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COMSOL Multiphysics is a finite element analysis, solver and simulation software / FEA

software package for various physics and engineering applications, especially coupled
phenomena, or multiphysics. The package is cross-platform (Windows, Mac, Linux). In addition
to conventional physics-based user interfaces, COMSOL Multiphysics also allows entering
coupled systems of partial differential equations (PDEs). The PDEs can be entered directly or
using the so-called weak form. Since version 5.0 (2014), COMSOL Multiphysics is also used for
creating physics-based apps. These apps can be run with a regular COMSOL Multiphysics
license but also with a COMSOL Server license. An early version (before 2005) of COMSOL
Multiphysics was called FEMLAB.
The main product is COMSOL Desktop which is an integrated user interface environment
designed for cross-disciplinary product development with a unified workflow for electrical,
mechanical, fluid, and chemical applications. The add-on modules blend into COMSOL
Desktop, and the way of operation of the software remains the same no matter which add-on
products are engaged.
The Application Builder is also available with the COMSOL Desktop environment and allows
for creating specialized applications, based on a physics model, with a user interface that avoids
the details of the simulation model from the perspective of the end user. Two editors are available
for designing applications; using drag-and-drop tools, in the Form Editor, or by programming
using the Method Editor. There is scope to include specific features from the model or introduce
new ones through programming using the Method Editor.
COMSOL Multiphysics also provides application programming interfaces (APIs). The
COMSOL API for use with Java comes included with COMSOL Multiphysics, and provides a
programmatic way of driving the software through compiled object oriented code. This API is
also used in the Method Editor of the Application Builder. LiveLink for MATLAB provides the
ability to work with COMSOL Multiphysics in combination with MATLAB.
The Physics Builder, which is included in COMSOL Desktop, makes it possible to create custom
made physics interfaces accessible from the COMSOL Desktop with the same look-and-feel as
the built-in physics interfaces. In the case of the Physics Builder, no programming is needed as it
works in the COMSOL Desktop from the Physics Builder Tree, defining new user interface
components. The newer Application Builder has largely replaced the Physics Builder as a tool for
creating custom user interfaces for specific needs.

Add-on products
Several add-on products are available for COMSOL Multiphysics.[1] These have been categorized
according to the applications areas, namely Electrical, Mechanical, Fluid, Chemical,

Multipurpose, and Interfacing. Also note that these add-ons are of two types: one with COMSOL
Multiphysics, and one with COMSOL Server.

Electrical
AC/DC Module
The AC/DC Module is used for simulating electric, magnetic, and electromagnetic fields in static
and low-frequency applications. This help you solve virtually all models that work under this
module.
RF Module
The RF Module is used by designers of RF and microwave devices to design antennas,
waveguides, filters, circuits, cavities, and metamaterials.
Wave Optics Module
The Wave Optics Module provides dedicated tools for electromagnetic wave propagation in
linear and nonlinear optical media. The module can be used to model high-frequency
electromagnetic wave simulations in either frequency- or time-domain in optical structures.
Ray Optics Module
The Ray Optics Module can be used to model electromagnetic wave propagation in systems in
which the wavelength is much smaller than the smallest geometric detail in the model.
MEMS Module
The MEMS Module provides predefined user interfaces with associated modeling tools, referred
to as physics interfaces, for a variety of coupled physics, including electromagnetic-structure,
thermal-structure, or fluid-structure interactions.
Plasma Module
The Plasma Module is used to model and simulate low-temperature plasma sources and systems.
Engineers and scientists use it to gain insight into the physics of discharges and gauge the
performance of existing or potential designs.
Semiconductor Module
The Semiconductor Module allows for detailed analysis of semiconductor device operation at the
fundamental physics level. The module is based on the drift-diffusion equations, using
isothermal or nonisothermal transport models.

