George Laird's blog

CFD Virtual Prototyping Clean Air and Free of Nasty Stuff

It seems that the decade of 2020 is going to be focused on clean air, whether it is on the street or inside of a building.  Given what we know about how viruses spread and especially so about Covid-19, the importance of clean air has never been greater.  Since the start of 2020 and going into 2021, we have seen a strong uptick in requests for CFD engineering services to improve air quality inside and outside of buildings.  It seems obvious, but to ensure clean air inside the building one starts from the outside to keep exhaust out and clean air in.  Our CFD consulting projects have ranged from hospitals, data centers, factories, large parking garages to office towers.  In every case, the requirement was to digital prototype the air quality inside these buildings.  We also get involved in combustion engineering to maximize the efficiency of boilers.  This is often the most challenging work to optimize the combustion process to reduce air-borne particulate.  All-in-all, we do live in a cleaner world than that chronicled by Dickens in the early 1800’s, where the streets of London were often night-like at noon, and I’m sure that in the following years we will see continued improvement in the air quality that we all breath. 

Fatigue Analysis: ASME Section VIII, Division 2, Part 5.5 Protection Against Failure from Cyclic Loading

Even with an academic and experimental background in fatigue analysis, it is daunting to provide a hard, no-nonsense life-cycle prediction.  It becomes especially daunting when your fatigue prediction can cost or save your client millions of dollars.  Plus, there are tons of computer programs that promise “instant fatigue nirvana” at the press of a button; which leads one to ask: “What is a poor engineer supposed to do?”  Over the years, we have learned that there are three critical components to a quality fatigue analysis: i.) accurate FEA stress results, ii.) accurate FEA stress results and iii.) accurate FEA stress results.  Okay, sad, old, real-estate joke about location, location, and location; but let us just imagine that your stress numbers are good, then what?  Fatigue analysis is all about the protection of structures and systems against failure from cyclic loading.  This is where the ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC) provides a tried and true standard that, if your stress numbers are good, then you can be assured that your fatigue prediction will be conservative.

Fatigue Analysis: ASME Section VIII, Division 2, Part 5.5 Protection Against Failure from Cyclic Loading

Even with an academic and experimental background in fatigue analysis, it is daunting to provide a hard, no-nonsense life-cycle prediction.  It becomes especially daunting when your fatigue prediction can cost or save your client millions of dollars.  Plus, there are tons of computer programs that promise “instant fatigue nirvana” at the press of a button; which leads one to ask: “What is a poor engineer supposed to do?”  Over the years, we have learned that there are three critical components to a quality fatigue analysis: i.) accurate FEA stress results, ii.) accurate FEA stress results and iii.) accurate FEA stress results.  Okay, sad, old, real-estate joke about location, location, and location; but let us just imagine that your stress numbers are good, then what?  Fatigue analysis is all about the protection of structures and systems against failure from cyclic loading.  This is where the ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessel Code (BPVC) provides a tried and true standard that, if your stress numbers are good, then you can be assured that your fatigue prediction will be conservative.

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