As simulation becomes more accessible, understanding the offerings in the market becomes even more important. One of the standout features of Altair's offerings is its multiphysics capabilities, which enable users to seamlessly integrate various physical phenomena into their simulations. In this blog post, we will discuss Altair Engineering's multiphysics capabilities.
Before I talk about the actual capabilities in the technology stack, I want to discuss one of the most impactful features from Altair, its licensing model. Because users purchase Altair Units, it allows them to access multiple tools within the portfolio at no additional cost.
For example, if they purchased enough units to run the OptiStruct solver, with those same units, they could also access HyperMesh for preprocessing and Acusolve for CFD analysis without purchasing additional units. With many other tools on the market, a license for each software tool needs to be purchased and is then limited to a single user. Altair’s licensing model is the most flexible licensing model on the market since units can also be pooled and shared within teams.
Understanding Multiphysics Simulation
Multiphysics simulation refers to the integration of multiple physical phenomena into a single simulation environment. This approach allows engineers and scientists to analyze how different physical processes interact with each other, providing a more comprehensive understanding of real-world scenarios. An example could be a solar panel on a roof that is simultaneously being exposed to thermal, structural, and aerodynamic loads.
Altair Engineering's Multiphysics Capabilities
Altair HyperWorks: A Comprehensive Simulation Platform
Probably the most well-known set of tools from Altair is HyperWorks, a comprehensive simulation platform that integrates numerous physical disciplines. Engineers can combine structural and thermal analysis with solvers like OptiStruct and Radioss, fluid dynamics with Acusolve and high-end preprocessing with HyperMesh—all within a single environment. This integrated approach streamlines the simulation workflow, eliminating the need to switch between different software packages.
Fig 1: Multiphysics simulation inside the HyperWorks interface
Altair AcuSolve: Fluid Dynamics Simulation
Built inside the HyperWorks interface, Altair AcuSolve specializes in fluid dynamics simulation and is particularly valuable for industries like automotive and aerospace. It allows engineers to analyze complex fluid flow phenomena, including turbulence, heat transfer, and multiphase flows. The seamless integration with other Altair tools ensures a holistic approach to product design and optimization.
Check out our previous post: Exploring Turbulent Flow Analysis with Altair HyperWorks CFD
Fig 2: Acusolve fluid dynamics visualization
Altair Radioss: Crash and Impact Simulation
Altair Radioss is a powerful tool for simulating dynamic and explicit events like crashes and impacts. It enables engineers to analyze the behavior of structures and materials under extreme loading conditions, taking into account various physical interactions, including material deformation, structural response, and fluid flow. Radioss is widely used in industries like automotive, aerospace, and defense to ensure product safety and reliability.
Altair SimLab: Multiphysics Made User-Friendly
Altair SimLab is designed to make multiphysics simulation accessible to engineers of all levels of expertise. It features a user-friendly interface that simplifies the process of setting up and solving multiphysics problems.
With SimLab, engineers can easily couple different physical domains, such as fluid-structure interaction (Acusolve and OptiStruct solvers) or electromagnetic-thermal coupling (Flux and OptiStruct solvers), to gain insights into complex phenomena. In my opinion, SimLab gives users the experience they want with the ease of use of a CAD tool but includes advanced simulation capabilities that aren’t seen in built-in CAD packages.
Fig 3: Simlab CFD analysis with thermal properties
In a previous post we go into depth about how SimLab stacks up with the competition - Simulating Success: How Altair SimLab Stacks Up.
Altair Feko: High-Frequency Electromagnetic Simulation
Altair Feko is a powerful electromagnetic simulation software known for its robust multiphysics capabilities. It excels in modeling and analyzing complex electromagnetic phenomena that often intersect with other physical domains. Feko allows engineers and researchers to seamlessly integrate with other Altair domain tools like HyperWorks.
Feko’s multiphysics capabilities also allow engineers and researchers to not only analyze electromagnetic phenomena but also consider their effects in the context of radio wave propagation and wireless network planning with WinProp. This integration ensures a holistic understanding of electromagnetic interactions in real-world environments.
Additionally, Feko's coupling with WRAP (Wireless Router Analysis Program) enables the modeling and analysis of complex wireless communication systems, incorporating elements like antennas, propagation channels, and networking components.
Fig 4: Antenna placement using Altair Feko visualization
Altair Flux: Low-Frequency Electromagnetic Simulation
For engineers working on electromagnetic systems, Altair Flux is an extremely capable solution. It simulates magneto static, steady-state and transient conditions along with electrical and thermal properties.
By coupling Flux with other Altair tools, users can study the interactions between electromagnetic fields and mechanical structures or thermal systems. One of the most common applications for Altair Flux is designing motors, sensors, and actuators.
Fig 5: Co-simulation capabilities with Altair Flux and HyperWorks
Altair Engineering's multiphysics capabilities are a testament to the company's commitment to innovation and excellence in the field of simulation and design. By offering a comprehensive suite of tools that seamlessly integrate multiple physical domains, Altair empowers engineers to tackle the most challenging and complex problems in various industries. Whether it's optimizing product performance, enhancing safety, or improving efficiency, Altair's multiphysics capabilities pave the way for advancements in engineering and design. If you have any questions about the products in this post, or anything else in the Altair portfolio, don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.