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CFX vs. FLUENT

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Old   February 8, 2016, 13:12
Exclamation CFX vs. FLUENT
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This topic never stops showing up in the forum. Let me help you make it clear.

1. By CFD Code
  • FLUENT : UK college > Creare (US) > Fluent (US) > Ansys
  • CFX : UK Nuclear Research > AEA Technology (UK) > ASC (Canada, CFX-TASCflow) > Ansys
  • STAR-CD : UK college > CD-Adapco
  • FineTurbo : Brussel college (Prof. Hirsch) > NUMECA
2. By Solver Type
  • Segregated : Pressure-based Method of FVM : FLUENT, STAR-CD
- Continuity, momentum and energy equations are solved sequentially.
- Pressure is later corrected by Pressure-Velocity Coupling (like SIMPLE, SIMPLEC or PISO)
- Originally for incompressible flow, but extended to compressible flow


  • Coupled : Time Marching of FVM : FLUENT (RAMPANT), FineTurbo
- Conservative vector forms in time and space
- Explicit (FineTurbo, FLUENT RAMPANT) or implicit (FLUENT) solver with multigrid
- Originally for compressible flow, but extended to incompressible using pseudo-compressibility factor
- Better accuracy in highly compressible flows (maybe controversial)



3. CFX is kind of unique
  • CFX is a coupled solver, but needs the pressure-velocity coupling, too. It belongs to the Pressure-based group.
  • CFX is fully implicit, relatively faster than FLUENT, but requiring much storage.
  • CFX is a cell-vertex code, while FLUENT a cell-centered.
  • CFX has a shape function borrowed from FEM to evaluate gradients, but FLUENT uses the staggered grid concept.
4. CFX vs. FLUENT
  • CFX has more friendly GUI for turbomachinery users (that was a kind of business strategy for CFX-TASCflow to survive competing with FLUENT).
  • FLUENT has traditionally more users in more general applications.
  • Both are now good enough !
5. My recommendations
  • If you simulate combustion, multi-phase or chemically-reacting flows, I'd go with FLUENT segregated.
  • If you simulate a single phase turbomachinery flow, two options are recommended : CFX or FineTurbo. In this area, they are totally different animals. Try out both in your model through a comparison with reliable test data before making a decision.
  • NUMECA FineTurbo grid generation package (Autogrid) has been frequently agreed more powerful and of higher quality, but the Post still looks not easy to love.

Last edited by turbo; February 8, 2016 at 15:58.
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