COMSOL Conference and 5.2

COMSOL Conference and 5.2

Better Than Ever

It has taken us some time to share about this year’s COMSOL Conference because we have been thinking of just the right word to describe it. The problem is that there is too much to describe, and we know we cannot describe it as indescribable… so we waited. And we waited. And now after more than two months have passed with numerous opportunities to employ the information shared at the Conference we understood just what to share. Better Than Ever! Better than ever, for sure. As advancements are made each year, the training sessions have greater impact, industry experts share more state-of-the-art solutions, and innovative research shared from peers brings more clarity… which allows for further advancements. If you ask us… COMSOL Conference 2015 and 5.2 was Better Than Ever.


Even the folks at got in on the action. In an article posted on October 23, 2015, Shawn Wasserman discusses several key components of COMSOL 5.2 He appropriately titles his article… “What would engineers want to know about COMSOL 5.2?”


Three Highlights in the article answer Shawn’s question.


  • Application Builder Efficiency Boost
  • COMSOL Server and Improved User Licensing Experience
  • User Defined Non-Linear Materials


On the topic of User Defined Non-Linear Materials, our very own Jeffrey Crompton was quoted as saying…“One of the main things that will help us is the ability to put in our own material properties. This will help with structural mechanics and magnetic materials that have hysteresis we couldn’t take into account before, so our results will be a lot more accurate.”


An article like this goes hand in hand with the overall COMSOL Conference experience. Because of what we see taking place at the COMSOL Conference and the progress users will make throughout the year with the release of COMSOL 5.2, we see great advances and powerful solutions made available to more and more engineers all the time, especially with the easier user experience to convert multiphysics models into simulations apps.


You can read the full article here.

Seal Well Solves Green House Gas Problem

Seal Well Solves Green House Gas Problem in Oil and Gas Wells


It is not very often that AltaSim gets to openly brag (with permission) about one of its clients, but this is one of those times. We are excited to share about the work of Homer L. Spencer, P. Eng, Seal Well Inc. in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We encourage our readers to investigate the work of Seal Well for themselves by visiting their website at


Seal Well saw a problem. Many of the Plugging and Sealing tools and procedures for oil and gas wells were not reliable allowing for continued escape of geologically stored green house gases. Cement, while inexpensive and universally available for well completion and plugging purposes, is known to have certain inherent properties that make it less than ideal for sealing wells. A quick explanation of the problems associated with using cement can be found here.


Seal Well contacted AltaSim with the ideas and the determination to change the way wells are sealed. More than 430,000 oil and gas wells have been drilled in Alberta alone, and while natural gas leakage from a portion of these wells is not known with precision, it has been estimated at about 3.5 million tonnes per year CO2 equivalent. Seal Well saw an opportunity to stop this… permanently.


The Technology:

  • The technology permanently seals greenhouse gas emitting wells reliably and economically.
  • Uses bismuth-tin alloy because of the low melting point, volumetric expansion during solidification and high specific gravity
  • A solid plug of bismuth-tin is lowered into the well, heated to melting and then allowed to cool so that it seals the well
  • Heats the bismuth-tin until it melts and flows into the annular region of the well
  • Has been tested on 7 wells showing 0 cubic meters per day leakage after deployment


The Application & Benefits:

  • Eliminates leakage of greenhouse gases from abandoned wells by sealing surface casing vent flow
  • Already eliminated 215 T/yr from the 7 plugged wells (estimated leakage of 3.5 million tons/year in Alberta)
  • Estimated that 280,000 wells in Canada could need sealing in the future
  • Current repair methods cost between $300,000 and $8,000,000 to repair. Final cost of the Seal Well method will be small fraction of this cost.


AltaSim developed a transient conjugate heat transfer analysis to simulate the in-situ heating and melting of the bismuth-tin plug. The analysis included the conduction through the solid domain and convection in the liquid domain. The heat transfer analysis was used to calculate the time necessary to fully melt the bismuth-tin plug. AltaSim also modeled the solidification process including the volumetric expansion to determine the residual stress in the plug. These analyses enabled Seal Well to virtually test conceptual designs rapidly without the need for extensive physical testing. In addition, the insight gained from these computational analyses directed design modifications that produced an improved product.


