How to use multiple model parts

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Using multiple model parts

The problem of handling complex geometries or domains characterized by multiple physical fields, is simplified by the usage of multiple model_parts. As a matter of fact, model_part is intended as a container for

  • Elements
  • Conditions
  • Nodes
  • Properties
  • ProcessInfo

that describe a given part of the model.

The fundamental idea is that most of the information, and in particular the degrees of freedom are stored on the Nodes. Elements and Conditions take care of describing the underlying mathematical structure. All of the informations on the "status" of the model, for example the current TIME or the DELTA_TIME are stored in the ProcessInfo. The Properties take care of keeping trace of the material properties.

Two main usage scenarios rise at this point:

SCENARIO 1 : two different formulations on one domain

This is the case for example of fluid flow + temperature. The two problems share the same volume (and the same discretization of the model) but two distinct problems have to be solved, namely the flow problem and the temperature one.

The basic observation in this context is that the two formulations share the same discretization of the domain, and in particular the same nodes. The important advantage is thus that any information stored at the nodes is immediately available to both the formulations. For example if the fluid solver computes VELOCITY the thermal solver will be able automatically to use this VELOCITY to convect the TEMPERATURE.

The point we would like to highlight here is how to define the two different domains:

let's suppose that we start by reading a fluid_model_part

and we would like to define a thermal_model_part

that shares the same nodes as the one before but is defined by an array of Elements and Conditions which use a different formulation. Let's also suppose for now that an appropriate list of ThermalElements and ThermalConditions is already created.

in order to fill the thermal_model_part we should perform in python the following operations:

   thermal_model_part.Nodes       = fluid_model_part.Nodes         ##make the new model part to use the same nodes as the original model part!
   thermal_model_part.ProcessInfo = fluid_model_part.ProcessInfo   ##this makes all of the time informations to coincide between the two model parts 
   thermal_model_part.Properties  = fluid_model_part.Properties    ##assign all of the "Material properties" 

all of the operations up to this point copy Pointers so ... any change in the fluid_model_part will also affect the new thermal model part

   thermal_model_part.Elements = ThermalElements
   thermal_model_part.Conditions = ThermalConditions

here we assign to the Elements of the thermal model part the list of elements we created somewhere.

SCENARIO 2 : two different formulations on different parts of the domain

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