The OpenFOAM User Guide provides an introduction to OpenFOAM, through some basic tutorials, and some details about the general operation of OpenFOAM. OpenFOAM is a collection of approximately 250 applications built upon a collection of over 100 software libraries (modules). Each application performs a specific task, e.g the snappyHexMesh application can generate meshes for complex geometry, such as a vehicle. The simpleFoam application could then be used to simulate steady-state, turbulent, incompressible flow around the vehicle…
In 2016 we published a guide for Productive CFD with OpenFOAM with tools we first released in OpenFOAM v4. The tools included the post-processing CLI and template cases, and applications such as foamDictionary. We extended the article following the release of new tools such as TAB completion in OpenFOAM v5 and again later with the introduction of new tools in subsequent versions of OpenFOAM. This article describe more significant new tools introduced in OpenFOAM version 11, notably foamToC and foamPostProcess, to provide compatibility with its modular solvers, while maintaining backward-compatibility with application solvers.
CFD Direct have completely replaced the liquid film functionality in OpenFOAM. The new film functionality conserves mass, unlike its predecessor which was non-conservative and consequently inaccurate and unreliable for many problems. It is implemented with the solver module framework, which enables coupling to other regions with gas flows, multiphase flows, particle clouds, solids etc, including calculations of conjugate heat transfer (CHT). As such, it is consistent with the rest of OpenFOAM so can use all the existing sub-modelling, e.g. thermodynamics, transport, etc. The new implementation contains 50% of the code lines of the original one, despite being more functional. It is therefore cheaper and easier to maintain, while being more extensible and robust.
In Year 8 of CFD Direct, we made some very significant developments to OpenFOAM, including non-conformal coupling, modular solvers and redesign of the dynamic mesh functionality. We managed the OpenFOAM Foundation, releasing OpenFOAM v10, packaging OpenFOAM-dev and publishing websites and documentation. We provided 63 days of OpenFOAM Training to users around the world, supported by the release of our book, “Notes on Computational Fluid Dynamics: General Principles”. We released Web CFD Direct From the Cloud (CFDDFC®), providing OpenFOAM which can be accessed from a remote desktop running in a web browser.
“Dynamic mesh” describes situations where the mesh in CFD changes, either topologically by adding or removing cells, or by capturing the motion of the solution domain. It also relates to changes in the distribution of cells during a parallel simulation. This article describes the redesign of dynamic mesh functionality, released in OpenFOAM v10 and the development version of OpenFOAM (OpenFOAM-dev). The redesign was motivated by the development of non-conformal coupling (NCC). It specifically overcame a limitation of the previous dynamic mesh functionality which permitted only a single form of mesh motion or topological change within a simulation.
In August 2022, CFD Direct introduced modular solvers to the OpenFOAM development version. Modular solvers are written as classes, in contrast to the traditional application solvers which have been integral to OpenFOAM since icoFoam in 1993. They are simpler to use, maintain and understand than application solvers. They are more flexible; in particular, modules for different fluids and solids can be coupled across multiple regions, e.g. for conjugate heat transfer (CHT) with multiphase flow. Modular solvers are deployed using the foamRun or foamMultiRun applications, which contain a generic solution algorithm for single and multiple regions, respectively. Additional modules and applications replace existing tools for data processing and case configuration.