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Kanazawa Institute of Technology, College of Engineering
Helping Students Acquire a Basic Knowledge of CFD through the Implementation of CFD

Picture 1: Associate professor Daisuke Sasaki (PhD in Information Science), Kanazawa Institute of Technology, College of Engineering, Mechanics field, Department of Aeronautics

[Vol. 2] In the Department of Aeronautics and Department of Mechanical Engineering at the College of Engineering of Kanazawa Institute of Technology, SC/Tetra, a thermo-fluid analysis software product, is used as a part of their curriculum. This general-purpose tool helps students learn the basic applications of CFD, which is essential in the aeronautics field. Associate professor Daisuke Sasaki (Picture 1) of Department of Aeronautics explains how they apply CFD in class.

Analyzing an Arbitrary Geometry such as a Human-powered Airplane

For the fourth topic in the course, the students use a provided airfoil model or other customized model of what they want to analyze, calculate the model, and write a report. To set material properties and the information on the flow, they have to research and decide the parameters by themselves. Last year, about the half of the students analyzed what interested them. For example, one student added his unique parts to the existing airfoil and compared the performances, and another student analyzed the motion of a hockey puck.

Picture 5: Mr. Kota Nishioka in the third year of the Department of Aeronautics

In KIT, for craftsmanship-related extracurricular activities, students can join the human-powered airplane project and the small unmanned aerial vehicle project. Many students who enroll in the course are also in the project, and some of them want to analyze the flow of the airfoil they are using. Mr. Kota Nishioka (Picture 5) took the course piloted a human-powered airplane last year and designs the airframe this year. He has been using SC/Tetra since last year for design and simulates how much drag of the airplane can be reduced. He also says he wants to calculate the air flow inside the cockpit fairing. If the air intake position is not appropriate, the inside cannot be cooled and will be extremely hot.

Picture 6: Teaching assistants - Mr. Taiki Kunishio (left side) and Mr. Takuya Hirose (right side)

Manuals Help Beginners Understand SC/Tetra Operation

We also interviewed two teaching assistants. Mr. Takuya Hirose (right side in Picture 6) is in the second year of the master’s course in mechanical engineering. He used SC/Tetra for the first time when he was in the laboratory. He had a hard time in his early period to analyze a valve with two inlets and one outlet, because various parts were assembled, he had to remove the interfered surfaces. Now he uses SC/Tetra to verify an in-house program using Cartesian mesh for analyzing the flow inside a combustion chamber of a solid rocket. He mentioned the calculation stability as one of SC/Tetra’s advantages.

 

Mr. Taiki Kunishio (left side in Picture 6) in the first year of the master’s course has used SC/Tetra since he operated it for the first time in class. At first, error messages used to appear even though he followed the operation procedure, and he could not find the causes. Now however, he can predict the error causes, e.g., mesh and boundary conditions. In addition, he can solve most of his problems by referring to the manual provided by Software Cradle. He says “The manuals are written for those who work on CFD for the first time, and basic terminologies are explained. Therefore, even beginners can understand CFD and the software operations broadly.”

Figure 1: Analysis of unsteady laminar flow around a cylinder to understand a unsteady flow field (Click to enlarge)

Dr. Sasaki says that students should refer to the manual provided by Software Cradle to improve their application skill. The manual contains exercises using models similar to their analysis targets. In addition, the second topic 'unsteady flow around a cylinder' (Figure 1) can be compared with a wind tunnel experiment of a flow around a cylinder conducted in the third year course. By using these tools, students are expected to enrich their understanding for CFD.

Increasing Demands for CFD

Fluid analyses are used not only in fields tightly connected to fluids, such as aircrafts and fluid machinery, but also in other fields. Because many of the fields which mainly conduct engineering experiments are related to fluid, analysis tools are expected to be helpful also in those fields. For example, there is a group in KIT who study Japanese swords involving their functional beauty and structural materials. In the multidirectional approaches of the study, students conduct wind tunnel experiments and analyze aerodynamic noise using a CFD tool. On the other hand, demands for CFD among companies are increasing. Many small- and medium-sized companies have difficulty introducing fluid analyses despite their interests. From this point, CFD education for students is extremely beneficial.

 

Dr. Sasaki has a prospect to apply his studies to moving objects and rotating objects using SC/Tetra. Recently, demands for CFD have been increasing especially in drone fields. They expect to use CFD to improve the aerodynamic performance of drones for more safety and longer battery life. Dr. Sasaki hopes to work with these organizations and provide advice from aerodynamic perspective aspects.

 

In addition, he continues to study robust design and effective optimization methods with appropriate design conditions and fewer calculations. The optimization program (design tool) Dr. Sasaki developed can be used in combination with commercial tools such as SC/Tetra.

*All product and service names mentioned are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective companies.
*Contents and specifications of products are as of November 30, 2016 and subject to change without notice. We shall not be held liable for any errors in figures and pictures, or any typographical errors in this brochure.

Company Details

 

Kanazawa Institute of Technology,
College of Engineering
Founded April 1, 1965
College Established in 1965
Location Nonoichi-shi, Ishikawa
Type of university Private

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