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Finite Element Book

Finite Element Book

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Published by anggarinaldi

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Published by: anggarinaldi on Jan 17, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The physics of almost every fluid flow and heat transfer phenomenon is
governed by three fundamental principles -mass conservation, momentum
conservation (or Newton's second law) and energy conservation -taken
together with appropriate initial or boundary conditions. These three principles
may be expressed mathematically in most cases through integral or partial
differential equations (POE) whose closed form solutions rarely exist. The
ability to seek numerical solutions of these governing equations has led to the
development of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFO).

To obtain numerical solution to the physical variables of the fluid field,
various techniques are employed:

• manipulating the defining equations

• dividing the fluid domain into a large number of small cells or control
volumes (also called mesh or grid)

• transforming partial derivatives into discrete algebraic forms and

• solving the sets of linear algebraic equations at the grid points

Modem CFO can handle fluid flow associated with other phenomenon such
as chemical reactions, multi-phase or free surface problems, phase change
. (melting, boiling, freezing), mass transfer (dissolution) and radiation heat
transfer. A CFO code has three basic components -preprocessor, solver and
postprocessor. The solver is the heart of a CFO code and is usually treated as a
'black box' while the other two components provide user/computer interface.
Solver is based on one of the three major discrete methods -finite difference
method (FOM), finite element method (FEM) or finite volume method (FVM).



Over 90% of CFD codes are based on FDM or FVM. FVM is now very well
established and is used in most commercial CFD packages like FLUENT,

FEM was initially developed for structural analysis but has been extended to
fluid flow problems as it offers the advantage of non-regular grid, capable of
simulating complex boundary geometries. Also, the methodology used for
describing flow conditions within each cell, though more complex than FDM,
have a higher degree of accuracy. FVM draws together best attributes of FDM
and FEM. It is capable of simulating complex boundary geometries while
utilising relatively straight forward finite difference relationships to represent
the governing differential equations. Complete presentation of FDM and FVM
are not in the scope of this book. FDM is detailed below as some of these ideas
are also used in FVM.

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