Fatigue — When Cyclic Stress Produces Fractures

Guest Kyle Koppenhoefer September 26, 2012

Many of the products that engineers design experience cyclic stresses during use that are below the material’s yield stress; unfortunately, these stresses can still be the primary reason for failure. Thus, engineers and designers must find ways of including the effects of cyclic stresses when designing products for long-term use.

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Phil Kinnane September 5, 2012

In these days of globalization, keeping the world connected is imperative. Information needs to pass as freely and quickly as possible in order to keep markets up-to-date with the latest news and to ensure that commerce can be conducted without hindrance (at least of the technical kind). So what do you do – look to the sky? The answer is no; in fact, 99% of this information is carried by undersea cables. These unsung heroes sit at the bottom of […]

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Phil Kinnane July 26, 2012

Much has been written lately about increasing the energy efficiency of cars. Batteries and fuel cells are very hot topics, and not so long ago I blogged about the University of Michigan’s use of solar cells to fully power a car. Yet, even on the smallest of scales, such as the sensors in your car, improvements are being made. Utilizing a MEMS (Micro Electromechanical System) piezoelectric energy harvester, Alexander Frej and Ingo Kuehne at Siemens Corporate Technology in Munich are […]

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Phil Kinnane July 23, 2012

How do you simplify a 3D geometry to reduce the computational resources required to model it? Do it in 2D. What if the phenomenon can only be properly simulated in 3D? Find the planes of symmetry and reduce the size, most engineering objects are symmetric in some way. What if there is no symmetry, such as the propagation of random cracks through a steel pipe? Well, as this story from COMSOL News shows, there are other methods, such as using […]

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Phil Kinnane July 17, 2012

Düsensauginfiltration (DSI) is a novel technique for lowering water levels at mining and construction sites while not actually having to transport the water away from these sites. This came to my attention at the latest COMSOL Conference in Stuttgart. There, Ph.D. student Yulan Jin and Assistant Professor Dr. Ekkehard Holzbecher from the Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany was presenting their research into this groundwater lowering technique.

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Phil Kinnane July 13, 2012

Transformers were first commercially used in the late 1800’s, but they are still being investigated at their fundamental levels. One of the stories from our latest COMSOL News concerns ABB (who themselves have been around since the late 1800’s) and their research into these apparatuses.

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Phil Kinnane July 6, 2012

I have just come back from a bit of a vacation and boy was it hot! Here, a large part of the US has been going through record high temperatures and most of my time was spent trying to keep cool. How nice then to mention a story about cooling.

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Phil Kinnane June 29, 2012

In an earlier blog post, I commented on how acoustic waves are being used in a biomedical setting, to identify malaria in small fluid samples. A more traditional use of piezoelectric devices was written about in the latest COMSOL News. Here, an Italian company, Esaote S.p.A., uses them to produce improved ultrasound imaging systems.

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Phil Kinnane June 28, 2012

One of the interesting stories to come out of the latest COMSOL News concerned a couple of great researchers, Dr. Ozgur Yildirim and Dr. Zihong Guo, and how they use simulations in their inventing process. They work in an invention/prototype laboratory in Bellevue, WA for Intellectual Ventures, a global leader in the business of invention.

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Phil Kinnane June 20, 2012

According to a study done by Brunel University in the United Kingdom, the food sector is among the top five energy-consuming industries. The transportation of food, including keeping it refrigerated, is one of the larger contributing factors to this energy-consumption and subsequent greenhouse gas emissions.

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Phil Kinnane June 12, 2012

One dangerous aspect of corrosion is that it can compromise the stability of structures, which is particularly relevant in the naval industry, where material failure leads to leaks. However, another danger of corrosion has recently become apparent.

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