to COMSOL Multiphysics and its add-on products as part of the Version 3.5a release.

COMSOL Multiphysics and Modules

General new improvements

  • Overall performance improvements:
    • General improvements to the FEM assembly process introduce significant speed improvements, depending on the model, for single core processors. The improvement ranges between 10-100% and can be as high a factor 30 in a few cases
    • General improvements in linear solvers range between 5-20%
    • Various improvements in the time-dependent solvers can result in improvements in solution times by a factor 2-8.
    • Multicore speedup is increased by 5-30%
    • General improvements give about a 10% decrease in memory consumption
  • Support for the Intel 64-bit Mac version
  • Application modes for optimization (requires Optimization Lab) and sensitivity analysis have been introduced. These include support for inverse modeling, parameter estimation, geometry optimization (shape optimization), and topology optimization
  • About 10 new models showcasing the new functionality for parameter estimation, inverse modeling, and optimization have been included
  • Unstructured function evaluation (import of data from unstructured grids) is now supported

Meshing:

  • Ability to mesh the Parasolid geometry representation directly (with the CAD Import Module) has been included
  • Improved boundary layer meshing abilities
  • Improved mesh sweeping, which now supports “N-to-1 sweeps”
  • Conversion of a mixed mesh consisting of quads, hexes, or/and prisms to a mesh consisting of only tetrahedrons or triangles with GUI support
  • Free-field NASTRAN format import
Click to view a Demo of the Meshing functionality

Postprocessing:

  • Support for GIF as an image format and for creating animated GIFs
  • Ability to plot while solving Click to view a Demo
  • Customized color tables are now possible
  • “Accurate derivative recovery” for more accurate postprocessing of stresses, fluxes, etc
  • Summation integration method for computation of reaction forces, etc has been included
  • Support for shared-memory parallelism providing speedup of slice plots, isosurface plots, subdomain plots, boundary plots, edge plots, deformed-shape plots, and streamline plots (in 3D) and surface plots, contour plots, and boundary plots, and deformed-shape plots

Solvers:

  • Improved and generalized stationary segregated solver providing large performance improvements (speed and memory) for important classes of one-way coupled (weakly coupled) multiphysics problems such as thermal stress models
  • Introduction of a transient segregated solver for better performance when solving transient multiphysics problems
  • Introduction of a generalized-alpha transient solver that provides improved solution of transient wave problems (electromagnetics, acoustics, structures, etc.) and fluid-dynamics problems. The generalized-alpha solver can improve performance by a factor of 2-8 for typical problems (with the same accuracy)
  • Introduction of BiCGStab solver
  • Inclusion of an out-of-core direct solver (PARDISO)
  • Possibility for functional-based h (mesh) adaption
  • Improved shared-memory parallelism (OpenMP version of SPOOLES, parallel postprocessing)
  • The parametric solver now supports multiple parameters
  • Parametric sweep functionality has been greatly improved through providing a single solver call that performs several runs using the currently selected solver while varying a set of model parameters
  • Limited support for distributed-memory parallelism has also been included – where running sweeps on Linux clusters results in a speedup factor near n for clusters with n nodes.

Add-on Products

AC/DC Module

  • Possibility to specify voltage and current levels for ports is now included
  • Import of PCB designs made in Cadence Allegro and Mentor Graphics Board Station and other software that supports the XML version of Valor's ODB++ format.
  • Import of PCB designs from any ECAD software package through the use of the software NETEX-G from Artwork and generic Gerber and drill file formats.
  • Force computation through the principle of virtual work (predefined in the user interface)
  • Reduced-field form for quasistatic/static model, making it possible to specify a known background field and solve only for the reduced field

Acoustics Module

  • Acoustics-structure interaction (predefined multiphysics) application mode has now been included
  • Predefined variables for reaction forces and summation method for general reaction-force computations is now available

CAD Import Module

  • Parasolid is now used in all steps of the CAD import process. Therefore, no conversion to COMSOL geometry objects is necessary for the two following items:
    • Parasolid’s geometry representation is used directly by COMSOL's mesher
    • Parasolid is used to find pairs in CAD assemblies
  • More flexible defeaturing: you can repair and defeature each part of an assembly independently
  • Support for geometric parametric sweeps (also on Linux clusters) in the SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor bidirectional interfaces
  • Bidirectional interface to Autodesk Inventor
  • The CAD Import Module is now available for the Mac platform
  • Improved stability through improved quality of the internal COMSOL geometry engine

Chemical Engineering Module

  • Improved stabilization of the Navier-Stokes equations providing large performance improvements
  • With the combined improvements in assembly, iterative solvers, and stabilization techniques, many CFD models run 4-8 times faster
  • Stabilization of the level set equation for improved multiphase flow modeling
  • Phase field application mode for multiphase flow modeling using the phase field method has been introduced Click to view a demo of this application
  • Mass source is now available in the Brinkman equation
  • A viscoplastic model example has been included
  • Improved Liquid and Gases material library with data for liquid/gas surface tension and liquid/liquid interfacial tensions is now available

Earth Science Module

  • Predefined multiphysics interface for modeling of poroelasticity has been introduced
  • Improved stabilization of the Navier-Stokes equations providing large performance improvements
  • Mass source is now available in the Brinkman equation
  • Improved Liquid and Gases material library with data for liquid/gas surface tension and liquid/liquid interfacial tensions is now available

Heat Transfer Module

  • Axisymmetric radiation can now be modeled
  • Predefined multiphysics entries for flow with variable density is now included
  • Predefined multiphysics entries for fluid-solid thermal interaction/conjugate heat transfer has been introduced
  • Improved Galerkin least-squares (GLS) method for streamline diffusion

MEMS Module

  • General support for damping and losses in piezo (structural damping plus dielectric and coupling losses) has been included
  • Stress stiffening and large deformations in piezo applications is now possible
  • SPICE circuit support has been included
  • ECAD import has been introduced (see AC/DC Module)
  • Stabilization of the level set equation for improved multiphase flow modeling
  • Phase field application mode for multiphase flow modeling using the phase field method has been introduced Click to view a demo of this application
  • All new features that have also been included in the Structural Mechanics Module

RF Module

  • SPICE circuit support has been included
  • ECAD import has been introduced (see AC/DC Module)
  • Introduction of circuit ports for wave applications, such as modeling the connection of a transmission line or an antenna to an external circuit
  • An improved axisymmetric formulation

Structural Mechanics Module

  • Viscoelastic material model has been included
  • Hyperelastic Murnaghan material model for modeling of nonlinear acoustoelasticity has also been introduced
  • Predefined variables for reaction forces and summation method for general reaction-force computations is now possible
  • Mechanical heating support defining entropy etc. (now in all space dimensions) is available
  • The thermal-electric-structural interaction (predefined multiphysics entry) simplifies modeling of Joule heating with thermal stress effects
  • Improvements in assembly and solvers that increases solution speed by 5-30% for typical 3D problems