Modeling software from COMSOL features a nonlinear solver

Sept. 14, 2012
Multiphysics 4.3 software includes modules for nonlinear structural materials, pipe flow, and corrosion.

Multiphysics 4.3 software includes modules for nonlinear structural materials, pipe flow, and corrosion. New features include mesh selections and faster meshing for CAD, a new nonlinear solver, turbulent mixing, solar irradiation, fast far-field plots and rotating electrical machinery, and automatic coil excitation.
Burlington, MA

[email protected]

More Products



COMSOL Multiphysics Version 4.3 Now Available

Newest release empowers engineers with powerful modeling tools, numerous user-inspired enhancements, and fast simulations.

Burlington, MA — Today COMSOL announces the 4.3 release of COMSOL Multiphysics, its industry-leading software environment for modeling and simulating any physics-based system. COMSOL Multiphysics 4.3 empowers engineers, researchers, and scientists with powerful new modeling tools and fast simulations that further establish COMSOL as a leading innovator in simulation for electrical, mechanical, fluid flow, and chemical applications. Major new capabilities introduced in version 4.3 include three new discipline-specific add-on modules, fast and powerful meshing, a new “Double Dogleg” solver for mechanical contact and highly nonlinear simulations, and numerous user-inspired enhancements. COMSOL Multiphysics 4.3 is available immediately from COMSOL sales offices worldwide.

Enhancements and upgraded functionality span the entire COMSOL product suite. With the debut of three new discipline-specific add-on modules – the Nonlinear Structural Materials Module, the Pipe Flow Module, and the Corrosion Module – COMSOL now offers 30 products for the simulation of multiphysics phenomena. The newest modules expand the COMSOL Multiphysics simulation platform with all-new user interfaces that help users solve the unique design challenges in each of these areas accurately and efficiently.

User-inspired Developments
COMSOL users played a vital role in developing this new version. Their requests, suggestions, and feedback contributed significantly to the features that were ultimately implemented, making COMSOL Multiphysics 4.3 a true community effort.

“Our mission is to bring engineers and scientists reliable simulation tools that impact their day-to-day work, so their input is a crucial component of our product,” said Bjorn Sjodin, VP of Product Management for COMSOL. “We’re continually soliciting and receiving feedback from our user base, while pursuing that passion for innovation that COMSOL is known for.”

The combined talent of COMSOL developers and users not only make this a major release, but many of the requested enhancements further increased the integration of COMSOL Multiphysics with the larger CAE community. For example, core modeling capabilities in version 4.3 have been updated and expanded significantly. Meshing is now both faster and more powerful, particularly when working with virtual geometry operations for shielding the automatic mesher from unnecessary geometric detail. Users working with imported meshes can now group existing mesh elements into new domains and boundaries, which makes it easy to assign boundary conditions and material properties wherever desired.

Users can now run multiple-parameter sweeps with easy specification of one, two, or more parameters – sweeping for all of them or just a subset of them. Visualizations of results from these parameter sweeps can be easily selected to include combinations of the swept parameters in a single presentation. New Cluster Sweep and Batch Sweep user interfaces facilitate defining massively parallel and independent parametric sweeps.

Version 4.3's modules for electrical, mechanical, fluid flow, and chemical simulations have all been updated with exciting new features and capabilities. Responding to multiple requests, COMSOL implemented a user interface within the AC/DC Module for modeling 3D rotating machinery. Users benefiting from this new functionality include those working on applications for generators, brushless motors, radial and axial flux machinery along with brushed DC electric motors.

Users of the Structural Mechanics and MEMS Modules will appreciate a new solver for mechanical contact and highly nonlinear simulations -- the “Double Dogleg” solver. New tools for tagging load cases have also been included for easier setup of extensive structural mechanics studies. The CFD Module introduces new, easy-to-use interfaces and added functionality for mass transport simulations influenced by turbulent mixing, while the Particle Tracing Module now incorporates particle-particle interaction and Brownian forces into its extensive list of supported functionalities.

Nonlinear Structural Materials Module
The new Nonlinear Structural Materials Module augments the mechanical capabilities of the Structural Mechanics and MEMS Modules by adding nonlinear material models. When the mechanical stress in a structure becomes large, certain nonlinearities in the material properties force the user to abandon linear material models. This situation also occurs in some operating conditions, such as high temperature. The new module adds elastoplastic, viscoplastic, creep, and hyperelastic material models. These are based on a new, extended framework for the constitutive laws which users can easily extend for their unique needs.

“We asked COMSOL to implement the Arruda-Boyce hyperelastic model and anisotropic Hill plasticity. These two material models accurately represent the constitutive behavior of a wide range of elastomers and metals, respectively,” said Nagi Elabbasi, a Senior Engineer at Veryst Engineering and an experienced COMSOL user. “We are excited to have these new capabilities now available in version 4.3.”

Pipe Flow Module
The new Pipe Flow Module will interest engineers who design and optimize the pipe and channel networks used in turbines, building ventilation systems, chemical and material manufacture processes, and in the oil and gas industry. The module enables efficient simulations of 1D fluid flow, heat and mass transfer, hydraulic transients, and acoustics. The Pipe Flow Module's simulation results can be integrated into 2D and 3D models of network components, yielding the velocity, pressure variation, and temperature along the pipes and channels in the network.