Structural and acoustics

Structural Mechanics Module


The Structural Mechanics Module is dedicated to the analysis of mechanical structures that are
subject to static or dynamic loads. It can be used for a wide range of analysis types, including
stationary, transient, eigenmode/modal, parametric, quasi-static, frequency-response, buckling,
and prestressed.
Nonlinear Structural Materials Module
The Nonlinear Structural Materials Module augments the mechanical capabilities of the
Structural Mechanics Module and the MEMS Module with nonlinear material models, including
large strain plastic deformation capabilities.
Geomechanics Module
The Geomechanics Module is an add-on to the Structural Mechanics Module and is used to
analyze geotechnical applications, such as tunnels, excavations, slope stability, and retaining
structures.
Fatigue Module
The Fatigue Module can be used for fatigue analysis of different structures.
Multibody Dynamics Module
The Multibody Dynamics Module is an expansion of the Structural Mechanics Module that
provides an advanced set of tools for designing and optimizing multibody structural mechanics
systems using finite element analysis (FEA). The module can be used to simulate mixed systems
of flexible and rigid bodies, where each body may be subjected to large rotational or translational
displacements.
Rotordynamics Module
The Rotordynamics Module is an add-on to the Structural Mechanics Module and is used to
analyze the effects of lateral and torsional vibrations of rotating machinery in order to study rotor
vibrations and contain their levels within acceptable design limits.
Acoustics Module
The Acoustics Module is used for simulating devices that produce, measure, and utilize acoustic
waves. The application areas include speakers, microphones, hearing aids, and sonar devices, to
name a few. Noise control can be addressed in muffler design, sound barriers, and building
acoustic applications.

Fluid and heat

CFD Module
The CFD Module is the platform for simulating devices and systems that involve sophisticated
fluid flow models. As is the case with all modules in the COMSOL Product Suite, the CFD
Module provides ready-made physics interfaces that are configured to receive model inputs via
the graphical user interface (GUI), and to use these inputs to formulate model equations. The
particular physics interfaces that the CFD Module is equipped with enable you to model most
aspects of fluid flow, including descriptions of compressible, nonisothermal, non-Newtonian,
two-phase, and porous media flows all in the laminar and turbulent flow regimes. The CFD
Module can be used as a standard tool for simulating computational fluid dynamics (CFD), or in
collaboration with the other modules in the COMSOL Product Suite for multiphysics simulations
where fluid flow is important.
Mixer Module
The Mixer Module is an add-on to the CFD Module and is used to analyze fluid mixers and
stirred reactors. It contains dedicated functionality for simulating fluid flow subjected to rotating
machinery.
Microfluidics Module
The Microfluidics Module is used for studying microfluidic devices. Some important
applications include simulations of lab-on-a-chip devices, digital microfluidics, electrokinetic
and magnetokinetic devices, and inkjets.
Subsurface Flow Module
The Subsurface Flow Module is for engineers and scientists who want to simulate fluid flow
below ground or in other porous media and also connect this flow with other phenomena, such as
poroelasticity, heat transfer, chemistry, and electromagnetic fields. It can be used for modeling
groundwater flow, the spread of waste and pollution through soil, the flow of oil and gas to wells,
and land subsidence due to groundwater extraction.
Pipe Flow Module
The Pipe Flow Module is used for simulations of fluid flow, heat and mass transfer, hydraulic
transients, and acoustics in pipe and channel networks. It can be easily integrated with any of the
other modules in the COMSOL Product Suite for modeling the effects piping has on larger
entities, such as cooling pipes in engine blocks or feeding and product channels connected to
vessels.
Molecular Flow Module
The Molecular Flow Module is used for the simulation of vacuum systems including those used
in semiconductor processing, particle accelerators and mass spectrometers. Small channel
applications (e.g. shale gas exploration and flow in nanoporous materials) can also be addressed.

Heat Transfer Module


The Heat Transfer Module contains simulation tools to study the mechanisms of heat transfer
conduction, convection, and radiation often in collaboration with other physics, such as
structural mechanics, fluid dynamics, electromagnetics, and chemical reactions.

