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8.1.3 Using a User-Defined Materials Database

In addition to the Fluent Materials Database, you can also use or create a user-defined materials database using the User-Defined Materials Database panel. You can browse and do the following:

The following sections will address each of these functionalities in detail.



Opening a User-Defined Database


If you have a database of custom materials as .scm files with data saved in the specified format you can open these databases in FLUENT and use them to define the materials in your problem setup.

Examples:

The prescribed format for saving material properties information is shown here for air and aluminum. These files can be created in a text editor and saved with a .scm extension.

 (air
  fluid
  (chemical-formula . #f)
  (density (constant . 1.225)
  (premixed-combustion 1.225 300))
  (specific-heat (constant . 1006.43))
  (thermal-conductivity (constant . 0.0242))
  (viscosity (constant . 1.7894e-05)
  (sutherland 1.7894e-05 273.11 110.56)
  (power-law 1.7894e-05 273.11 0.666))
  (molecular-weight (constant . 28.966))
  )

 (aluminum
  solid
  (chemical-formula . al)
  (density (constant . 2719))
  (specific-heat (constant . 871))
  (thermal-conductivity (constant . 202.4))
  (formation-entropy (constant . 164448.08))
  )
To select a user-defined database, click the User-Defined Database... button in the Materials panel. This will open the Open Database panel.

Figure 8.1.3: Open Database Panel
figure

Click the Browse... button, select the database in the Select File dialog box that opens and click OK. Click OK in the Open Database panel to open the User-Defined Database Materials panel.



Viewing Materials in a User-Defined Database


When an existing user-defined database is opened, the materials present in the database are listed in the User-Defined Database Materials panel. You can select the material type in the Material Type drop-down list and the corresponding materials will appear in the User-Defined Liquid Materials, User-Defined Solid Materials or other similarly named list (the list's name will be the same as the material type you selected).

Figure 8.1.4: User-Defined Database Materials Panel
figure

The properties of the selected material will appear in the Properties section of the panel. This panel is similar to the Fluent Database Materials panel in function and operation.



Copying Materials from a User-Defined Database


The procedure for copying a material from a custom database is as follows:

1.   In the Materials panel, click the User-Defined Database... button and open the database from which you want to copy the material.

2.   In the User-Defined Database Materials panel of the selected database, select the type of material ( fluid, solid, etc.) in the Material Type drop-down list.

3.   In the User-Defined Fluid Materials list, User-Defined Solid Materials list, or other similarly named list (the list's name will be the same as the material type you selected in step 2), choose the materials you wish to copy by clicking on them. The properties are displayed in the Properties area.

4.   If you want to check the material properties, use the scroll bar to the right of the Properties area to scroll through the listed items.

5.   Click on the Copy button. The selected materials and their properties will be copied from the database into your local list, and your copy of the properties will now be displayed in the Materials panel.

  To copy all the materials from the database in one step, click the shaded icon to the right of the User-Defined Materials title and click Copy.

If a material with the same name is already defined in the case, FLUENT will prompt you to enter a new name and formula in the New Material Name panel . Enter a new name and formula in the respective fields and click OK to make a local copy of the material.

Figure 8.1.5: New Material Name Panel
figure

6.   Close the User-Defined Database Materials panel.

After copying a material from the database, you may modify its properties or change its name, as described earlier in Section  8.1.2. The material in the database will not be affected by any changes you make to your local copy of the material.



Copying Materials from the Case to a User-Defined Database


You can copy materials that are defined in your problem setup to an existing or new material database. The procedure for copying materials from the case file to a database is as follows:

1.   In the Materials panel, click User-Defined Database....

2.   In the Open Database panel, select the database to which you want to copy the material. If you want to create a new database, enter the name of the new database in the Database Name field and click OK. A Question dialog box will ask you to confirm if you want to create a new file. Click Yes to confirm.

3.   In the User-Defined Database Materials panel, click Copy Materials From Case..... This will open the Copy Case Material panel.

Figure 8.1.6: Copy Case Material Panel
figure

(a)   In the Copy Case Material panel, select the materials that you want to copy.

