MATLAB CFD Toolbox and Fluid Dynamics Solver

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MATLAB CFD Toolbox | FEATool Multiphysics

Dedicated CFD Solvers

CFDTool and FEATool both include built-in Navier-Stokes solvers for stationary and transient flows, as well as interfaces with the external OpenFOAM CFD solver and the general FEM solver FEniCS. This allows one to perform large scale high performance CFD simulations directly from the MATLAB GUI interface. In particular both OpenFOAM and FEniCS can be used to perform parallel HPC-CFD direct numerical simulations (DNS), as for example done here with flow over an aircraft wing

CFD Toolbox Features

  • MATLAB Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Toolbox
  • Built-in preprocessing, solvers, postprocessing and visualization
  • Pre-defined multiphysics modes for incompressible fluid flow, porous media flows, heat and mass transport, and structural mechanics couplings
  • Built-in stationary and time-dependent solvers with stabilization of convective effects (streamline, SUPG, and artificial diffusion)
  • Easily customizable equations and non-linear coefficients
  • External CFD and HPC solver support for CFD solvers OpenFOAM and FEniCS
  • Special stable finite element FEM shape functions for fluid flows

Plotly Interactive CFD Visualization

With the Plotly integration fully interactive postprocessing, visualization, and result sharing via the web and Plotly cloud services is supported. The image below shows a flow past a cylinder benchmark solution (click on the image to open the interactive Plotly web plot).

Plotly Interactive CFD Visualization | FEATool Multiphysics

Fluid Mechanics Analysis Types

In addition to the built-in incompressible Navier-Stokes and Heat Transfer physics modes in CFDTool, FEATool Multiphysics supports a wider range of flow regimes and CFD simulations
  • Stationary and time-dependent
  • Laminar and Incompressible
  • Incompressible Flows
  • Non-isothermal (Boussinesq approximation)
  • Varying density and viscosity
  • Two-phase flows (level set)
  • Flow through porous media
  • User-defined equation types


Both the CFDTool and FEATool Multiphysics Toolboxes makes it easy to set up and solve complex computational fluid dynamics problems directly in MATLAB.

Performing complex CFD simulations in MATLAB has never been so easy and straightforward. With CFDTool and FEATool, time-dependent and stationary fluid mechanics simulation and flow engineering problems can be defined quickly and directly in the convenient graphical user interface (GUI). Moreover, with multiphysics, the pressure and flow field can be coupled to different physical phenomena such as mass and chemical transport, and heat transfer models allowing for complex CFD simulations such as multiphase and reactive flows to defined and simulated with ease. Also, with the higher order special stable flow finite element FEM elements, complex quantities such as aerodynamic lift and drag forces can be evaluated very precisely.

Fluid Dynamics Tutorials and Examples

CFDTool and FEATool includes many CFD specific tutorial models for stationary and dynamic types of fluid flow problems, multi-phase flows, and coupled fluid-multiphysics problems, for example

Multiphysics for Fluid Dynamics

The 15 easy to use pre-defined physics modes in FEATool makes it easy to set up coupled and complex fluid flow problems in any dimension, such as heat and mass transport problems, fluid-structure interaction (FSI), and flows in porous media.

In addition, as both CFDTool and FEATool can parse general nonlinear string expressions, including dependent variables and derivatives, one can define complex equation coefficients without any programming or user defined functions by simply typing in the expression as normally written on paper. This can for example be used to quickly define non-Newtonian and non-isothermal fluids by modifying the viscosity coefficient.

Pre-defined physics modes for incompressible fluid flows, porous media flows, fluid heat and mass transport (supporting convective/advective heat and mass by the fluid flow field), in addition to enabling structural mechanics couplings for fluid-structure interactions
  • Navier-Stokes Equations
  • Brinkman Equations
  • Darcy's Law
  • Heat Transfer
  • Convection and Diffusion
  • Structural Mechanics
All equations can also easily be customized or even completely user defined with a simple partial differential equation equation PDE syntax.