CFD model of a cyclone

Computational fluid dynamics uses advanced computer software to model the flow of fluids.

Fluids process modelling

Researchers at CSIRO are using fluids process modelling to optimise processes, plant and equipment, and assist scale-up, quickly and cost effectively.

  • 22 June 2010 | Updated 4 April 2013

In this article

  1. Overview
  2. Our projects
  3. Key people


Page 1 of 3

CSIRO's fluids process modelling program has been studying different processes and systems related to the mineral processing, metal production, petroleum and power generation industries since the 1980s.

The broad application of fluids process modelling to new and existing plant in the mineral processing, metal production and energy industries has the potential to save companies many millions of dollars per year.

To support current projects, researchers are developing models of:

  • thickeners, feedwells and slurry flows
  • mixing vessels and stirred tanks
  • flotation cells
  • fluidised beds
  • electrolytic cells
  • heap leaching
  • solvent extraction
  • bio-engineering and bio-medical devices.

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)

CFD uses advanced computer software to model the flow of fluids through a processing facility. The fluid may be in liquid, gas,or loose particle form, or a combination of these.

CFD offers a number of significant advantages to industry, including:

  • cost effectiveness – CFD allows testing of a large number of variables without modifying existing plants
  • risk reduction – CFD can predict performance at any scale, thereby minimising the risk inherent in designing large-scale plants and reducing the number of pilot stages required to scale-up
  • timeliness – results are available in a short time
  • safety – CFD is particularly useful in simulating conditions where it is not possible to take detailed measurements

Our expertise covers a broad range of skills and applications in this area, including:

  • commercial and open-source CFD codes (Fluent, CFX, OpenFOAM and PHOENICS)
  • in-house software design for specific situations
  • visualisation software (Tecplot, Fieldview)
  • supercomputer access
  • world-class simulation software based on Discrete Element Method, Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics and Finite Element Methods (read more on the Computational modelling of fluid and particulate dynamics page).

Experimental fluid dynamics

We are well placed to bring together multi-disciplinary teams from different areas of our organisation. Our Computational Fluid Dynamics team is closely linked to our research in Fluids-engineering especially in the Laser flow diagnostics laboratory.