ECoMMFiT Facilities and resources

ECoMMFIT can be found in the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. Three laboratories of 45 m2 each are available for small experimental work. These spaces are used for both, basic research and applied research carried out under collaboration with the industry. An specific space is devoted to the open jet wind tunnel. In addition to the facilities and spaces of the department (including specific space for the computer servers), the group has also two large office spaces occupied by the PhD students, project researchers and technicians. Some of the specific experimental and computational resources of the ECoMMFiT are listed below.

Experimental resources

  • Open Jet Wind tunnel
  • Experimental facility initially designed for the study of small wind turbines. It is equipped with measuring instruments as pitot tubes, anemometers, temperature probes, etc. An smoke flow visualization system is installed for analyzing the generated wakes. High velocity CCD cameras are available for image recording.
    Characteristics: 1.5x1.5 m2 test section; outflow velocities from 3 to 17 m/s.

  • Flow systems
  • The group has the instruments and the expertise for the design and construction of experimental models for the study of fluid flow and heat and mass transfer. They are usually built in transparent methacrylate that allow visualization of internal processes. The dimensions of the models range from microns (channels for study in microfluidics) to meters (models of industrial reactors).

  • High speed cameras
  • Several cameras are available for recording high speed events. Usually this equipment is used for flow visualization in laboratory model systems however, they are portable and can be moved outside and used for industrial process visualization. Some of the cameras available are:
    - Photron FASTCAM Mini UX100. Monochrome. From 4000 fps at 1280x1024 pixel resolution to 800000 fps at reduced resolution operation (640 x 8 pixels)
    - Motion PRO HS3. Monochrome. From 1000 fps at 1.280x1.024 pixel resolution to 64000 fps at reduced resolution operation (1280 x 16 pixels)
    - CASIO EX-F1. Color. From 30-300 fps at 512x384 pixel resolution to 1200 fps at reduced resolution operation (336x96pixels).

  • PIV and PLIF
  • Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and Planar Laser Induced Fluorescence (PLIF) are two of the most used techniques for flow visualization. Both are non-intrusive and allow obtaining values of the fluid velocity and the concentration of reactive components. These techniques can be applied into different flow systems and need the use of CCD cameras and a laser system for illumination. The group has two Nd:Yag semiconductor lasers, linearly polarized with 532nm wavelength.

  • Microscope for microflow analysis
  • To analyze the fluid flow through the microchannels and microparticle movement the group has a trinocular-inverted microscope (Motic AE31E). A Moticam Pro 285B CCD camera (1.4 MP - 1360x1024 pixels) allows recording of the microscope images.

  • Rheology
  • In order to measure the different hreological properties of materials, the following equipment is available:
    - Capillary Breakup Extensional Rheometer: The HAAKE CaBER 1 Capillary Breakup Extensional Rheometer is the only commercially available extensional rheometer to quantify elongational properties of fluids or semi-solids. The thinning and break-up of a fluid filament that is analyzed with Capillary Breakup Extensional Rheometer provides valuable information on a material's physical properties.
    - Rotational Shear Rheometer: The TA Discovery Hybrid Rheometer is a rotational shear rheometer that allows to measure lower viscosities and weaker liquid and soft-solid structure, with a high level of accuracy in the measurement of G' and G''.
    - HAAKE Viscotester VTE version L viscosimeter.


Computational resources

  • Cluster LLAC
  • Shared computer cluster with 60 nodes, 1280 cores, 3.8 TB central memory and 80 TB disc.

  • Beowulf TROMA
  • ECoMMFiT computer cluster with 80 AMD opteron and 248 processors.

  • Software
  • The group has expertise working with different specific commercial software. Among others it can be highlighted the ANSYS FLUENT (computational fluid dynamics), COMSOL Multiphysics (numerical simulation of engineering applications), Mathematica (symbolic mathematic computation) and different programming languages (Fortran 90, C ++, Matlab, Open MP, MPI). Some free open source software is also used within the group as OpenFoam (CFD) or ParaView (data visualization).

  • In house software
  • The group has developed their own computer programs for CFD and for the analysis and processing of images and large data sets. Among others it can be found 3DINAMICS and CAFFA3D (CFD based on finite volume technique), ArtWAS (analysis and treatment of medical ultrasound images), PIVCalc (specific for Particle Image Velocimetry), SIMOIL (analysis of the evolution of sea oil spills) or FuzzyPR (pattern recognition based on fuzzy logic). Furthermore, from technology transfer agreements with external firms the group has also developed on demand programs adapted to the needs of the companies (more).