Corrosion Module
Corrosion is everywhere and is an especially important concern for off-shore structures, ships and submarines, aerospace, and automotive parts. George F Hays, Director General of the World Corrosion Organization, estimates that 3% of the world’s GDP is lost every year due to corrosion. (See the report “Now is the Time” )

The new COMSOL Corrosion Module offers specialized user interfaces to model the electrochemical processes that lead to corrosion. Using the Corrosion Module, engineers who want to mitigate these processes can gain powerful insights into how structures might corrode under certain conditions and how structures can be protected. The module includes the physics required to model galvanic, pitting, and crevice corrosion as well as cathodic and anodic protection.

This May, corrosion experts gathered at the COMSOL headquarters in Burlington, MA, to be the first to put their hands on the Corrosion Module. “I am new to COMSOL Multiphysics, and I made the decision to become a user with the debut of the Corrosion Module,” says Staff Research Engineer Lei Chen with UTRC, Hartford, CT, who attended the corrosion modeling training course. “This training was a great opportunity for me to get an introduction to the modeling of corrosion. In particular, I am planning to use the module for the study of localized corrosion processes. The Corrosion Module makes COMSOL able to address the simulation needs in major industries such as material protection and coating.”

Empowering COMSOL Users with More Speed and New Modeling Tools
COMSOL Multiphysics version 4.3 is a major release. It has been built with the combined knowledge and experience of COMSOL's development teams and hands-on practitioners of modeling and simulation from around the world. With its three new expansion modules, this version also empowers users in major industries for the first time with the innovation potential of an easy-to-use yet powerful multiphysics simulation platform that operates the way they think. COMSOL Multiphysics version 4.3 delivers its users simulation products for boosting engineering efficiency.

Highlights of Version 4.3

*Nonlinear Structural Materials Module
-Pipe Flow Module
-Corrosion Module

*Mesh and geometry
-Create new boundaries and domains for imported meshes
-Fast meshing for imported CAD files and the LiveLink products for CAD
-Export geometry, mesh, and deformed mesh to the STL file format
-Extrude and revolve directly from 3D surfaces

*Studies and solvers
-New user interface for parametric sweeps with multiple parameters
-New Cluster Sweep and Batch Sweep
-New “double dog-leg” solver for mechanical contact and other highly nonlinear simulations

*Results and visualization
-Microsoft Word file format option for the report generator
-Fast 3D and 2D far-field plots for RF and acoustics applications
-Comet tail plots for particle tracing

*Desktop functionality
-Control storage of solutions in memory and number of processor cores used directly from the Preferences window
-Sort Physics settings based on space dimension

*AC/DC Module
-3D rotating machinery
-Automatic coil excitation for 3D coils

*Electromagnetics in porous media for the AC/DC and RF Modules
-Turbulent mixing in the CFD Module
-Automatic computation of solar irradiation in the Heat Transfer Module
-Particle-particle interaction in the Particle Tracing Module
-Piezoresistive materials in the MEMS Module
-Time-dependent optimization in the Optimization Module

For detailed information on COMSOL Multiphysics version 4.3 please visit

COMSOL Multiphysics is a software environment for the modeling and simulation of any physics-based system. A particular strength is its ability to account for multiphysics phenomena. Optional modules add discipline-specific tools for mechanical, fluid, electromagnetics, and chemical simulations, as well as CAD interoperability. Founded in 1986, the company has U.S. offices in Burlington, MA, Los Angeles, CA, and Palo Alto, CA. International operations have grown to include offices in the Benelux countries, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Independent distributors of COMSOL Multiphysics are located in Australia, China, Egypt, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Poland, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Spain, Taiwan, and Turkey. Additional information about the company is available at


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe now to Laser Focus World magazine; it's free!

About the Author

LFW Staff

Published since 1965, Laser Focus World—a brand and magazine for engineers, researchers, scientists, and technical professionals—provides comprehensive global coverage of optoelectronic technologies, applications, and markets. With 80,000+ qualified print subscribers in print and over a half-million annual visitors to our online content, we are the go-to source to access decision makers and stay in-the-know.

Sponsored Recommendations

Optical Power Meters for Diverse Applications

April 30, 2024
Bench-top single channel to multichannel power meters, Santec has the power measurement platforms to meet your requirements.

Request a quote: Micro 3D Printed Part or microArch micro-precision 3D printers

April 11, 2024
See the results for yourself! We'll print a benchmark part so that you can assess our quality. Just send us your file and we'll get to work.

Request a Micro 3D Printed Benchmark Part: Send us your file.

April 11, 2024
See the results for yourself! We'll print a benchmark part so that you can assess our quality. Just send us your file and we'll get to work.

Request a free Micro 3D Printed sample part

April 11, 2024
The best way to understand the part quality we can achieve is by seeing it first-hand. Request a free 3D printed high-precision sample part.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Laser Focus World, create an account today!