Heat Transfer in Well Sealing


Bismth Alloy Plasticity


Dr. Jeff Crompton, Principal here at AltaSim Technologies will be presenting a Paper on this work at the COMSOL Conference in Boston in October. We invite you to explore this work and visit with Jeff before and/or after his talk.

MRI Webinar

MRI Webinar

(Recording Accessible Until December 18, 2015)


On June 18th, our very own Kyle Koppenhoefer joined Walter Frei, PhD, Applications Engineer, COMSOL, to present a free Webinar on Simulating MRI Heating of Medical Implants. As we wrote about last week, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is one of the most widely used and safest imaging modalities for medical diagnostics. (


Although the live event is over, you may access the webinar recording anytime until December 18, 2015. The link to the webinar recording is now available at:


You can also access a PDF download of the slide deck at Please contact the event host, Kristen Anderson, at, if you have any questions about watching the webinar recording or downloading the slides.


MRI safety remains a concern, but there is so much progress being made. When you access the webinar and work your way through the slide deck, remember that we are still “live” and ready to help. We welcome any questions that come which you can submit using the form in the lower right on this page… just “Ask AltaSim.” As we have updates, we will be sure to share them with all of our readers.


Create The Future Design Contest Winners

Create the Future Design Contest Winners


Results are in, and it is time to congratulate all the winners in this year’s Create The Future Design Contest! Special congrats goes to the Grand Prize Winner, Behrokh Khoshnevis, Los Angeles, California. Learn all about his entry using the link below.


Once again, our good friends at COMSOL helped sponsor this wonderful contest, put on each year by Tech Briefs. Bernt Nilsson, Senior VP of Marketing for COMSOL, had the following to say:


“This year’s contest really knocked it out of the park with a record number of entries and tons of truly forward-thinking product ideas. All these creative designs are a testament to the power of engineering innovation for building a better tomorrow. COMSOL is grateful for the opportunity to support the Create the Future Design Contest that does such a phenomenal job in promoting and recognizing simulation-driven product design. Kudos to all the entrants for sharing their amazing ideas and congratulations to this year’s winners!”


We encourage our readers to learn more about all the winners. Maybe this will spark a desire and an innovation that can be entered next year!


Consider what can be accomplished when forward-thinking people interact with engineering innovation in an environment of challenge and encouragement and reward. Do you have it in you? Can you see yourself making the list? We would love to be reading about you next year at this time.

AltaSim Receives SBIR Award

AltaSim Receives SBIR Award


AltaSim Technologies was recently awarded an SBIR Award from The United States Department of Energy. The award was given to help AltaSim further develop the technologies that drive additive manufacturing.  Jeff Crompton, Ph.D., a principal here at AltaSim is quoted in the article. He states:


“We plan to create a manufacturing application that will use advanced computational tools and high-performance computing to help U.S. manufacturers improve manufacturing methods by increasing the use of additive manufacturing. Current methods for developing additive manufacturing methods do not use computational analysis due to the complex physics associated with this manufacturing method.”


Below are two links to access for the full article:


The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to engage in Federal Research/Research and Development (R/R&D) that has the potential for commercialization. Through a competitive awards-based program, SBIR enables small businesses to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. By including qualified small businesses in the nation’s R&D arena, high-tech innovation is stimulated and the United States gains entrepreneurial spirit as it meets its specific research and development needs.


In the articles (linked above) you will notice mention of AweSim. AltaSim is a founding partner of the AweSim program (, which was launched in 2013 when the Ohio Third Frontier Commission voted to help fund the $6.4 million public/private partnership led by the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC). This collaborative program is geared towards helping the small to mid-sized manufacturer gain access to Simulation-Driven Design in an affordable manner. If you are a small to mid-sized manufacturer in Ohio looking to Accelerate, Innovate and Collaborate, we encourage you to get connected to AweSim. We humbly accept the SBIR Award, simply as another way to help more companies realize tomorrow’s technology today.