Computational Fluid Dynamics Analysis on Globe Valve using 3DEXPERIENCE Fluid Dynamics Engineer Role – Lesson 1

Dr. Neeraj M P, Application Engineer - Simulation May 13th, 2024

Dassault Systems is the proprietor of SOLIDWORKS along with a suite of simulation software applications. This collection includes SOLIDWORKS Simulation, CATIA Analysis, Abaqus, among others, all falling under the SIMULIA umbrella.

This lesson will guide you through the correct process for transferring a SOLIDWORKS part to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Once uploaded, you’ll utilize the Fluid Scenario Creation App to conduct flow analysis on globe valve. This application offers comprehensive analysis capabilities for both internal and external fluid flows, ensuring a thorough examination of the system’s performance.

First, open the SOLIDWORKS part that hasn’t been saved to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Then, follow these steps:

  • Upload to 3DEXPERIENCE Platform: Once the part is open, upload it to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and save it in your Collaborative space.
  • Utilize Existing Bookmark: Make use of an existing bookmark to navigate within the platform.
  • Return to SOLIDWORKS Desktop: After saving the part in your Collaborative space, return to your SOLIDWORKS desktop.
  • Lock Part and Reference Components: Ensure the part and its reference components are locked to prevent unintended modifications.
  • Launch Fluid Scenario Creation App: Open the Fluid Scenario Creation App from the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
  • Assisted Internal Flow Simulation Setup: Utilize the Assistant tool within the app to set up an internal flow globe valve simulation.
  • Define Fluid Region and Properties: Define the fluid region internal to the model and specify the fluid properties.
  • Define fluid section and Properties: Define the fluid section internal to the model and specify the fluid properties (water).
  • Specify Physics of Flow: Define the physics of the flow, considering factors such as viscosity and turbulence.
  • Mesh Generation: Create a Hex-dominant mesh for the fluid region to accurately capture the flow dynamics.
  • Apply initial and boundary conditions: Apply the mass flow inlet and pressure outlet boundary conditions to the globe valve.
  • Define Output Requests: Create output requests to collect essential data such as pressure, flow velocity, and mass flow.
  • Run Simulation Study: Execute the simulation study to compute and analyze the fluid flow behavior.

By following these steps, you’ll successfully upload, simulate the behavior of the globe valve using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform’s Fluid Scenario Creation App.

Problem statement

A globe valve is a type of flow control valve commonly used in piping systems to regulate or stop the flow of fluid. It features a spherical body with an internal baffle, creating a Z-shaped passage that offers precise control. The valve’s disc, connected to a stem, moves perpendicular to the flow, allowing for fine-tuned adjustments. Due to its design, the globe valve is known for providing a tight seal when closed, making it suitable for applications requiring high-pressure or high-temperature resistance. Its versatility and durability make it a popular choice in industries such as oil and gas, water treatment, and power generation (a video is shown below for more clarity on application). The flow analysis of globe valve is highly essential since it is used in various industry verticals. The tools which is aided by Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) can be utilized for the same simulation. Hence, in this lesson we attempt to simulate the internal flow inside a 2-inch globe valve using 3DEXPERIENCE Fluid Dynamics Engineer.

The isometric view of globe valve is shown in the figure below.

Before we dive in, here’s what you need to know:

  • Make sure you’re using your usual Collaborative space.
  • You’ll need internet access and a 3DEXPERIENCE ID.

This lesson on Flow Simulation is perfect for beginners who want to solve real-world engineering and design problems using simulation. It’s helpful to have a basic grasp of flow, pressure, velocity, and the Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) method.

You’ll also need to have the 3DEXPERIENCE Launcher installed.

Download the globe valve model from the following link.

Globe valve

To initiate a SOLIDWORKS session from your desktop, simply double-click the SOLIDWORKS icon.

After opening SolidWorks, open the downloaded globe valve model by clicking “File-open-(browse for file)-click open” in the menu bar. Now the model is opened in SolidWorks as shown below. Now go to the 3DEXPERIENCE compass (indicated by red arrow) shown in command manager.

Log into the 3DEXPERIENCE platform using your credentials.

When logged into the platform, you can see an orange save status (green arrow) to the right of the component name. It means that you have not saved your part to the platform. To save the same, please click on save active window (red arrow).

Please click ‘save’ on the following dialogue box.

Now it is visible that the model is saved to the platform (green tick near arrow). Now click on the component and click on compass.

From the compass select the fluid dynamics engineer role.

When fluid dynamics engineer role opens, select fluid scenario creation app from the list.

3DEXPERIENCE fluid scenario creation has opened with the globe valve model as shown below. Rename the simulation title as “globe_valve_cfd_analysis”. Keep the analysis type as steady and maximum iterations 2000 by default. Click ‘ok’ then.

