Computational Fluid Dynamics

Overview of CFD: Video Clip with Audio

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) research uses mathematical and computational models of flowing fluids to describe and predict fluid response in problems of interest, such as the flow of air around a moving vehicle or the flow of water and sediment in a river. Coupled with appropriate and prototypical experimental results, CFD can be an efficient, cost-effective tool for predicting system response under a broad range of operating conditions.

CFD is widely used in many industries, including transportation, power, bioengineering, weather forecasting, homeland security, defense, etc. In the transportation field, CFD is used in the design and analysis of vehicles (including autos, buses, trucks, trains and aircraft) and transportation system components, such as bridge response to airflow and river flow.

In many of these applications, three-dimensional (3-D) CFD models are needed to capture accurately the physical conditions and response of interest. Such 3-D models, commonly used in both steady state and transient applications, require substantial computing power. The code developers recognize this requirement and currently provide latest-generation versions of these software tools that run on parallel and massively parallel computers, such as those at TRACC, including the commercially available codes FLUENT, STAR-CCM+, and STAR-CD.

Steve Lottes - Computational Fluid Dynamics Project Leader