Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a subset of fluid mechanics, that uses technology-driven computers to obtain quantitative estimates of flow properties based on the conservation laws (mass, momentum, and energy conservation) that govern the motion of the fluids. CFD simulations can potentially save time in the design process and are pretty less expensive and faster than the previous data collecting techniques.
Even in modern world experiments, only a limited handful of quantities are determined at a time, whereas in a CFD analysis, all important characteristics can be predicted simultaneously. In fact, CFD techniques can be utilized to solve and estimate complicated problems involving fluid-solid, fluid-fluid, or gas-fluid interactions. CFD is important for studying the physics of complex fluid flow problems but its predictions are never 100% accurate. Since CFD calculations can be referred to as only a rough approximation of a true physical solution, physical experiments are very necessary to verify and validate the numerical results obtained using CFD.
Experimental work should still be conducted especially for verification purposes. CFD techniques are widely used to predict aerodynamic parameters such as lift and drag and other important flow parameters like pressures and velocities. In fluid dynamics, partial differential equations are expressed in terms of the physical laws. CFD solvers convert the PDEs into algebraic equations, which are then solved numerically. Recently, to study aerodynamic properties, scientists and researchers are commonly utilizing CFD simulations.
In the past, however, only theoretical approximations or experimental setups could be used to analyze aerodynamics for any geometry. With advancements in science and technology and with the advent of supercomputers, the use of CFD techniques to investigate and understand aerodynamic characteristics has become prevalent.
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