Tridiagonal Solutions > Services > CFD Modeling and Simulation

The Success of a CFD analysis project is dependent on meshing approach and mesh quality. The Tridiagonal team uses leading tools such as Gambit, Tgrid, HyperMesh and the ANSYS meshing platform, so that “physics-relevant” meshes can be generated. We are also capable of developing automated Meshing approaches for productivity enhancement.

Many of the Tridiagonal team members have vast experience with writing in-house CFD codes as well as working with commercial codes. We have significant experience not only working on flow modeling but also on numerical methods. We use industry leading CFD solvers such as FLUENT, CFX, and OpenFOAM.

The Tridiagonal team has developed solution approaches for several advanced physics applications such as nucleate and bulk boiling, magneto hydrodynamics, solidification and melting, effect of electric charge on particulate transport and a variety of multiphase flow problems. We design best practices to derive the maximum output from the leading CFD codes while solving complicated flow problems. These results in a significant reduction of time needed to develop solution strategies.

Our unique services offered as validation studies, are usually part of larger projects which involve coming up with technical approach, best practice development, and validation of computational results with available experimental data. We have access to facilities for conducting cold flow experiments where appropriate experimental data can be obtained for specific validation objectives.

Our typical assignments span from geometry clean up and meshing to publication of high quality internal best practices for CFD teams to adopt. We also provide custom training and support solutions depending on customer requirements.

Discrete Element Modeling

Proper handling of granular material is of critical importance in a number of industries such as pharmaceutical, oil and gas, mining, chemicals, cosmetics, and food. Processes involving such material are often poorly understood because of a lack of fundamental knowledge of material behavior. When combined with fluid flow, it leads to even more difficult challenges. Tridiagonal Solutions’ unique expertise in such solids handling class of problems combined with CFD knowhow allows us to approach such problems from a well-rounded, fundamental, yet application oriented perspective. Our partnership with industry leading Discrete Element Method (DEM) software maker DEM Solutions Ltd. allows us to apply advanced particle-level simulations using EDEM™.

Realistic simulation of interactions between flowing fluid & granular material provide unique insights into processes like die-filling, fluid-bed processes, heat/mass transfer in cement kilns and pellet coaters, and erosion due to sand-laden pipeline flows. DEM-CFD coupled simulations are also being used for process improvement in Pneumatic Conveying, Screening, Tablet Coating, Blast Furnaces etc.

Tridiagonal engineers have also developed complex physics based models for problems like granular mixing and segregation, spray drying and impregnation, and calcination of catalyst support. We provide consulting as well as software support to some of the leading Pharmaceutical, Mining, Confectionery, Consumer goods, Oil & Gas & Cement companies.

Tridiagonal offers consulting services for gaining enhanced process understanding and problem-solving through DEM and coupled DEM-CFD simulations, experimental validation, prototyping services and preparing scale-up/down guidelines.

In the healthcare industry, Tridiagonal services both pharmaceutical companies and biomedical device companies.

Services to Pharmaceutical Industry:

Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) in the Pharmaceutical Industry requires a Quality by Design (QbD) approach to drug discovery, process development and manufacturing. Process analytical technology (PAT) initiatives have been implemented as a mechanism to design, analyze, and control pharmaceutical manufacturing processes through the measurement of Critical Process Parameters (CPP) which affect Critical Quality Attributes.

A QbD initiative will need to demonstrate the following:

  • The product is designed to meet intended use
  • The process is designed to consistently meet product critical quality attributes
  • The impact of starting materials and process parameters on product quality is understood
  • Critical sources of process variability (raw materials, process) are identified and controlled
  • The process is continually monitored and updated to allow for consistent quality over time

There is significant potential to harness the power of modeling in a QbD initiative. Through extensive R&D and industrial application predictive modeling approaches have been developed at Tridiagonal to assist customers with scale up and optimization. We assist pharmaceutical companies in API manufacturing (Chemical R&D) initiatives as well as the powder processing and tablet coating applications. The team extensively uses CFD and DEM methods to develop 3-D models of various unit operations. In Biologics manufacturing, the team has worked on scale up of bioreactors and optimization of these reactors. Shear, oxygen transfer rates and pH are critical parameters of interest.

