CFD: An Overview of Popular Software Packages

Computational Fluid Dynamics, or CFD, is the science of using numerical methods and computers to solve a set of partial differential equations to quantitatively predict fluid flow or heat transfer in an application. It is used in a variety of fields, from aero/hydrodynamics to energy, combustion, environmental flows, biomedical engineering and many more. Using CFD simulations significantly reduces the number of design prototypes required, saving considerable time and money in the design process - accounting for its rising importance in R&D. For example, when a boat builder designs a new vessel, it can use CFD simulations at each design iteration to test the performance of the vessel under different conditions before proceeding to the physical prototype stage.

There are numerous CFD software packages, both commercial and open-source (free), the suitability of each based on the user’s knowledge, budget, and intended application. This presentation provides an overview of some of the most popular CFD packages, their capabilities, and pros and cons, to help you choose the one that will work best for your company.