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Computational Fluid Dynamics

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has grown from a mathematical curiosity to become an essential tool in almost every branch of fluid dynamics, from aerospace propulsion to weather prediction. CFD refers to the numerical solution, by computational methods, of the set of the Navier-Stokes equations, continuity and any additional conservation equations. CFD is one of the fastest growing user groups in industry, and many international companies are investing large sums of money into not only the use, but the development of, CFD codes.

CFD in the Centre for Minerals Research is a “cross-cutting” discipline which is of relevance to many research groups. Here, CFD is used primarily as a modelling environment for researching multiphase and mixing flows in complex geometries, such as cyclones and flotation cells. CFD in the centre is conducted within the activities of a larger CFD Research Group, which is part of the Centre for Research in Computational and Applied Mechanics (CERECAM) at the University of Cape Town.

The CFD Research Group is relatively new, having been formally established in 1999, but expertise in computational and applied mechanics has existed within CERECAM for over two decades. The group has a laboratory equipped with top-end workstations, a computing cluster (234 core) and access to the Centre for High Performance Computing (6976 cores). The Group makes use of commercial and open-source CFD and DEM Codes, including FLUENT, OpenFoam and LIGGGHTS.