  To select all the materials, click on the shaded icon to the right of the Case Materials title. Clicking on the unshaded icon will deselect the selections in the list.

(b)   Click Copy and close the panel.

Note:   Do not copy materials one by one. This will result in previously copied materials getting overwritten by the new ones. Instead, select all the materials to be copied at once and click Copy.



Modifying Properties of an Existing Material


You can modify the properties of an existing material and use the modified material in the problem setup and save the modified material to the materials database.

1.   In the Materials panel, click on the User-Defined Database... button and open the database that you want to use.

(a)   In the User-Defined Database Materials panel of the selected database, select the type of material ( fluid, solid, etc.) in the Material Type drop-down list.

(b)   In the User-Defined Fluid Materials list, User-Defined Solid Materials list, or other similarly named list. The name of the list will be the same as the material type you selected in step (a). Select the material to be modified.

(c)   Click Edit... to open the Material Properties panel.

i.   In the Material Properties list, select the property to be modified and click Edit... to open the Edit Property Methods panel.

ii.   Select the method to be modified in the Material Properties list of the Edit Property Methods panel and click Edit... under Edit Properties, in order to modify the properties.

iii.   Make the changes in the corresponding method panel and click OK.

iv.   Click Apply in the Material Properties panel.

(d)   To use the modified material in the problem setup, click Copy in the User-Defined Database Materials panel and close the panel.

(e)   To save the modified material to the database, click Save.



Creating a New Materials Database and Materials


Using the User-Defined Database Materials panel, you can create a new materials database, copy materials to this database, and also create new materials from scratch. The procedure for creating a new database and add new materials to the database is as follows:

1.   In the Materials panel, click User-Defined Database....

2.   In the Open Database panel, enter the name of the database that you are creating and click OK.

3.   A dialog box will appear asking you confirm the creation of a new file. Click Yes to confirm.

  This will open a blank User-Defined Database Materials (Figure  8.1.7) panel.

Figure 8.1.7: User-Defined Database Materials Panel: Blank
figure

4.   Click New... in the User-Defined Database Materials panel. This will open a blank Material Properties panel.

Figure 8.1.8: Material Properties Panel: Blank
figure

(a)   In the Material Properties panel, under Types, select the material type. You can select from fluid, solid, inert-particle, droplet-particle, combusting-particle, and mixture materials.

(b)   Enter the name and formula (if required) of the material that you are creating in the Name and Formula fields.

(c)   Depending on the type of material selected in the Types list, properties applicable to that material type will appear in the Available Properties list. Select the properties that are applicable for the material that you are defining by clicking on them.

(d)   Click the $\gg$ button to move these properties to the Material Properties list on the right and click Apply. You can use the $\ll$ button to move the property from the Material Properties list to the Available Properties list.

5.   To edit the parameters that define a property, select the property in the Material Properties list and click Edit.... This opens the Edit Property Methods panel.

Figure 8.1.9: Edit Property Methods Panel
figure

(a)   The methods that can be used to define the selected property are listed in the Available Properties list. You can select one or more methods and specify them for the material that you are defining, by selecting and moving them to the Material Properties list.

(b)   To modify each of these methods, you can select the method in the Edit Properties drop-down list and click Edit.... This will open the corresponding property panel, where you can modify the parameters used by the property method. Refer to Sections  8.2 to 8.16 for details of these properties, methods used to define the properties and the parameters for each method.

(c)   Click OK in the Edit Property Methods panel.

6.   Click Apply in the Material Properties panel.

7.   Click Save in the User-Defined Database Materials panel to save the changes to the new materials database.

Similarly, you can also append new materials to an existing database. Select the existing database in the Open Database panel. Create new materials and click save to append these materials to the existing database.



Deleting Materials from a Database


To delete a material from a database, click the User-Defined Database button in the Materials panel. Select the database in the Open Database panel and click OK. Select the Material Type and the materials that you want to delete in the User-Defined Materials list and click Delete. Click Save to save the database.


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