COMSOL Multiphysics

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COMSOL Multiphysics
Comsol company logo.png
An application of shell and tube heat exchanger which includes the model and an instance of running application.jpg NOte.jpg
Developer(s) COMSOL Inc.
Stable release
5.3a / December 14, 2017; 8 months ago (2017-12-14)
Operating system Cross-platform

Computer-aided engineering,

Finite element analysis
License Proprietary EULA
Private company
Industry Computer software
Founded Stockholm, Sweden (1986)
Key people

Svante Littmarck, CEO COMSOL Group

Farhad Saeidi, President COMSOL AB

COMSOL Multiphysics


COMSOL Multiphysics is a cross-platform finite element analysis, solver and multiphysics simulation software. It allows conventional physics-based user interfaces and coupled systems of partial differential equations (PDEs). COMSOL provides an IDE and unified workflow for electrical, mechanical, fluid, and chemical applications. An API for Java and LiveLink for MATLAB may be used to control the software externally, and the same API is also used via the Method Editor.

COMSOL contains an App Builder which can be used to develop independent domain-specific apps with custom user-interface. Users may use drag-and-drop tools (Form Editor) or programming (Method Editor). Specific features may be included from the model or new features may be introduced through programming. It also contains a Physics Builder to create custom physics-interfaces accessible from the COMSOL Desktop with the same look-and-feel as the built-in physics interfaces.

COMSOL Server is the software and engine for running simulation apps and the platform for controlling their deployment and distribution. User developed apps can be run in COMSOL Server through web browsers or a Windows-installed client.

COMSOL was started in July 1986 by Svante Littmarck and Farhad Saeidi at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden.


Several modules are available for COMSOL,[1] categorized according to the applications areas, namely Electrical, Mechanical, Fluid, Chemical, Multipurpose, and Interfacing. Also note that these add-ons are of two types: one with COMSOL, and one with COMSOL Server.


  • AC/DC Module - used for simulating electric, magnetic, and electromagnetic fields in static and low-frequency applications. This helps solve virtually all models that work under this module.
  • RF Module - used by designers of RF and microwave devices to design antennas, waveguides, filters, circuits, cavities, dc converter and metamaterials.
  • Wave Optics Module - provides dedicated tools for electromagnetic wave propagation in linear and nonlinear optical media. The module can be used to model high-frequency electromagnetic wave simulations in either frequency- or time-domain in optical structures.
  • Ray Optics Module - used to model electromagnetic wave propagation in systems in which the wavelength is much smaller than the smallest geometric detail in the model.
  • MEMS Module - provides predefined user interfaces with associated modeling tools, referred to as physics interfaces, for a variety of coupled physics, including electromagnetic-structure, thermal-structure, or fluid-structure interactions.
  • Plasma Module - used to model and simulate low-temperature plasma sources and systems. Engineers and scientists use it to gain insight into the physics of discharges and gauge the performance of existing or potential designs.
  • Semiconductor Module - allows for detailed analysis of semiconductor device operation at the fundamental physics level. The module is based on the drift-diffusion equations, using isothermal or nonisothermal transport models.

Structural and acoustics[edit]

  • Structural Mechanics Module - dedicated to the analysis of mechanical structures that are subject to static or dynamic loads. It can be used for a wide range of analysis types, including stationary, transient, eigenmode/modal, parametric, quasi-static, frequency-response, buckling, and prestressed.
  • Nonlinear Structural Materials Module - an add-on to the mechanical capabilities of the Structural Mechanics Module and the MEMS Module with nonlinear material models, including large strain plastic deformation capabilities.
  • Geomechanics Module - an add-on to the Structural Mechanics Module and is used to analyze geotechnical applications, such as tunnels, excavations, slope stability, and retaining structures.
  • Fatigue Module - can be used for fatigue analysis of different structures.
  • Multibody Dynamics Module - an add-on to the Structural Mechanics Module that provides an advanced set of tools for designing and optimizing multibody structural mechanics systems using finite element analysis (FEA). The module can be used to simulate mixed systems of flexible and rigid bodies, where each body may be subjected to large rotational or translational displacements.
  • Rotordynamics Module - an add-on to the Structural Mechanics Module and is used to analyze the effects of lateral and torsional vibrations of rotating machinery in order to study rotor vibrations and contain their levels within acceptable design limits.
  • Acoustics Module - used for simulating devices that produce, measure, and utilize acoustic waves. The application areas include speakers, microphones, hearing aids, and sonar devices, to name a few. Noise control can be addressed in muffler design, sound barriers, and building acoustic applications.

