Should CFD be an Exact Science?

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Over at the IMAGINiT CFD Blog, Ryan Stamm writes that while Computational Fluid Dynamics is not an exact science, it is good engineering.

I’ve been asked to carry out results data to 3 or 4 decimal places! Really? Do results showing 4.015 psi drive product development in a different direction than 4 psi? If so, you don’t need CFD simulation, you need a professor and enough capital to embark on a 6 month research project. Don’t get me wrong, CFD analysis can be exact! However it requires a high degree of scrutiny and more time to capture every minuscule detail. I come across many engineers who feel the need to include every detail is required to derive any value from simulation. This cannot be further from the truth. CFD can be exact but CFD does not have to be exact to drive product development decisions.

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