Simcenter STAR-CCM+ version 2021.1 news

In this blog post we will look at the highlights of the news for Simcenter STAR-CCM+ version 2021.1, that was released in February. In an earlier post from a few weeks back the new functionality of surrogate models in Design Manager was discussed. [Surrogate Models – VOLUPE Software] For earlier version-updates of Simcenter STAR-CCM+, there has been a series of update blog posts. This will no longer be the case. There might be highlights on new specific functionality, like for the case with surrogate models.  More than that the Volupe blog will be limited to one, or at most a couple of posts presenting updates. This is to not clutter our list of blog posts with update articles that after a while is no longer relevant. We will focus on, in our estimation, the most relevant updates that affects most of our customers. It is worth pointing out that once you have downloaded and installed a new version of Simcenter STAR-CCM+ you can find a comprehensive guide of the news to that version, in the documentation.

1 1 Documentation product overview

Release notes are also available under “Downloads” for the correct product in the Support center. This document is not as thorough as the new features section included in the documentation however but does not require full download and installation of the software. You are recommended to keep up to date with the new versions.

Read-only mode

There is now a read-only mode for simulation files. It allows you to open and see the settings in your simulation file without using a license. It also allows comparing files using the “compare with” functionality. Meaning that you can also copy values and setting from the Read-only file and import to a file that is opened with a regular license. You can NOT open scenes or alter any setting in the read-only mode. The picture below highlights how the Read-only mode license type is selected. Note also that currently you need to apply the same lines in the command line when opening your file in Read-only mode, as you do when opening your regular file. Meaning that if you have access to a power license for running simulations, you need to apply the “-power” flag in the command line for the Read-only mode to work. This minor inconvenience will be addressed in future versions of the software. Everything in your simulation tree will be greyed out when opened in read only mode. You will also get an information pop-up window that states the Read-only mode once the file has been loaded.

1 2 Read only

Identification of cells inside part

In the field function syntax it is now possible to identify cells inside of a part. Instead of complex expressions with spherical coordinates to assign e.g., a volume source in part of a region, you can use the new expression “insidepart(“…”) to define the cells taking part. You can the point to a part, any closed part or a volume shape that is easily defined in Simcenter STAR-CCM+.

1 3 inside part

DEM particle updates

Polyhedral particles are selection for particle shapes when running DEM simulations. Before, only convex particles where allowed. Now, basically there is no limitation to particles shapes. This allows for several benefits, where geometry can be on some occasions, replaced by DEM shapes. One field where this can be useful is for example rigid body motion. The picture shows what the resulting polyhedral particles look like with the same part as input, in 2021.1 and 2020.3, and how many faces is required to describe the shape.

1 4 concave DEM particles

Further implementation for non-spherical DEM particles are optimized contacts. There is an upgraded contact resolution algorithm for non-spherical particles. Up to 10 times speed improvement is expected in version 2021.1 for particle flows using either the polyhedral particle model, cylindrical particle model or capsule model. The actual speed up is case dependant.

Optimized interface reset with AMR

The entire adaptive mesh refinement procedure is speeded up in cases where interfaces are present. Before, all interfaces were reset at every adaptation, now interfaces are only reset that has refined, or coarsened cells present. This is supported by imprinted, connect average, mapped, and time averaging of explicit mapped contact interfaces.

1 5 Faster AMR interface initializations

Section flattening

For turbomachinery applications there is a new useful feature projecting blade-to-blade section to a flattened 2D view. The projection mode allows control of what data is preserved. You can retain angles so that vectors relative to the blade orientation is preserved. You can retain lengths so that relative blade size is preserved.

1 6 section flattening

Expressions for colorbar range in displayers and new scene defaults

You can now use expressions for the colorbar range properties. This can reduce your post processing procedure tiem and help streamlining between different scenes in a fast manner. This is applicable in scalar, vector and streamline displayer types.

There are also updates to the default settings of scenes. The color bar type has been changed (to “blue-yellow-red”), resized, and moved in your new scenes. The gradient background, that every CFD engineer, using Simcenter STAR-CCM+, in history have manually removed 1 million times, is now gone. The default background is now white. The picture below shows the updates to default settings.

1 8 new default scene

Honourable mentions

STAR-Cast is retired, the GUI will disappear. Modelling casting physics will no longer require a STAR-Cast add on. You will however require a Simcenter STAR-CCM+ Metal Processing Db add-on license (STAR1038).

Leak detection tool is now available when extracting internal volume. This can potentially reduce the pre processing time spent in 3D-CAD, using the same procedure as in the surface wrapper tool. You can interactively select faces and edges to close leaks.

Proximity refinement does now have a direction control. It will reduce the cell count for models with thin plates and small gaps by refining the gaps only. The search direction can be inside, outside, or both.

Adaptive mesh refinement is now compatible with mixture multiphase (MMP). It is the user defined field function-based refinement that is now available with MMP. This feature can be used together with the Large-Scale Interface (LSI) framework to refine the surface.

Mixture turbulence is now possible for the Eulerian framework. Before, only phasic turbulence was possible in a EMP (Eulerian Multiphase) simulation. This provides both stability and speed up because the number of transport equation solved are reduced. This is particularity useful for flows including bubbles.

VOF is now compatible with flamelet combustion. This provides up to 3x speedup for combustion when combining VOF and flamelet methodology. This can also be combined with model specific adaptive mesh refinement.

The electric circuit editor in Simcenter STAR-CCM+ now provides graphical representation. This was not the case before which will severely speed up the procedure of setting up electrical circuits.

We at Volupe hope this post has been useful. Questions, as usual, are sent to



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