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Computational Fluid Dynamics Background

Computational Fluid Dynamics, once the preserve of the academic or the specialist within large organisations, is a tool which is becoming increasingly available and which is finding growth applications in many industries. The first commercial general purpose CFD software became available in the 1970's with other codes entering the market in the 1980's. The early versions of these codes were difficult to use and had limited capability (certainly in relation to the present day). Competition between the code developers ensured that more and more functionality was incorporated into the software. Development efforts were targeted at faster and more robust solvers and easier to use graphical interfaces.

At the same time, massive increases in the computing power to cost ratio have made the opportunity of conducting complex 3D simulations of real flow problems available to a much wider group of organisations. It is now possible for the non-specialist to set up a Computational Fluid Dynamics simulation and to obtain a converged set of results without fully understanding the flow problem in terms of its physics and the numerical methods used in producing the results. This is potentially dangerous as the results may be completely erroneous and of little real value. Clearly there is a need for awareness creation, delivery of education/training and stimulating standards in industrial CFD.

The NAFEMS Computational Fluid Dynamics Working Group was formed in 1995 to meet the above needs.