COMSOL Multiphysics

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
COMSOL Multiphysics
COMSOL logo.png
Developer(s) COMSOL
Stable release 5.0 / November 4, 2014 (2014-11-04)
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Finite Element Analysis Simulator
License Proprietary EULA

COMSOL Multiphysics is a finite element analysis, solver and Simulation software / FEA Software package for various physics and engineering applications, especially coupled phenomena, or multiphysics. COMSOL Multiphysics also offers an extensive interface to MATLAB and its toolboxes for a large variety of programming, preprocessing and postprocessing possibilities. The packages are cross-platform (Windows, Mac, Linux). In addition to conventional physics-based user interfaces, COMSOL Multiphysics also allows for entering coupled systems of partial differential equations (PDEs). The PDEs can be entered directly or using the so-called weak form (see finite element method for a description of weak formulation). An early version (before 2005) of COMSOL Multiphysics was called FEMLAB.

In 1986, COMSOL was started by graduate students, Svante Littmarck and Farhad Saeidi, to Germund Dahlquist based on code developed for a graduate course at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)[1] in Stockholm, Sweden.


Several add-on products are available for COMSOL Multiphysics:[2]

  • AC/DC Module
  • Acoustics Module
  • Batteries & Fuel Cells Module
  • CAD Import Module
  • CFD Module
  • Chemical Reaction Engineering Module
  • Corrosion Module
  • ECAD Import Module
  • Electrochemistry Module
  • Electrodeposition Module
  • Fatigue Module
  • File Import for CATIA V5
  • Geomechanics Module
  • Heat Transfer Module
  • LiveLink for AutoCAD
  • LiveLink for Creo Parametric
  • LiveLink for Excel
  • LiveLink for Inventor
  • LiveLink for MATLAB
  • LiveLink for Pro/ENGINEER
  • LiveLink for Solid Edge
  • LiveLink for SolidWorks
  • LiveLink for SpaceClaim
  • Material Library
  • MEMS Module
  • Microfluidics Module
  • Mixer Module
  • Molecular Flow Module
  • Multibody Dynamics Module
  • Nonlinear Structural Materials Module
  • Optimization Module
  • Particle Tracing Module
  • Pipe Flow Module
  • Plasma Module
  • RF Module
  • Semiconductor Module
  • Structural Mechanics Module
  • Subsurface Flow Module
  • Wave Optics Module

AC/DC Module[edit]

For simulation of capacitors, inductors, power cables, electrical motors, electrical generators, and sensors. Electrostatics, direct current, electro-quasistatic approximation, magneto-quasistatic approximation, and electromagnetic four-potential user interfaces are included. Combinations with CFD, thermal, acoustic, and structural analysis are common. SPICE circuit import available for connecting Finite element method model with circuits.

Acoustics Module[edit]

Contains built-in user interfaces and boundary settings for the modeling of acoustic propagation in solids and stationary fluids. Also models aeroacoustic applications in moving fluids. Later additions include thermoacoustics, poroelastic waves, and acoustic-structure interactions (vibroacoustics). Couplings to electrical circuits is also possible. Applications include simulation of speakers, microphones, hearing aids, vibrating industrial equipment, seismology, and mufflers.

Batteries & Fuel Cells Module[edit]

Electrochemical, heat, and flow simulation of electrochemical cells. User interfaces available for lithium-ion battery, lead–acid battery, and generic batteries. Simulations can include primary, secondary, and tertiary-current influence. A common application for the module is for detailed electrochemical analysis and subsequent thermal runaway.

CAD Import Module[edit]

Facilitates the reading of most industry-standard CAD formats. Includes add-in packages that support the file formats for specific CAD programs' geometry kernels. Also switches COMSOL's native geometry engine into the Parasolid engine. For bidirectional CAD links see LiveLink products for CAD. For CATIA V5, the File Import for CATIA V5 is needed.

CFD Module[edit]

Computational fluid dynamics simulations including laminar flow, swirl flow, turbulent flow, non-isothermal flow, high mach number flow, two-phase flow, and fluid-structure interaction (with Structural Mechanics Module).

Chemical Reaction Engineering Module[edit]

Analyzes CFD and mass and energy balances coupled to chemical reaction kinetics. Incorporates a plethora of application models for the field of transport phenomena including ionic transport and multi-component diffusion.

Corrosion Module[edit]

1D, 2D, and 3D simulations of corrosion and corrosion protection. Used for transport of ions and neutral species in a solution, the current conduction in the metal structure, and other phenomena such as fluid flow and heat transfer. Simulations can include primary, secondary, and tertiary-current influence. Simulation of material that is physically removed is possible.

ECAD Import Module[edit]

The ECAD Import Module supports the ODB++(X), GDS-II, and NETEX-G file formats. The layout is automatically extruded and converted to a 3D CAD model for use in any kind of COMSOL Multiphysics simulations.

Electrochemistry Module[edit]

Electrodeposition Module[edit]

Used for electrodeposition processes: current distribution at the surface of electrodes and thickness and composition of deposited layers within electrodeposition (and also electrowinning). Simulations can include the effects of fluid flow in the chemical transport (tertiary-currents).

Fatigue Module[edit]

The Fatigue Module includes the Smith-Watson-Topper, Wang-Brown, and Fatemi-Socie methods for low-cycle, or strain-based, fatigue analysis. Neuber's rule and the Hoffmann-Seeger method are available for elastoplastic material fatigue computations.

