27.6 Plane Surfaces

To display flow-field data on a specific plane in the domain, you will use a plane surface. You can create surfaces that cut through the solution domain along arbitrary planes only in 3D; this feature is not available in 2D.

There are six types of plane surfaces that you can create:

• Intersection of the domain with the infinite plane: This is the default plane surface created. The extents of the plane will be determined by the extents of the domain. Since the plane is slicing through the domain, the data points will, by default, be located where the plane intersects the faces of a cell, and consequently may not be equally spaced.

• Bounded plane: This plane will be a bounded parallelepiped, for which 3 of the 4 corners are the 3 points that define the plane equation (or the 4 corners are the corners of the "plane tool''). Like the default plane surface described above, this type of surface will also have unequally spaced data points.

• Bounded plane with equally spaced data points: This plane is the same as the bounded plane described above, except you will specify the density of points along the 2 directions of the parallelepiped, creating a uniform distribution of data points.

• Plane having a certain normal vector and passing through a specified point: To create this type of plane, you will define a normal vector and a point. A plane with the specified normal and passing through the specified point will be created.

• Plane aligned with an existing surface: To create this type of plane, you will define a single point and a surface. A plane parallel to the selected surface and passing through the specified point will be created.

• Plane aligned with the view in the graphics window: To create this type of plane, you will define a single point. A plane parallel to the current view in the active graphics window and passing through the specified point will be created.

To create a plane surface, you will use the Plane Surface panel (Figure  27.6.1).

Surface Plane...

The steps for creating the plane surface are as follows:

1.   Decide which of the six types of planes described above you want to create. If you are creating the default plane type (the intersection of the infinite plane with the domain), go directly to step 2. To create a bounded plane, turn on Bounded under Options. To create a bounded plane with equally spaced data points, turn on both Bounded and Sample Points, and then set the number of data points under Sample Density. You will specify the point density in each direction by entering the appropriate values for Edge 1 and Edge 2. (Edge 1 extends from point 0 to point 1, and edge 2 extends from point 1 to point 2. The points are specified in step 2, below.)

To define a plane aligned with an existing surface, select Aligned With Surface, and then choose the surface in the Surfaces list and specify a single point using one of the first two methods described below in step 2.

To define a plane aligned with the view plane, select Aligned With View Plane, and then choose a single point using one of the first two methods described below in step 2.

To define a plane having a certain normal vector and passing through a specified point, select Point And Normal, and then specify the normal vector by entering values in the ix, iy, and iz fields under Normal, and a single point using one of the first two methods described below in step 2.

2.   Specify the location of the plane surface. There are three different ways to define the location:
• Enter the coordinates of the three Points defining the planar surface: ( x0,y0,z0), ( x1,y1,z1), and ( x2,y2,z2).

• Click on the Select Points button and then select the three points by clicking on locations in the active graphics window with the mouse-probe button. (See Section  28.3 for information about setting mouse button functions.)

• Use the Plane Tool option to interactively position a plane in the graphics window. You can set the initial location of this plane using one of the two methods described above for specifying the defining points (or you can start from the position defined by the default Points). See Section  27.6.1 for information about using the plane tool.

Note that the coordinates of the Points will be updated automatically when you use the second or third method described above.

3.   If you do not want to use the default name assigned to the surface, enter a new name under New Surface Name. The default name is the concatenation of the surface type and an integer which is the new surface ID (e.g., plane-7). (If the New Surface Name you enter is the same as the name of a surface that already exists, FLUENT will automatically assign the default name to the new surface when it is created.)

 The surface name that you enter must begin with an alphabetical letter. If your surface name begins with any other character or number, FLUENT will not accept the entry.

4.   Click on the Create button to create the new surface.

If you want to check that your new surface has been added to the list of all defined surfaces, or you want to delete or otherwise manipulate any surfaces, click on the Manage... button to open the Surfaces panel. See Section  27.11 for details.

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