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Integration Of Simulation Into The Undergraduate Fluid Mechanics Curriculum Using Fluent

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Trends in Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.755.1 - 8.755.10



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Paper Authors

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Lance Collins

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Rajesh Bhaskaran

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1566

Integration of Simulation into the Undergraduate Fluid Mechanics Curriculum using FLUENT Rajesh Bhaskaran, Lance Collins Cornell University Ithaca, New York

Abstract The objective of this effort is to integrate simulation technology into the intermediate-level fluid mechanics course in the undergraduate mechanical engineering curriculum at Cornell University. This is achieved using FLUENT, an industry-standard computational fluid dynamics (CFD) package. We seek to expose students to the intelligent use of CFD as well as use FLUENT as a virtual lab environment for hands-on exploration of flow physics and reinforcement of fundamental concepts. Prior to introducing students to FLUENT, we illustrate the underlying numerical concepts such as discretization, grid and iterative convergence, stability, etc. on a simple one-dimensional equation. The classroom examples we have developed are: laminar and turbulent flow in a circular pipe; compressible flow in a nozzle; and flow past an airfoil. In the pipe flow exercise, students are taken through the steps in simulating steady, incompressible, viscous, developing flow in a pipe at low and moderate Reynolds numbers. The concept of turbulence modeling is introduced. Results at the pipe exit are compared with classical results for developed flow (laminar and turbulent) taught in our introductory course in fluid mechanics. The nozzle flow example simulates the high-speed, inviscid airflow through an axisymmetric converging-diverging nozzle. Results for the isentropic case are compared with the classical quasi-one-dimensional results. A non-isentropic case with a shock wave in the diverging section is also presented. In the airfoil example, students simulate inviscid as well as turbulent flow over an airfoil. The lift-curve is compared with thin-airfoil theory. The emphasis of the examples is on the understanding of the solution procedure, and the analysis and justification of results. Our experience demonstrates that FLUENT can be a valuable tool in teaching the proper use of CFD as well as important physical principles at the undergraduate level. The use of hands-on simulations and a rich visual environment facilitates learning of abstract concepts and stimulates student interest.

Introduction Within the last fifteen years, computer-based simulation has become an integral part of design, analysis and research in fluid dynamics. As in other fields of engineering, the in- creasingly widespread use of computation has been driven by the dramatic reduction in the cost of computing hardware and the maturing of off-the-shelf, commercial software pack- ages. Despite the prevalence of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software in industry and research, their use in our undergraduate curriculum has been slight to non-existent.

Collins, L., & Bhaskaran, R. (2003, June), Integration Of Simulation Into The Undergraduate Fluid Mechanics Curriculum Using Fluent Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11753

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