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 within a CFD workflow. The snappyHexMesh application, for example, is a mesh generator for complex geometry, which could be used to generate a mesh around a vehicle. The simpleFoam application could then be used to simulate steady-state, turbulent, incompressible flow around the vehicle. Alternatively, a transient simulation could be run with the pimpleFoam application. The OpenFOAM User Guide describes these applications and how to execute them, either on a single processor or in parallel on multiple processors.
The OpenFOAM User Guide then examines the set up of input data files for a CFD analysis. The input data includes time information (start time, end time, time step, etc) and controls for reading and writing data (time, format, compression, etc). It describes the setting of numerical schemes that affects accuracy and stability of a simulation. Matrix solver controls and algorithm controls are also explained that affect computational time and stability.
The OpenFOAM User Guide includes a chapter on meshing, beginning with the mesh structure of OpenFOAM and the handling of boundaries and boundary conditions. The blockMesh application for generating meshes of simple geometries is described in detail, followed by the snappyHexMesh application and its control parameters. OpenFOAM includes applications that convert meshes from well known formats into the OpenFOAM format and detailed coverage is given to the principle conversion applications, e.g. fluentMeshToFoam. The mapFields application maps field data, e.g. pressure, velocity, from one mesh/geometry to another.
OpenFOAM is shipped with a version of ParaView that includes a reader module to read data in OpenFOAM format. This enables visualization of solution from OpenFOAM, with elements used commonly in CFD such as geometry surfaces, cutting planes, vector plots and streamlines. Animations can be generated conveniently from ParaView.