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Three clever engineering students recently came up with a design for a bike that can't be stolen, well... at least can't be resold again as the same said bike. The idea is that the lock doubles as an intergral part of the frame. Any attempts to cut the lock would effectively make the bicycle unrideable. While there are still some issues to hammer out - like what happens if the owner loses the key, who do you keep the wheels from being stolen, and what about how the bike itself rides? Of course if someone wants to steal the bike just for scrap metal - all bets are off. Still a cool idea...

Unstealable bike

From bridges made of pasta, to 'grow-it-yourself' brains, Brigid looks behind the headlines to bring you the latest Engineering News.

Spaghetti Bridge - image courtesy of Michelle Lowry

I ran across an article the other day that made me, ahem... perk up. CFD was used to simulate roasting coffee beans! Coffee is something I know AND care about. But why would CFD be needed for something as "non-techie" as roasting beans? Like everything else under the sun, it comes down to plain ol' chemistry. The final flavor profile of the bean will vary widely based on temperature and roast time.

Obnoxious Latte

...you can't beat the gas mileage!

It all started in 1982 when Hans Tholstrup and Larry Perkins built a solar-powered car and drove it across the entire continent of Australia. Driven by the success of their vehicle, aptly named "Quiet Achiever", they encouraged others to push the limits of alternative energy vehicles. Five years later, the very first World Solar Challenge was born. Every other year since, teams from across the globe - prominent universities and private organizations alike - converge in Darwin, Australia to make the 3.000 km trek south to Adelaide in their solar-powered vehicles using regular ol' public roads and minimal camping gear for the seven-day journey.

Emilia III

If it was possible that anything could be 100% pure, drawing gas out of the ground could be a piece of cake. Gas, unadulterated by any other substance could travel easily through the pipes without damaging a bit of the structure designed for its capture. Unfortunately, this isn't how the world works.

All three states of matter are represented in the process of extracting natural gas from the earth - solids (sand) and liquid (water) come along for the ride. This wrecks havoc on the pipeline, especially at T-junctions and choke valves. Sand banging against flow obstructions causes erosion which ultimately leads to economic and production losses.
Wear placement simulation

Over the last couple of days, the “World of CFD” has been buzzing about our recent acquisition of Red Cedar Technology. The word “acquisition” can sound a little frightening as it’s often associated with mis-management, changes to the way customers interact with vendors and a myriad of other oh so fearful changes. Anyone old enough to remember that debacle in the 1980’s between Bendix and Martin Marietta (one of the most complicated takeovers in corporate US history) knows what I’m talking about.

When it comes to systems, one of the most complex (and perhaps least understood) of all is that of the human body. The average adult human body is, on average, 57% - 60% water. That's a lot of fluid! So it stands to reason that CFD is a great tool for simulating the systems of things like medical implants, surgical techniques, diagnostic systems and the like.

A recent artilce published in Desktop Engineering examines how CFD is making an impact in the medical field. Our own Krisitan Debus Ph.D. talks about our work with an ASME sub-committee, writing verification and validation guidelines for biomedical devices as well as STAR-CCM+'s very useful overset mesh feature. Read the entire article here.

One of the best illustrations of "Simulating Systems" is this video from the STAR Global Conference 2013, in which Scott D. Reynolds of M/E Engineering explores the use of CFD for studying the impact of wind on the built environment.

Asked to examine the influence of helicopter exhaust plumes  on surrounding bulidings, M/E Engineering decided to simulate the whole system, including fully unsteady wind profiles (with gusts that vary in speed and direction), and the full complexity of the local urban landscape. Best of all, the simulation includes an actual moving helicopter that entrains gas from nearby building plumes as it takes off and lands.

 

As a follow up to yesterday's post, here's a presentation from the 2013 STAR Global Conference which took place in Orlando, FL this past March.  Michael Carl of Rowan Williams Davis & Irwin, Inc., shows how STAR-CCM+ was used to evaluate the egress system on a bus deck during a fire. The system was simulated as a whole as well as sectionally, including wind, fire and water from the sprinklers.

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Brigid Blaschak
Communications Specialist
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Meshing Guru
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