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9.1 Overview of Physical Models in FLUENT

FLUENT provides comprehensive modeling capabilities for a wide range of incompressible and compressible, laminar and turbulent fluid flow problems. Steady-state or transient analyses can be performed. In FLUENT, a broad range of mathematical models for transport phenomena (like heat transfer and chemical reactions) is combined with the ability to model complex geometries. Examples of FLUENT applications include laminar non-Newtonian flows in process equipment; conjugate heat transfer in turbomachinery and automotive engine components; pulverized coal combustion in utility boilers; external aerodynamics; flow through compressors, pumps, and fans; and multiphase flows in bubble columns and fluidized beds.

To permit modeling of fluid flow and related transport phenomena in industrial equipment and processes, various useful features are provided. These include porous media, lumped parameter (fan and heat exchanger), streamwise-periodic flow and heat transfer, swirl, and moving reference frame models. The moving reference frame family of models includes the ability to model single or multiple reference frames. A time-accurate sliding mesh method, useful for modeling multiple stages in turbomachinery applications, for example, is also provided, along with the mixing plane model for computing time-averaged flow fields.

Another very useful group of models in FLUENT is the set of free surface and multiphase flow models. These can be used for analysis of gas-liquid, gas-solid, liquid-solid, and gas-liquid-solid flows. For these types of problems, FLUENT provides the volume-of-fluid (VOF), mixture, and Eulerian models, as well as the discrete phase model (DPM). The DPM performs Lagrangian trajectory calculations for dispersed phases (particles, droplets, or bubbles), including coupling with the continuous phase. Examples of multiphase flows include channel flows, sprays, sedimentation, separation, and cavitation.

Robust and accurate turbulence models are a vital component of the FLUENT suite of models. The turbulence models provided have a broad range of applicability, and they include the effects of other physical phenomena, such as buoyancy and compressibility. Particular care has been devoted to addressing issues of near-wall accuracy via the use of extended wall functions and zonal models.

Various modes of heat transfer can be modeled, including natural, forced, and mixed convection with or without conjugate heat transfer, porous media, etc. The set of radiation models and related submodels for modeling participating media are general and can take into account the complications of combustion. A particular strength of FLUENT is its ability to model combustion phenomena using a variety of models, including eddy dissipation and probability density function models. A host of other models that are very useful for reacting flow applications are also available, including coal and droplet combustion, surface reaction, and pollutant formation models.

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