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Published by: Ayaoba on Jun 27, 2010
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2007 Cornell UniversityBEE453, Professor Ashim DattaAuthored by Vineet RakeshSoftware: COMSOL Multiphysics 3.3
Specifying time varying Boundary Conditions
Suppose you want to model a flow where the boundary conditions are changing with time. Take thecase of diffusion of drug from a patch into the skin. The drug concentration in the patch falls down withtime and hence we need a time varying flux condition on the skin boundary where the drug is diffusinginto the skin. This is an example of time varying boundary condition applied to the species transferequation. The same may be true in case of the energy or the momentum equation. For example, takethe case of air intake through the nose. If a full cycle of inhalation and exhalation is considered, it canbe seen that the velocity of air flowing in varies with time. We can implement these models inCOMSOL. The following example uses heat flux as the variable for the time varying input.Temperature, species concentration, flux (heat and species), velocity and material property values canbe defined as time varying quantities similarly. These variables will be denoted as “dependantvariables” in the subsequent discussion.COMSOL provides us with 2 options to specify time varying boundary conditions.
The dependant variable can be defined as a function of time by specifying a set of data points(dependant variable vs. time) (see Method 1 below) similar to how we specified propertiesvarying with temperature for the CRYOSURGERY Tutorial.
The second option in COMSOL is to specify the dependant variable as any function of time.(see Method 2 below)
2007 Cornell University
Example 1: Specifying Data Points
1) Open the Boundary Settings window:
Boundary Settings
>> Select
Heat Flux
Boundary Condition
fromthe drop-down menu for the Boundary youwant to specify the time varying heat fluxfor.2) In the
Inward Heat Flux
, field, enterheat_flux(t). heat_flux(t) tells COMSOL thatheat_flux (to be specified in Step 4 later) isa function of time. heat_flux is any arbitraryuser defined name chosen for the function.3) Click on
. We will now define thefunction, heat_flux(t).4) Under
, click on
5) Click on the
button6) Next to Function name: type in heat_flux7) Check
. By checking this, weare directing the solver to interpolate valuesof heat flux between different times.8) Select
next to the Use data from box9) Click
Enter the time and the corresponding heatflux values in the text boxes. The firstcolumn (under x) shows the values of timeand f(x) represents the corresponding heatflux values. Click on

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