Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a branch of fluid mechanics that uses numerical analysis data structures to analyze and solve problems that involve. Computers are used to perform the calculations required to simulate the free-stream flow of the fluid, and the interaction of the fluid (liquids and gases) with surfaces defined by boundary conditions.

CFD is the analysis of systems involving fluid flow, heat transfer and associated phenomena such as chemical reactions by means of computer-based simulation. The technique is very powerful and spans a wide range of industrial and non-industrial application areas. Some examples are:

    • External and internal environment of buildings: wind loading and heating/ventilation


    • Aerodynamics of aircraft and vehicles: lift and drag


    • Hydrodynamics of ships


    • Power plant: combustion in internal combustion engines and gas turbines


    • Turbomachinery: flows inside rotating passages, diffusers etc.


    • Electrical and electronic engineering: cooling of equipment including microcircuits


    • Chemical process engineering: mixing and separation, polymer moulding


    • Marine engineering: loads on off-shore structures


    • Environmental engineering: distribution of pollutants and effluents


    • Hydrology and oceanography: flows in rivers, estuaries, oceans


    • Meteorology: weather prediction


    • Biomedical engineering: blood flows through arteries and veins

(Courtesy: An Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics by H K Versteeg and W Malalasekera)