Software provides modeling and simulation.

Press Release Summary:

FEMLAB® v2.3 offers solvers for structural mechanics, electromagnetics, and chemical engineering. Structural Mechanics Module includes applications for shells, beams, and solids, including eigenfrequency problems. Chemical Engineering Module offers applications to study non-Newtonian fluids, compressible flow, multi-component transport, and turbulence. Electromagnetics Module includes applications for optoelectronics and photonics, as well as radio frequency and microwave engineering.

Original Press Release:


COMSOL delivers FEMLAB® v2.3 with new versions of the Structural Mechanics Module, the Chemical Engineering Module, and the Electromagnetics Module

Editor contact:
Tim Niu, Marketing Manager
phone: 781-273-3322 fax: 781-273-6603

Reader inquiries:
Svante Littmarck, President; Magnus Ringh, VP of Sales
phone: 781-273-3322 fax: 781-273-6603
company web site:

Burlington, MA, May 1, 2002- COMSOL is pleased to present FEMLAB v2.3 featuring new releases of the Structural Mechanics Module, the Chemical Engineering Module, and the Electromagnetics Module. FEMLAB v2.3 supplies new technology for modeling and simulation in all science and engineering fields by introducing a set of new solvers for parametric analysis, modeling of large vector field models in electromagnetics and structural mechanics as well as transport processes in chemical engineering. It also introduces new eigenvalue solvers for large models in eigenfrequency and eigenmode analyses.

The new Structural Mechanics Module is now fully incorporated with FEMLAB and includes new applications for shells, beams, and solids. In the Chemical Engineering Module, new applications
are introduced to study non-Newtonian fluids, compressible flow, multi-component transport, and turbulence. Furthermore, the Electromagnetics Module includes new applications for optoelectronics and photonics, as well as new models in the fields of radio frequency and microwave engineering.

The New Solvers

Modeling and simulation are becoming indispensable tools in design, optimization, and research. An important part of these tasks is the estimation of the influence of different parameters that describe a model or simulation. FEMLAB v2.3's parametric solver offers an ideal way to examine a parameterized series
of models. The varied parameter typically represents a material property, frequency or reaction rate. The information obtained for one set of variables is then used for the following sets for fast and efficient parameter sweeping.

For highly nonlinear models, parameter sweeping may also be used for smooth convergence. The idea is to solve a series of increasingly difficult nonlinear problems. The solution of a slightly nonlinear problem, which is easy to solve, is used as the input to a more difficult nonlinear problem by increasing a parameter that represents the degree of nonlinearity. In this way, very difficult nonlinear problems can be solved without manual interaction.

The geometric multigrid (GMG) preconditioner significantly improves FEMLAB's ability to handle large models in structural mechanics. Moreover, in chemical engineering, this solver may be used to solve large diffusion-convection-reaction problems.

The new iterative eigenvalue solver allows one to solve large eigenfrequency problems in structural mechanics. It also extends FEMLAB's capabilities of handling analysis of cavities and other resonance structures in microwave engineering and photonics.

What is New in the Structural Mechanics Module

The new Structural Mechanics Module provides a tailored modeling environment for finite element analysis in structural mechanics. In version 2.3, it features its largest upgrade since its release three years ago. Combined with FEMLAB's equation-based modeling, it now offers unlimited multiphysics combinations and traditional structural mechanics in 2D and 3D. This module offers rapid coupling and simultaneous modeling of structural mechanics, solid mechanics, heat transfer, fluid flow, electromagnetics, acoustics, or any other application found in FEMLAB. Examples of applications are piezo-electric devices, photonics waveguides, vibro-acoustics, and MEMS devices, applications where the simultaneous treatment of electromagnetics fields, transport phenomena, acoustics, and structural analysis is desired.

One important family of structural mechanics analysis is required for the modeling of complex and thin structures. These types of studies can now be easily carried out using the new shell elements. These elements may be combined with beam elements to accurately describe thin structures supported by an internal beam structure, such as pressurized tanks, airplane wings and fuselages.

The Structural Mechanics Module substantially reduces the computational and memory requirements by efficiently using FEMLAB's new solvers for large and complex models. This means that the geometric multigrid and iterative eigenfrequency solvers are able to model hundreds of thousands of degrees of freedom on a normal PC.

What is New in the Chemical Engineering Module

The Chemical Engineering Module provides a powerful way of modeling momentum, heat and mass transport coupled to chemical reactions. In version 2.3, new fluid mechanics and transport
applications are available which increases its user-friendliness.

Fluid flow studies can now be easily performed using the new applications for non-Newtonian fluids, suitable for treating different types of shear-thickening and shear-thinning problems. These new applications can be applied in the modeling of flow in polymer and fiber suspensions, pastes, etc. For compressible flow, Euler models are now available for the simulation of gas flow at high flow rates. For incompressible turbulent flow, a new k - E turbulence model is now available as a ready-to-use application.

