1 Reply Latest reply on Jul 12, 2012 7:42 AM by Chris Michalski

    Can SolidWorks do simulation of a rubber diaphragm and viscous fluid?

    Brett Strouss

      Hi.  I have a SolidWorks assembly of a closed damping-type device that uses a rubber diaphragm and a highly viscous fluid inside the device.  For simplicity sake, think of a bottle cap with a pod inside filled with fluid, and a rubber diaphragm stretched over the top while it has a flat base  There is a fixed volume for the fluid to move within the cap walls while stretching the "pillow".  I have two questions.  First, is it feasible to create an animation of the device in action, from its resting state, through application and removal of a force (not an impact - just a constant force applied briefly), and its slow return to its resting state?  If so, how would that be done?  I could create a cylinder with a rotating rod to press the top down, but how do I mimic the movement of the diaphragm?


      The second question deals with actually modelling this to adjust fluid volumes, container volume, pre-stretch of diaphragm, etc..  I have SolidWorks Flow Simulation 2010, but I don't really see any examples of how to use it to model a rubber diaphragm.  I have the material properties for the rubber and the fluid, but I'm not sure this version (or any newer version) offers the capabilities I need.  Can anyone point me in the right direction to show samples or people who have accomplished this?  If not SolidWorks, is there another tool that can do this?  Is there a shop that specializes in this kind of analysis?  Thanks in advance for your assistance!


        • Re: Can SolidWorks do simulation of a rubber diaphragm and viscous fluid?
          Chris Michalski

          Brett -


          Flow Simulation does not allow for changes in fluid volume shape.  It defines the mesh for solids vs liquids at the very beginning and that must remain the same, therefore a bending diaphragm is outside of the design limitations of SW Flow Simulation.


          I know Fluent can handle such scenarios as well as several other high end CFD packages, but Flow Simulation is designed to be used by design engineers not CFD specialists so it's reasonable cost is because they omit high end features.


          I'll let others (who use simulation more often) comment on how to go about the mechanical simulation and visualization but that should be no problem from some of the examples I've seen posted here.