The team has expertise in the following areas:

  • Mixing
  • Powder processing and particulate flow
  • Coating
  • Reactor design and scale up
  • Design of Lab and Pilot Scale Equipment
  • Develop software tools for mixing applications
  • Convert batch to continuous processes

Services to Biomedical Industry:

Rapid advancements in medical imaging and modeling technologies enable biomedical companies to significantly accelerate product development. The industry has much to gain by utilizing modeling tools early in the process. Modeling platforms allow design engineers to rapidly evaluate their design space during the ideation phase. Promising designs can then be worked during detailed design.

Tridiagonal has been involved in servicing the industry in a number of applications involving design of drug delivery systems. Drug delivery system designs typically involve modeling of drug delivery from the device into a tissue of interest and the diffusion of the drug in the tissue. Diffusion is anisotropic and there are partitioning effects to also consider. This sets up unique drug concentration profile that is a function of the device design, the tissue properties and the various transport parameters. These are hard to predict with simple analytical models. CFD methods have made tremendous progress in modeling these systems.

Hemolysis is a key concern when designing devices that process blood. The magnitude of the shear and the duration of exposure of the blood cells to high shear are key contributing factors that determine the possibility for hemolysis. Tridiagonal has unique modeling frameworks to provide statistics on the shear rate exposures of blood cells. This can be used to calculate a hemolysis index and determine the possibility of hemolysis.

The team has expertise in following areas:

  • Drug transport modeling in tissues
  • Blood flow modeling in devices including Hemolysis Index Estimation
  • Drug Release rates from drug matrix systems
  • Performance prediction and Noise reduction of fans in sleep apnea devices
  • Patient specific modeling – aerosol transport in lungs and hemodynamic studies in aneurysm
  • Extrusion Die Designs for catheters
  • Dry powder inhaler designs

The Process Engineering team at Tridiagonal is composed of a team of expert Chemical and Mechanical Engineers servicing the process industry segment over the last ten years in two key areas namely Process Development and Manufacturing. This team possesses a unique combination of skill sets such as Experimental Testing, Data Analysis, High Fidelity Process Modeling, Software Development, Design & Fabrication and Sensor Development. This blend of skill sets combined with expert problem solving capabilities is a unique strength that enables us to assist our customers from Concept to Practice.

Coupling Experiments with Process Models: Accelerating Process Development and Problem Solving
Traditional chemical engineering approaches to process development and solving manufacturing problems have relied extensively on lab and pilot scale experiments, plant observations and empirical correlations. This approach in our experience has been extremely time consuming and expensive and provides a very limited perspective on the cause and effect relationship. There is minimal opportunities to reduce trials and to get the design RIGHT THE FIRST TIME.

With advancements in computer simulations and modeling techniques, it is now possible to couple experimental data and plant observations with high fidelity process models to gain deep insights into the process. Our customers have realized significant benefits through our integrated approach to process design and problem solving. Experiments are still a critical element to process design.

Process Development: Core activities in process development include:
  • Recipe Optimization
  • Process Design and scale up
  • Conversion of batch to continuous processes
  • Design Lab and Pilot Scale Equipment
  • Debottleneck unit operations
  • Improve yield and conversion and minimize byproducts
  • Solve product quality issues
  • Quantify impact of critical control parameters on process safety

The oil & gas industry is focused on developing innovative technologies that enables exploration and production operations in harsh and deeper environments. Tridiagonal with its innovative R&D facility and related services helps to minimize costs, save time, increase overall equipment effectiveness, and mitigate risks associated in developing new/mature oil & gas fields. Many of the key operational activities such drilling & completions, subsea & topside facility design, and platform/riser design involves solving fluid flow & heat transfer problems. Tridiagonal is actively involved in providing CFD, Experimental Testing, Software Development, solutions for projects across the gamut of operations in the oil and gas industry.  