The CFD simulation is created now. The window consists of simulation tree at left side (green arrow), the guided user assistant (red arrow) and the action bar (blue arrow). The advantage of fluid dynamics engineer is the presence of guided user assistant. It shows what are the steps to be defined, and whether any errors are there in any definition of model and scenario. The workflow can also be taken through action bar. However, we are going to pursue the easier way by using the user assistant. Click on model in the user assistant.

After clicking on model, lot of options such as model setup, fluid domain, fluid section, solid section, VOF, porous, multispecies section are visible at bottom part of assistant. As the first part of preprocessing, we create the fluid domain. Click on fluid domain and then in the dialogue box, click ‘+’ on parts.

In the part section, select the geometry by either dragging the mouse over it or by just clicking on it. The dragging is useful when more than one part is involved. Make sure that ‘allow boundary layers to be added’ dialogue is checked. Now click ok and then click ‘+’ right to region where we will define the fluid region. Leave the exterior boundaries section unchecked since the flow is internal.

In the regions section, select the internal face at any of the flow opening as support and rectangular glyph will be shown (green arrow). This represents the fluid region. We know that fluid is inside the model. Hence, make sure that glyph is inside the model by checking flip direction. Now click ok in the regions section and then ‘+’ right to openings.

Defining openings is necessary in any sort of internal flow analysis such as pipe flow, valve etc. Type ‘inlet’ in the name section and select the inner circle at left opening which should be defined as inlet. Click ‘ok’ then. Similarly define the other opening and name it as ‘outlet’. Click ‘ok’ at the end of fluid domain dialogue box then.

Going back to the model section in user assistant, click on fluid section. In the fluid section dialogue box, select the defined fluid region as support (click on blue glyph). Now select water as material. Click ‘ok’ then.

The fluid model is defined fully now. A green tick mark left to model in user assistant confirms the same. Now, the fluid Physics must be defined. Click on Physics and section and keep default SST k-ω as the turbulence model and read different effects such as thermal, compressible flow, gravity and particle modelling etc. The thermal, compressible flow, gravity and particle modelling should remain unchecked since those effects are not studied here. After that click ‘ok’.

Review the steady state step and change the error thresholds to 5% to make the convergence faster as shown below.

It is observable from the user assistant that a green tick has come to left side of Physics section. The next step is to define the boundary conditions at inlet and outlet. Click on boundary conditions in the assistant. First click on mass flow inlet below in the assistant to define a mass flow to the inlet of valve. Give 6 kg/s as the mass flow rate and select inlet as the opening (you can select the circular blue glyph at inlet from graphics area). Leave other parameters as default and click ‘ok’.

Similarly define a pressure outlet at outlet as shown in figure below. Leave the gauge pressure as zero since the outlet is assumed to be open to atmosphere. Click ‘ok’ then.

Now the meshing of fluid section must be carried out. There are several types of body fitted meshes available in fluid dynamics engineer such as Hex-dominant, tetrahedron, octree-tetrahedron, sweep-3D, surface meshes etc. For fluid region, Hex dominant mesh is predominantly used. Click on mesh in assistant and then Hex-dominant mesh. In the next dialogue box, specify the maximum and minimum size as 10 and 1 mm respectively. Create 3 boundary layers with 0.1 mm thickness. Click on mesh and meshing will start. After completion, click ‘ok’.

Now, the mesh can be viewed by right clicking in the window and selecting visibility manager. In visibility manager, hide shapes to view the mesh.

Model and conditions are defined along with the mesh generation. Now before going into simulation, please check the output request. The parameters we want as output can be requested in this section. Click on output request and then click on feature manager in top right of assistant. The feature manager shows all model and scenario setups that has been defined. Double-click on output 2 (for inlet) which is generated by default. Please note that for whole model field output is created. Make sure that average gauge pressure is selected. Check the same for outlet in output 3 also.

Before going into simulation, run the model and scenario checks to confirm there are no errors in the simulation setup. Click on the model and scenario check in the assistant (single tick mark) for the same. The check will be processed and it will show that model and scenario checks are completed with a green arrow. Click ‘ok’ then.

Moving on, the simulation must be carried out now. Click on simulate button on the top of assistant as shown in figure below. The simulation window will be open now. The prime advantage of fluid dynamics engineer is the cloud computing facility. You can run the simulation in cloud using by default available 16 core (for more core, you must purchase tokens) or else by making use of maximum cores available in your system. Click ‘ok’ then and simulation starts now.

The simulation starts and it will take some amount of time to acquire cloud resources based on the speed of your internet connection. You can monitor different errors and residuals with respect to time in the plots section. Now wait for completion. The advantage of cloud computing is that you can close the simulation window and check after some time in the simulation status button in assistant (left to model and scenario checks). Also, you can stop the simulation in between by clicking on ‘stop’ button.

After the completion, you can close the simulation window and click on results for the post processing.

The post processing and result analysis will be given in lesson-2.

The lesson is finished.

Note: The help and user assistance is available in the ‘?’ icon at top right of platform where you will get all details and assistance in simulation.

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AUTHOR: Dr. Neeraj M P, Application Engineer - Simulation

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