Geomechanics Module[edit]

Nonlinear material add-on to the Structural Mechanics Module. Includes material models for concrete, rock, and soil such as Cam Clay, Drucker-Prager, Mohr-Coulomb, Matsuoka-Nakai, and Lade-Duncan. In addition, large strain plastic deformation and creep is included.

Heat Transfer Module[edit]

User interfaces and tools for heat transfer by conduction, convection and radiation. Specific for industrial applications such as electronics cooling, and process engineering with material phase changes.

LiveLink Products for CAD[edit]

Adds bidirectional links to major CAD software packages. Allows for geometric (and other) parameters to be swept for from within COMSOL, encompassing CAD package. Includes the CAD Import Module.

LiveLink for MATLAB[edit]

Integrates COMSOL Multiphysics with MATLAB thereby extending COMSOL's simulation tools with scripting capabilities. Allows for saving COMSOL models as M-files. Such M-files still require COMSOL Multiphysics to be installed since these are calling high-performance library functions proprietary to COMSOL. COMSOL generated M-files can be combined with any MATLAB M-files for advanced postprocessing, statistical and probabilistic analysis, for-loops, optimization, and combination with other MATLAB add-on products.

LiveLink for Excel[edit]

Adds a COMSOL Multiphysics tab and specialized toolbar to the Excel ribbon for controlling the parameters, variables and mesh, or running a simulation. Includes the capability of import/export of Excel files for parameter and variable lists in the COMSOL GUI.

Material Library[edit]

Internal material property database with more than 2500 materials and 20,000 properties. The database contains temperature dependence of electrical, thermal, and structural properties of solid materials.

The material library can also accept files generated by the MatWeb material property database. This is a searchable database of over 59,050 material data sheets, including property information on thermoplastic and thermoset polymers, metals, and other engineering materials. MatWeb is a division of Automation Creations, Inc. (ACI) of Blacksburg, Virginia [1].

MEMS Module[edit]

For coupled physical processes in microelectromechanical systems and piezoelectric devices. Incorporates specific multiphysics couplings for applications such as thin-film damping, piezoelectricity, and fluid-structure interaction. A specialized user interface for electromechanics interactions is included that allows for MEMS cantilever beam simulations.

Mixer Module[edit]

For analysis of stirred mixers and reactors with tools for free surface modeling and non-Newtonian fluids.

Microfluidics Module[edit]

Used for microfluidics in devices such as lab-on-a-chip and electronic displays. Commonly combined with the Particle Tracing Module and then can be used for electrophoresis, dielectrophoresis, electroosmosis, and electrowetting. Also two-phase flow is included. Recently, transitional flow, slip flow, and molecular flow (Knudsen flow) simulation tools have been added.

Molecular Flow Module[edit]

Used for the design and simulation of low pressure gas flow in vacuum systems.

Multibody Dynamics Module[edit]

Nonlinear Structural Materials Module[edit]

Nonlinear material add-on to Structural Mechanics Module. Includes elasto-plasticity, hyperelastic material, viscoplasticity, and creep. Also allows for large-strain plastic deformation.

Optimization Module[edit]

Makes optimization user interfaces and tools available in the COMSOL environment. Partially based upon the SNOPT code developed by Philip E. Gill of the University of California San Diego, and Walter Murray and Michael A. Saunders of Stanford University, the Optimization Module can be used to solve shape, size, and topology optimization problems, as well as inverse problems such as parameter estimation. Later additions include time-dependent sensitivity and optimization.

Particle Tracing Module[edit]

For computing the trajectory of particles in a fluid or electromagnetic field, including particle-field interactions. Applications include: flow visualization, mixing, spraying, particle separation, mass spectrometry, ion optics, beam physics, ion energy distribution functions, and acoustophoresis. Particles can be massless or have mass, where the movement is governed by Newtonian, Lagrangian, or Hamiltonian formulations from classical mechanics. Late additions include particle-particle interaction, secondary emission of particles, and Brownian motion.

Pipe Flow Module[edit]

For 1D CFD in pipes modeled as lines or curves embedded in 2D or 3D CAD models. Flow, mass and heat transport, water hammer effect, and acoustics (with Acoustics Module) is covered. Built-in bidirectional couplings between the 1D pipes and 3D (and 2D) domains.

Plasma Module[edit]

For modeling non-equilibrium discharges: plasma reactors including inductively coupled plasmas (ICP), DC discharges, wave heated discharges (microwave plasmas), and capacitively coupled plasmas (CCP). Interaction between the plasma and an external circuit is also available.

RF Module[edit]

Characterizes electromagnetic fields, currents and waves for RF, microwave, optical and other high-frequency devices. Allows for extensive post-processing such as S-parameter computations and far-field analyses. Also used for plasmonics, surface plasmons, and metamaterial simulations.

Semiconductor Module[edit]

Structural Mechanics Module[edit]

Performs classical stress-strain analysis with full multiphysics capabilities. Comprises large deformation (geometrically nonlinear deformations], shell, beam and contact abilities; all able to be freely coupled to other physics such as in the case of fluid-structure interaction - which comes as a built-in tool. Static, time-domain, frequency-domain, eigenmode, nonlinear analysis included. Nonlinear material models included when combined with Nonlinear Structural Materials Module or Geomechanics Module.

Subsurface Flow Module[edit]

Models single and coupled processes for geological and environmental phenomena particularly based around subsurface flow. Ideal for porous media flow coupled to other physics such as poroelasticity applications.

Wave Optics Module[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ SIAM Obituary - Germund Dahlquist
  2. ^ COMSOL website