A powerful new version of the Opera electromagnetics simulator for design engineers has been released by the Vector Fields Software business unit of Cobham Technical Services. The latest software adds three-dimensional mechanical stress analysis, extending the tool's multiphysics capability to provide a single-step solution to complex design problems. By capturing mechanical deformation in conjunction with electromagnetic and thermal modelling, the integrated software is claimed to greatly reduce design complexity and timescales.
Opera version 15 provides a complete design-simulate-analyze-optimize tool chain for electromagnetic applications. The software is renowned for its accuracy of simulation and speed of execution – allowing demanding simulations to be solved on standard office-grade PCs. It is available in a number of variants that include finite element analysis (FEA) for static and time-varying electromagnetic fields, and application-specific solvers for rotating electrical machines, superconducting magnets, charged particle beam devices, and magnetization/demagnetization processes.
The new three dimensional stress analysis module solves for deformations within the elastic limit of the materials, and may be coupled with the electromagnetic solvers to provide a single-step solution to virtual prototyping. In addition to stress and strain produced by the application of mechanical loads and by electromagnetically induced forces, Opera's thermal analysis module may be used to co-simulate thermal expansion. The effects of gravity or rotationally induced forces can also be incorporated in design simulations. Version 15 extends the fundamental performance advantage of Opera for many common design engineering applications.
To aid the final optimization of a design, Cobham's Opera software package can be supplied with an advanced auto-optimization tool that has been designed specifically to work with its finite element methods. This tool is able to work out the best solution for one or multiple goals, even when they compete with each other.