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27.1 Using Surfaces

In order to visualize the internal flow of a 3D problem or create XY plots of solution variables for 3D results, you must select portions of the domain (surfaces) on which the data is to be displayed. Surfaces can also be used for visualizing or plotting data for 2D problems, and for generating surface-integral reports.

FLUENT provides methods for creating several kinds of surfaces, and stores all surfaces in the case file. These surfaces and their uses are described briefly below:

Zone Surfaces:    If you want to create a surface that will contain the same cells/faces as an existing cell/face zone, you can generate a zone surface. This kind of surface is useful for displaying results on boundaries.

Partition Surfaces:    When you are using the parallel version of FLUENT, you may find it useful to create surfaces that are defined by the boundaries between grid partitions (see Chapter  31 for more information about running the parallel solver). You can then display data on each side of a partition boundary.

Point Surfaces:    To monitor the value of some variable or function at a particular location in the domain, you can create a surface consisting of a single point.

Line and Rake Surfaces:    To generate and display pathlines, you must specify a surface from which the particles are released. Line and rake surfaces are well-suited for this purpose and for obtaining data for comparison with wind tunnel data. A rake surface consists of a specified number of points equally spaced between two specified endpoints. A line surface is simply a line that includes the specified endpoints and extends through the domain; data points will be at the centers of the cells through which the line passes, and consequently will not be equally spaced.

Plane Surfaces:    If you want to display flow-field data on a specific plane in the domain, you can create a plane surface. A plane surface is simply a plane that passes through three specified points.

Quadric Surfaces:    To display data on a line (2D), plane (3D), circle (2D), sphere (3D), or quadric surface you can specify the surface by entering the coefficients of the quadric function that defines it. This feature provides you with an explicit method for defining surfaces.

Isosurfaces:    You can use an isosurface to display results on cells that have a constant value for a specified variable. Generating an isosurface based on $x$, $y$, or $z$ coordinate, for example, will give you an $x$, $y$, or $z$ cross-section of your domain. Generating an isosurface based on pressure will allow you to display data for another variable on a surface of constant pressure.

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