A Beginner's Guide to simulating with OpenFOAM

Get to know how to simulate various flow configurations in OpenFOAM.
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Instructed by Andrej Lerch IT & Software / Other
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  • Lectures 28
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 4/2016 English

Course Description

In this course you are going to learn how to simulate various flow configurations in the Computational Fluid Dynamics software OpenFOAM. This includes the simulation of laminar and turbulent, stationary and transient flows. Furthermore, you are going to see how to work with multiphase flows. We will cover how to choose correct initial and boundary conditions for the calculation. Moreover I will explain how to define a spatial domain and mesh it with a structured or unstructured grid. You are going to learn how to edit runtime controls and how to run a job including how to check convergence of the solution and visualize it graphically.

What are the requirements?

  • Install OpenFOAM, GMSH and Paraview
  • Alternatively you can just install CAE Linux on your machine. It has all the required software preinstalled and configured.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Simulate flows in OpenFOAM
  • Laminar and turbulent
  • Stationary and instationary
  • Multiphase
  • Set correct boundary conditions
  • Create meshes
  • Regular and unstructured meshes
  • Analyze residuals
  • Extract force and moment coefficients
  • Visualize solutions
  • Extract solution data

Who is the target audience?

  • For Engineers, Scientists, Beginners in CFD and OpenFOAM
  • For Engineers
  • For Scientists
  • For Beginners in CFD
  • For Beginners in OpenFOAM
  • For Experts in other CFD Software

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

Short introduction of who I am and what you are going to learn in this OpenFOAM course.

Section 2: Laminar flow through a pipe

We will set up the case and create the geometry of our domain in order to create a simulation mesh.


We will create a regular mesh from a block and define boundary surfaces.


We will edit the boundary conditions for pressure and velocity on inlet, outlet and walls and define initial distributions for our field values.


We will edit runtime controls such as time step, how often results will be saved etc.


I will show you how to create a mesh, check it for errors and start the job.


We will analyze the log file, plot the residuals and check the convergence of our solution.


We will visualize the converged solution for pressure and velocity.

Section 3: Turbulent flow over a backward facing step

First of all we will set up the case and create the geometry and mesh from three blocks.


Then we will edit the boundary and initial conditions.


I will show you how to choose the turbulence model and configure the physical properties for the fluid.


We will execute the mesh creation and run the job with log file output.


We will plot the results in Paraview.


We will plot the velocity profile for a certain axial position.


I will show you how to add streamlines to the plot.

Section 4: Transient flow around cylinder

Creating the case folder.


Well will create the geometry in gmsh in order to make a unstructured mesh.


Creating the actual mesh and refining the cylinder surface and wake.


We will edit the boundary conditions, change runtime settings and set up the simulation for calculating force coefficients for drag and lift.

Converting the mesh and running the job

Plotting the residuals over time and have a look at the force coefficients.


We will visualize the transient solution in Paraview.

Section 5: Container with two phase fluid

Creating the container geometry.


We will activate the gravitational force and select fluid properties suchs as density and viscosity.


Changing the boundary conditions and initial values.


Adjusting the runtime and choosing a variable time step according to a maximum Courant number.


Running the job and logging the progress in a file.


Analyzing the transient solution und visualizing the filling of the container over time with two phase fluid.

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Instructor Biography

Andrej Lerch, Engineer for Numerical Simulation

Hi everyone,
my name is Andrew and I am an engineer from Germany. I have got a M. sc. in Physical Science and many years of experience in quite a lot of programming languages such as C, C++, Java, Python, Matlab etc. My main field of work is numerical simulations e.g. strucutral mechanics, thermo dynamics and electro dynamics.

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