Chemical
Chemical Reaction Engineering Module
The Chemical Reaction Engineering Module contains the tools to simulate material transport and
heat transfer together with arbitrary chemical kinetics in all types of environments - gases,
liquids, porous media, on surfaces, and within solid phases - or combinations of all of these.
Batteries and Fuel Cells Module
The Batteries and Fuel Cells Module models the underlying electrochemical behavior in the
electrodes and electrolytes of batteries and fuel cells.
Electrodeposition Module
The Electrodeposition Module is used to study the important characteristics of electrodeposition
cells.
Corrosion Module
The Corrosion Module allows engineers and scientists to investigate the processes leading to
corrosion, gain an understanding of the extent to which corrosion could occur over the lifetime of
a structure, and implement preventative measures to inhibit electrochemical corrosion, in order to
protect the structures.
Electrochemistry Module
The Electrochemistry Module includes capabilities such as modeling electrochemical reaction
mechanisms, mass transport, and current density distributions enable efficient simulation for
applications including electrolysis, electrodialysis, electroanalysis, electrochemical sensors, and
bioelectrochemistry.

Multipurpose
Optimization Module
The Optimization Module is an add-on package that can be used in conjunction with any existing
COMSOL Multiphysics Product for optimization purposes. It is a general interface which can be
used for defining objective functions, specifying design variables, and setting up the constraints.

Material Library
The Material Browser can be complemented by the Material Library to add more materials. It
contains data for 2500 materials including the elements, minerals, metal alloys, thermal
insulators, semiconductors, and piezoelectric materials.
Particle Tracing Module
The Particle Tracing Module extends the functionality of the COMSOL environment for
computing the trajectory of particles in a fluid or electromagnetic field, including particleparticle, fluid-particle, and particle-field interactions.

Interfacing
LiveLink for MATLAB
LiveLink for MATLAB integrates COMSOL Multiphysics with MATLAB to extend modeling
with scripting programming in the MATLAB environment. LiveLink for MATLAB allows for
utilization of the full power of MATLAB and its toolboxes in preprocessing, model
manipulation, and postprocessing.
CAD Import Module
The CAD Import Module supports the import of a variety of different file formats including the
Parasolid and ACIS formats, and standard formats like STEP and IGES.
ECAD Import Module
The ECAD Import Module can be used to import ECAD files into COMSOL Multiphysics and
convert the 2D layouts into 3D geometry that is suitable for simulation.
LiveLink for Inventor
LiveLink for Inventor allows to combine COMSOL Multiphysics analysis with Autodesk
Inventor. It allows to integrate it with the capabilities of COMSOL Multiphysics from within the
Inventor modeling environment, and utilize its power for geometry design.
LiveLink for Revit
LiveLink for Revit provides an integration tool and interface for transferring geometry of
elements from architectural design projects in Autodesk Revit software to COMSOL
Multiphysics software.
LiveLink for PTC Pro/ENGINEER

LiveLin for PTC Pro/ENGINEER provides the capability to integrate 3D CAD design with
COMSOL Multiphysics simulation.
File Import for CATIA V5
File Import for CATIA V5 works as an add-on to the CAD Import Module, and translates CATIA
V5 part (.CATPart) or assembly (.CATProduct) files using authentic libraries from CATIA V5.
LiveL
LiveLink for Excel allows to take advantage of the capabilities and structured simplicity offered
by Excel to extend COMSOL Multiphysics modeling capacity.
Design Module
The Design Module expands the geometric modeling functionality of COMSOL Multiphysics
software by providing additional tools for creating geometries and importing a variety of CAD
file formats.
LiveLink for SolidWorks
LiveLink for SolidWorks along with COMSOL Multiphysics delivers enhanced connectivity for
efficient integration of simulation into design workflow.
LiveLink for AutoCAD
LiveLink for AutoCAD can be used to synchronize CAD models with COMSOL Multiphysics to
create model geometries for simulation.
LiveLink for PTC Creo Parametric
LiveLink for PTC Creo Parametric links 3D designs in the PTC Creo Parametric CAD system to
COMSOL Multiphysics model geometries for simulation.
LiveLink for Solid Edge
LiveLink for Solid Edge is part of a robust platform that enables to integrate multiphysics
simulation into 3D product design workflow.

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