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Computational Fluid Dynamics - Introduction

  1. Jun 30, 2007 #1
    Hi, hope this is the right area for this.

    I'm currently doing preliminary research for my computer science dissertation. I'm thinking of doing something in CFD...either representing the effects of wind on fur, or simulating a river flowing.

    Most CFD 'googles' have resulted in me finding items relating to CFD software, and CFD from the perspective of mathmaticians, physicists and (most prominantly) engineers.

    Is there a good text/online source for learning CFD from the ground up with a neutral/computer science perspective?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 30, 2007 #2
    nope not that i have found (then again i'm in the same spot as you)...
    then again it depends on what your definition of cs perspective since most of CFD is about numerical simulations(PDEs).

    IF your cs defn is about building CFD engine from the ground up i haven't found one so if you do plz post teh book.

    If your just talking about building numerical code thats used in CFD tahts what most books are for (my course used Wesseling's, this book is horrid in notation) and is basically the mathematicians perspective.

    There's another text recommended to me by another CFD student by i think Verstaag(its a book entitled intro to CFD, full words)

    So if you don't like the math then your outta luck with CFD's and better brush up on numerical techniques.
  4. Jul 1, 2007 #3
    well the problem is that most of the information is from university courses with modules on on how to use "piece of software X" to find what they want, not an explanation of how to build some form of software.

    i tried looking for that Verstaag chap, but came up blank. :/
  5. Jul 1, 2007 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Are you looking for the theory behind CFD, i.e. how to formulate the set of differential or integral equations into FEM form?

    Some theoretical material is available -

    Computational Methods for Fluid Dynamics

    Perhaps a classic text is

    Numerical Heat Transfer And Fluid Flow (Hemisphere Series on Computational Methods in Mechanics and Thermal Science)

    I may have a couple more of Patankar's books.

    "Effects of wind on fur" is not necessarily trivial, since it involves fluid-structure interaction - which could be handled as a boundary condition to the fluid.

    River flow would be easier.
  6. Jul 1, 2007 #5
    At this stage I'm really interested in just understanding the ground work. What equations do I use? How do you represent a volume of water? How do you calculate changes in the body of water?

    Like i said, everything I've looked at starts with a general overview of what CFD is and why it's used, then goes into saying "and in this course we'll be using this piece of software...". which isn't what i want.

    thanks for your book suggestions, I've asked the university library to get in some copies so hopefully they will be useful.
  7. Jul 1, 2007 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    There are three sets of equations - mass, momentum and energy - and altogether they are known as the Navier-Stokes equations.


    The mass equation is also known as the continuity equation - i.e. for incompressible flow, mass flow in = mass flow out, otherwise there is an accumulation of mass, which can happen in a vessel such as an accumulator.

    Continuity - http://www.princeton.edu/~asmits/Bicycle_web/continuity.html

    Momentum - http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/airplane/conmo.html

    Energy - http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/airplane/thermo1f.html

    More generally -


    CIVE1400: Fluid Mechanics


    Limited free view (~5 pages) then requires subscription.


    This should get one started. There was a great site on Navier-Stokes, but it appears to be down now.
  8. Jul 1, 2007 #7
    k the book is
    an intro to CF: finite volume method" by Versteeg MalalasekeraD
    the first few chapters seem decent....

    but if your willing to go through all the tensor notation(i hate it) Wesselings is ok...take me long cuz i try to convert everything back to vector notations.
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