In studies regarding transport of diluted species in a carrier gas, Fickean diffusion accounts for the interaction between the dissolved species and the dominating solvent gas. When all species are present in a comparable amount, the interactions between all the involved species must be accounted for. This is addressed in the Chemical Engineering Module by the new Maxwell-Stefan applications, which also include the combination of arbitrary reaction kinetics, momentum and heat transport. This feature allows for the modeling of gas phase reactors, separators, and filtration units.

In applications regarding the mass transport of charged species, migration in an electrical field gives a considerable contribution to the flux. Hence, two new applications in the Chemical Engineering Module ensure that the proper description of electro-kinetic fluid transport and transport in electrochemical cells are available in ready-to-use formulations. This considerably simplifies the task of modeling transport in MEMS devices, fuel cells, and batteries.

What is New in the Electromagnetics Module

The Electromagnetics Module provides a unique environment for the simulation of wave propagation in radio frequency and microwave engineering, photonics, optoelectronics, and AC-DC electromagnetics in 2D and 3D. In version 2.3, new applications for analysis of photonics waveguides, optical fibers, and other optoelectronic devices are featured. The Electromagnetics
Module facilitates the simultaneous study of heat transfer, structural analysis, and field propagation in a photonics waveguide such as birefringence resulting from thermo-stress-optical effects. It offers ready-to-use, fully compatible applications to perform this type of analysis in FEMLAB's graphical user interface without the need for any file transfer between the different modeling steps. Furthermore, the postprocessing in the graphical user interface allows for the easy calculation of lumped parameters from the model and provides the visualization of fields and potentials.

Utilizing the improved solvers in FEMLAB, the Electromagnetics Module can easily handle inhomogeneous, anisotropic and dispersive media and media with losses or gains. Moreover, the new eigenmode solver can now treat large 2D and 3D structures in microwave engineering photonics, and AC-DC applications.

FEMLAB v2.3 New Features List

- Parametric solver: The parametric solver now allows for parametric studies directly from FEMLAB's graphical user interface.

- Geometric multiqrid solver: The new parametric solver now is able to treat large 3D models for stationary problems in all fields of engineering and science.

- Iterative eiqenfrequency solver: The new eigenfrequency solver now efficiently treats both eigenfrequency analysis in structural mechanics and AC-DC electromagnetics, and eigenmode analysis in wave and field propagation.

- Equation-based modeling with traditional structural mechanics in 2D and 3D: The new version of the Structural Mechanics Module is now fully incorporated with FEMLAB. This implies that unlimited multiphysics combinations with traditional structural mechanics can now be modeled with this new module.

- Solids, shells, and beams in 3D: Supported thin-walled structures can now be freely modeled in 3D, using a combination of solids, shells, and beams. This allows for the modeling of structures such as pressurized tanks, airplane wings and fuselages.

- Non-Newtonian fluids: Three new ready-to-use applications are now available for shear-thinning and shear-thickening polymer flow.

- Turbulence models: A new k-F model is now available for studies of turbulent flow. Also available is a set of wall functions and boundary conditions for turbulent incompressible

- New transport formulations: The modeling of multi-component flow with the Maxwell-Stefan equations and the Nernst-Planck equations are now available. This facilitates the modeling of gas phase reactors and transport, and the modeling of fuel cells and batteries.

- Optoelectronics and photonics applications: Several tailor-made formulations have been added to improve the modeling and design of photonics waveguides and optoelectronic devices. These new applications make it a simple task to couple heat, structural and optical analyses in waveguides and modulators.

- New models and model libraries: FEMLAB v2.3 and all three Modules feature a set of new models and model libraries in the fields of structural mechanics, chemical engineering, and electromagnetics. The new models illustrate the use of the brand new set of applications available in version 2.3.

System Requirements

FEMLAB v2.3 runs under Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP/NT4.0, Macintosh System 7.1 or later. Versions are available for Solaris, Linux, AIX, HP-UX and IRIX. FEMLAB also requires that MATLAB® 5.3 or 6.x be installed (version 5.2.1 for the Macintosh). Recommended hardware configuration: 128MB of RAM for modeling in 2D, 256MB of RAM for modeling in 3D, and 16-bit color graphics.

Price and Availability

FEMLAB v2.3 starts shipping June 1, 2002. In the USA, a single-user license for Windows costs $4,495.00. The package is also available for Unix or as a network license. Educational discounts are available.

About the Company

COMSOL Inc. is located at:
8 New England Executive Park
Suite 310

Burlington, MA 01803
Tel: 781-273 3322
Fax: 781-273-6603
Web site:

The COMSOL group is a fast growing high-tech engineering software company with a proven track record and a vision as a future leader of the industry. The company was founded in July
1986 in Stockholm Sweden. COMSOL has grown to include offices in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Germany, France, UK and USA, in addition to distributors all around the world.

Specifically COMSOL has focused on the engineering, applied mathematics and physics fields. The flagship product, FEMLAB®, was developed in-house by COMSOL.

FEMLAB is a registered trademark of COMSOL AB. MATLAB is a registered trademark of The MathWorks Inc.

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