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What is CFD?

What is CFD?

This post is part of our series on debunking the acronyms of our business. Read our posts on PPAPCAD and FEA to learn more about what those acronyms mean!

You've heard of CAD, and maybe FEA, but have you heard of CFD? CFD stands for computation fluid dynamics, a branch of engineering analysis that focuses on analyzing problems that influence fluid flows. At a very basic level, CFD is the science of predicting fluid flow, heat transfer, mass transfer, chemical reactions, and other related phenomena by solving mathematical principles that govern these processes.

Most likely you've experienced "fluid flows" before. Rain, air pollution, heating/cooling systems, automobile combustion engines, blood flow, etc. are all considered fluid flows. CFD provides a qualitative prediction of fluid flows, enabling scientists and engineers to simulate the virtual flow of fluids in a low-risk setting.

Giving insight into flow patterns that would otherwise be difficult to study using traditional experimentation, CFD can help predict virtually any problem and realistic condition that might occur to a particular environment or product in relation to fluids. In simple terms, it's a way to analyze fluids (both liquid and gas) and their impact on materials, like a heating system or

CFD is highly interdisciplinary, using principles from physics, applied mathematics, and computer science to make predictions. CFD software solves relevant science-based mathematical equations and its predictions are never 100 percent reliable, as with any analysis system.

Engineers use CFD to design comfortable and suitable environments and products. However, it's not just engineers using CFD. Other professionals, like chemical engineers, surgeons, petroleum engineers, militaries, and safety experts use CFD in their respective fields as well.

In case you want a more in-depth explanation, here's a video from Learn Engineering:


 
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