Fluid and heat[edit]

  • CFD Module - for simulating devices and systems that involve sophisticated fluid flow models. Provides ready-made physics interfaces that are configured to receive model inputs via the graphical user interface (GUI), and to use these inputs to formulate model equations. The particular physics interfaces that the CFD Module is equipped with enable you to model most aspects of fluid flow, including descriptions of compressible, nonisothermal, non-Newtonian, two-phase, and porous media flows – all in the laminar and turbulent flow regimes. The CFD Module can be used as a standard tool for simulating computational fluid dynamics (CFD), or in collaboration with the other modules in the COMSOL Product Suite for multiphysics simulations where fluid flow is important.
  • Mixer Module - an add-on to the CFD Module and is used to analyze fluid mixers and stirred reactors. It contains dedicated functionality for simulating fluid flow subjected to rotating machinery.
  • Microfluidics Module - used for studying microfluidic devices. Some important applications include simulations of lab-on-a-chip devices, digital microfluidics, electrokinetic and magnetokinetic devices, and inkjets.
  • Subsurface Flow Module - used to simulate fluid flow below ground or in other porous media and also connect this flow with other phenomena, such as poroelasticity, heat transfer, chemistry, and electromagnetic fields. It can be used for modeling groundwater flow, the spread of waste and pollution through soil, the flow of oil and gas to wells, and land subsidence due to groundwater extraction.
  • Pipe Flow Module - used for simulations of fluid flow, heat and mass transfer, hydraulic transients, and acoustics in pipe and channel networks. It can be easily integrated with any of the other modules in the COMSOL Product Suite for modeling the effects piping has on larger entities, such as cooling pipes in engine blocks or feeding and product channels connected to vessels.
  • Molecular Flow Module - used for the simulation of vacuum systems including those used in semiconductor processing, particle accelerators and mass spectrometers. Small channel applications (e.g. shale gas exploration and flow in nanoporous materials) can also be addressed.
  • Heat Transfer Module - contains simulation tools to study the mechanisms of heat transfer – conduction, convection, and radiation – often in collaboration with other physics, such as structural mechanics, fluid dynamics, electromagnetics, and chemical reactions.


  • Chemical Reaction Engineering Module - contains the tools to simulate material transport and heat transfer together with arbitrary chemical kinetics in all types of environments - gases, liquids, porous media, on surfaces, and within solid phases - or combinations of all of these.
  • Batteries and Fuel Cells Module - models the underlying electrochemical behavior in the electrodes and electrolytes of batteries and fuel cells.
  • Electrodeposition Module - used to study the important characteristics of electrodeposition cells.
  • Corrosion Module - used to investigate the processes leading to corrosion, gain an understanding of the extent to which corrosion could occur over the lifetime of a structure, and implement preventative measures to inhibit electrochemical corrosion, in order to protect the structures.
  • Electrochemistry Module - includes capabilities such as modeling electrochemical reaction mechanisms, mass transport, and current density distributions enable efficient simulation for applications including electrolysis, electrodialysis, electroanalysis, electrochemical sensors, and bioelectrochemistry.


  • Optimization Module - add-on package that can be used in conjunction with any existing COMSOL Product for optimization purposes. It is a general interface which can be used for defining objective functions, specifying design variables, and setting up the constraints.
  • Material Library - contains data for 2500 materials, including the elements, minerals, metal alloys, thermal insulators, semiconductors, and piezoelectric materials.
  • Particle Tracing Module - for computing the trajectory of particles in a fluid or electromagnetic field, including particle-particle, fluid-particle, and particle-field interactions.


  • LiveLink for MATLAB - integrates with MATLAB to extend modeling with scripting programming in the MATLAB environment. LiveLink for MATLAB allows for utilization of the full power of MATLAB and its toolboxes in preprocessing, model manipulation, and postprocessing.
  • CAD Import Module - import a variety of different file formats including the Parasolid and ACIS formats, and standard formats like STEP and IGES.
  • ECAD Import Module - import ECAD files into COMSOL and convert the 2D layouts into 3D geometry that is suitable for simulation.
  • LiveLink for Inventor - integrate with the capabilities of COMSOL from within the Inventor modeling environment, and utilize its power for geometry design.
  • LiveLink for Revit - provides an integration tool and interface for transferring geometry of elements from architectural design projects in Autodesk Revit software to COMSOL software.
  • LiveLink for PTC Pro/ENGINEER - integrate 3D CAD design with COMSOL simulation.
  • File Import for CATIA V5 - translates CATIA V5 part (.CATPart) or assembly (.CATProduct) files using authentic libraries from CATIA V5.
  • LiveLink for Excel - use the capabilities and structured simplicity offered by Excel to extend COMSOL modeling capacity.
  • Design Module - expands the geometric modeling functionality of COMSOL software by providing additional tools for creating geometries and importing a variety of CAD file formats.
  • LiveLink for SolidWorks - enhanced connectivity for efficient integration of simulation into design workflow.
  • LiveLink for AutoCAD - can be used to synchronize CAD models with COMSOL to create model geometries for simulation.
  • LiveLink for PTC Creo Parametric - links 3D designs in the PTC Creo Parametric CAD system to COMSOL model geometries for simulation.
  • LiveLink for Solid Edge - is part of a robust platform that enables to integrate multiphysics simulation into 3D product design workflow.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "COMSOL Modeling Software". Comsol, Inc. Retrieved 20 November 2015. 

External links[edit]