Tridiagonal is involved in offering services such as:

  • Analyze Pressure Drop and Erosion Patterns in Downhole Tools
  • Cement Displacement Studies
  • Multiphase Separators and Slug Catcher Performance Evaluation
  • Wind Loading and Gas Dispersion Analysis
  • Flushing Studies in Pipelines and Jumpers
  • Sand Screen Erosion Testing
  • Flow Induced Vibration
  • Sand Transport in Piping Networks including Sand Detection, Erosion and ASD Calibration
  • Wax Deposition

HVAC Equipment Design & Engineering

Our HVAC industry solutions help you design homes, public places and industrial facilities which meet your needs. We build CFD models and validate them by conducting appropriate experimental measurements to study temperature, humidity, safety (smoke and fire propagation) and comfort considerations. The whole focus of the industry has been evolving from over designing to optimally utilizing hot and cold air. This helps in optimizing capital and operating costs and limiting overall environmental impact (Green rating). Our team of engineers can come on-site to put together instrumentation, make accurate measurements and build realistic computational models. We make active contribution to your design goals and help you achieve your goals in shorter period of time. Once mature, the computational models are handed over to your teams for regular deployment while we work on supporting the expert user at your site.


Simulation For Electronic Applications

The demand of better heat, ventilation and thermal management in datacenters and electronics appliances, minimizing energy consumption, weight and size & increasing product functionalities is constantly growing in an Electronics Industry. We at Tridiagonal provide CFD solutions to address the problems associated with Electronics cooling and airflow optimization, (PCB) board level thermal design & analysis, heat sink design and fan design & performance optimization.


Case Studies

Pravin, one of the five members of Board of Directors in Tridiagonal Solutions has proven his expertise in creating, positioning and managing high growth companies. Mr. Jain has completed his Bachelors in Computer Engineering from University of Mumbai and Masters in Computer System Engineering from Northeastern University, Boston. He has also completed the Executive Program for Growing Companies at Stanford University Graduate School of Business. He has over 17 years of experience in Technology Entrepreneurship, Business Development and Delivery of Customer Centric Solutions. Pravin’s experience includes acquiring as well as divesting companies. Pravin lived and worked for 14 years in the US, and shifted back to India in the summer of 2006. He has driven, and been accountable for Sales, Marketing, Technology, Delivery and Strategy functions at his previous ventures. Pravin’s previous company grew by over 40x in 6 years and was subsequently divested to Wipro.

Ashish heads the software development activities at Tridiagonal Solutions. He has Post graduate degree in Fluid Mechanics and Thermal Sciences from IIT, Kanpur. Ashish is also a founder member of Tridiagonal and his interests include Computational Fluid Dynamics, Turbulence Modeling, Technical Training and Mentoring along with Open Source Software Development. Before founding Tridiagonal, Ashish worked with Fluent for seven years where he looked after product management responsibilities for Catia and FlowLab products.

Dr. Damodaran Vedapuri heads the North American Operations of Tridiagonal Solutions. He obtained his doctorate from Ohio University. Dr. Vedapuri has wide experience in Computational Fluid Dynamics, Flow Accelerated Corrosion and solving Multiphase Flow Problems of interest to the oil and gas industry. Before joining Tridiagonal, he was employed with SwRI, a premier research lab in the US and at Fluent Inc.

Dr. Damodaran Vedapuri heads the North American Operations of Tridiagonal Solutions. He obtained his doctorate from Ohio University. Dr. Vedapuri has wide experience in Computational Fluid Dynamics, Flow Accelerated Corrosion and solving Multiphase Flow Problems of interest to the oil and gas industry. Before joining Tridiagonal, he was employed with SwRI, a premier research lab in the US and at Fluent Inc.

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