OpenFOAM 1.3 review

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The OpenFOAM comes from Open Field Operation and Manipulation, and can simulate anything from complex fluid flows involving chemical

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
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Developer: OpenCFD Ltd.
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The OpenFOAM comes from Open Field Operation and Manipulation, and can simulate anything from complex fluid flows involving chemical reactions, turbulence and heat transfer, to solid dynamics, electromagnetics and the pricing of financial options.

The core technology of OpenFOAM is a flexible set of efficient C++ modules. These are used to build a wealth of: solvers, to simulate specific problems in engineering mechanics; utilities, to perform pre- and post-processing tasks ranging from simple data manipulations to visualisation and mesh processing; libraries, to create toolboxes that are accessible to the solvers/utilities, such as libraries of physical models.

OpenFOAM is supplied with numerous pre-configured solvers, utilities and libraries and so can be used like any typical simulation package. However, it is open, not only in terms of source code, but also in its structure and hierarchical design, so that its solvers, utilities and libraries are fully extensible.

OpenFOAM uses finite volume numerics to solve systems of partial differential equations ascribed on any 3D unstructured mesh of polyhedral cells. The fluid flow solvers are developed within a robust, implicit, pressure-velocity, iterative solution framework, although alternative techniques are applied to other continuum mechanics solvers.

Domain decomposition parallelism is fundamental to the design of OpenFOAM and integrated at a low level so that solvers can generally be developed without the need for any ’parallel-specific’ coding.

Here are some key features of "OpenFOAM":
Standard solvers:

'Basic' CFD
Incompressible flows
Compressible flows
Multiphase flows
Heat transfer
Solid dynamics



The FoamX case manager
Other pre-processing utilities


The paraFoam post-processor
Third-party post-processing
Other post-processing utilities

Mesh processing:

Mesh generation
Mesh converters
Mesh manipulation

Model libraries:

Large-eddy simulation (LES)
Transport models
Thermophysical models
Lagrangian particle tracking
Chemical kinetics

Other features:

Linear system solvers
ODE system solvers
Parallel computing
Mesh motion
Numerical method

What's New in This Release:
The AMG solver is faster.
Parallel communications were improved.
OpenMPI support has been added.
Speedups were made in templates, mesh structures, and temporary fields.
The modularity of discretization techniques and mesh topology modification methods was improved.
The sphericalTensor type was added.
Physical constants are now loaded as data.
Resolution of expansion waves, contacts, and shocks was improved.
Various experimental foam solvers have been added.
Handling of boundaries and gradients was improved.
Assorted utilities for mesh manipulation and post-processing were added.

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