Shelter is one of humanity’s primary and basic needs, which has been answered differently in different periods of his life. Early humans used caves that were naturally formed by geological phenomena. But could a high-flying human who always tries to conquer and tame nature settle for these limited and soulless places?
Using their hand-made tools and the resources provided by nature, humans started to build a place for their lives. With the emergence of the first human-made shelter, the foundation of civil engineering was created. With the growth of societies and their need for bigger shelters, gradually, the role of civil engineering in human life became more and more prominent.
Civil engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with designing, constructing, and maintaining important structures such as bridges, roads, dams, buildings, and other infrastructure. It is one of the oldest branches of engineering and has existed since ancient times. Civil engineers are responsible for creating safe, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing structures.
Civil engineering is a specialized branch of engineering science that includes the disciplines of designing, building, and maintaining buildings, including cities, airports, factories, workshops, hospitals, museums, commercial, administrative, and residential centers, buildings, roads, bridges, dams, canals, facilities, water supply, gas supply, and many other things.
The importance of civil engineering must be addressed. With it, we have the infrastructure we rely on daily. Civil engineers are responsible for designing and building roads, bridges, and other structures that help us get from one place to another safely and quickly. They also play an essential role in ensuring that our buildings meet safety standards to withstand natural disasters such as earthquakes or floods. Civil engineering requires thinking critically, communicating well, and solving problems creatively. Civil engineers must be able to design safe and efficient solutions for different projects.
CFD analysis in civil engineering
Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is an essential tool for civil engineers because it enables them to simulate fluid flow in various engineering applications.
CFD can be used to analyze fluids’ behavior in various flow phenomena, such as those seen around buildings, bridges, and dams. Using CFD, engineers can design better structures that are more efficient and safer. By simulating the flow of air or water around a structure, they can identify potential problems before they occur and make changes to improve performance. This makes CFD an invaluable tool for civil engineers who must ensure that their designs are safe and reliable.
With CFD, structural engineers can reduce structural loads, increase structural life, and reduce maintenance costs by designing more efficient structures.
CFD is used as an evaluation tool that provides information about the performance of a structure before it is built.
CFD is also a predictive tool that helps design new structures based on existing performance data.
CFD enables engineers to design better structures that are more efficient and safer.
It seems that despite the excellent capabilities of CFD in solving fluid problems, the scope of its use in civil engineering has not yet been expanded, and the lack of familiarity of experts and civil engineers with CFD and its applications, along with the large volume of appropriate calculations, are the main reasons for its lack of adoption. CFD in civil engineering. However, the essential applications of CFD can be found in the fields of aerodynamics (examining the effects of wind forces), hydrodynamics (discussing the impact of water forces and waves), infrastructure facilities, air conditioning, and firefighting.
Application of CFD in the fields of aero-hydrodynamics
The most important CFD applications that can be imagined in the category of aero-hydrodynamics in civil engineering are:
-Simulation and calculation of forces entering from the direction of storms and eddy currents on buildings, exceptionally tall towers
– Simulating and studying the behavior of airflow and wind in residential and construction areas to identify windy, stormy, and calm regions, especially when air pollution is significant for us and pollution is concentrated in some urban areas.
– Investigating the effects of dust on tall buildings and towers, such as cooling towers, thermal power plants, chimneys, etc., especially towers and facilities where metal is used, and there is a risk of corrosion
– Simulation and calculation of the forces applied by air currents or storms on mobile structures and bridges, especially suspension bridges where the risk of falling is higher.
– Investigating the force exerted by the river flow, especially during floods, on bridge structures and more optimal design of bridges for longer life.
– Calculation of forces caused by waves, winds, and storms on water and marine structures
– Simulating the deposition of salts in flood water and their destructive effects, such as corrosion on the substructures of water structures
– Calculation of forces and bending moments caused by wind and storm on facilities that are high and have lower resistance to torque, such as cranes and tall masts
Application of CFD in the field of infrastructure facilities
Water supply, gas supply, oil/gasoline/diesel transmission pipes, sewers, and other things are among the parts of facilities that CFD can play essential roles in their design and development. The most important CFD applications in these sectors are:
– Simulating and solving the velocity and pressure field in pipes and calculating the static and dynamic pressure drop in fluid transmission pipes.
-Simulation, study, and investigation of flow in pumping stations in fluid and gas transmission lines
-Simulation, study, and investigation of flow in pressure drop stations and pressure relief basins in two-phase or multiphase fluid and gas transmission lines in flow transmission channels
-Simulation of two-phase flows to investigate the effects of cavitation on corrosion and lifetime of pipes and fittings
Investigating the effects of sediment on the performance of fluids and gases by simulating multiphase flows in pipes
– Calculating the vibrations caused by the disturbance of the flow of the oil, gas, water lines, etc., and proposing a way to prevent this destructive phenomenon.
Application of CFD in the field of HVAC
Room/building temperature control, fresh air circulation, air purification (especially for clean rooms, medical centers, places containing toxic substances, etc.), and high efficiency and economical equipment are the main goals of an HVAC system. Therefore, heating, cooling, natural air circulation, heat exchangers, emissions, and dust are the main issues in HVAC. In general, the most prominent examples of the use of CFD in this field are:
– Simulating the flow, checking the performance, and improving the efficiency of HVAC equipment such as fans, coolers, etc.
– Simulating, studying, and checking the performance of air purification equipment, including all types of filters
– Simulation of natural and forced heat transfer, which is created according to the type of air circulation in rooms and sheds
– Simulating, studying, and checking the location of heating and cooling systems such as radiators and coolers in rooms and buildings to find the best place to place these types of equipment.
– Simulation, study, and investigation of airflow in domestic and industrial kitchens to optimize ventilation and air temperature
-Simulation, study, and review of air circulation and performance of filtration systems installed in clean rooms, medical centers such as operating rooms, and other places where air quality and cleanliness are very important.
– Simulating the space of sheds to check the emission pattern of exhaust gases from cars or smoke caused by ignition and combustion.
– Simulating, studying, and checking the performance of cooling and HVAC systems in computer server rooms to cool the installed boards that are threatened by the risk of temperature increase and burns.
Application of CFD in fire extinguishing systems
Residential, commercial, and office complexes can only be completed with a suitable and reliable fire detection and extinguishing system. Simulating the occurrence of fire and its spread, along with the release of smoke, is the main concern of experts in fire behavior in every building and complex. Considering the capabilities of CFD in solving fluid problems involved with heat transfer, combustion, chemical reaction, turbulence, and various chemical species, it has made it an important tool in the studies of engineers and firefighters. Therefore, it is very important to predict the place of accumulation of pollutants caused by fire, as well as how it spreads. The most important applications of CFD and related software in simulating fire and extinguishing it are:
– Simulating, studying, and investigating the origin and spread of fire and creating solutions to prevent the spread of fire
– Simulating and estimating the dimensions and thickness of fire tongues
– Determining and calculating the temperature of all places in the building due to heat transfer during fires
– Investigating the strength and performance of various types of fire extinguishing materials in extinguishing fires caused by the burning of different compounds
– Simulating, studying, and checking the performance of fire extinguishing systems in different conditions to optimize the type and location of these systems.
– Simulating and predicting the amount and type of gases resulting from burning various materials such as wood, plastic, foil, paper, etc.
– Simulation and prediction of smoke emission under different fire conditions in other parts of the building