Parent Category: Industries

Polyurethane (PUR) Foam Simulation - Foaming Fridge

Polyurethane (PUR) foam simulation of the foaming process in a fridge can perfectly be performed with CFD software NOGRID points. By using polyurethane foams a good thermal isolation can be achieved. The most efficient way to produce a thermal isolation of a refrigerator is the injection of PUR directly into the hollow wall. The foaming takes place in the cavity and fills it completely.
NOGRID points can help to understand the flow inside the cavity. It can show the entrapment of air, the density distribution of the isolation material and the pressure of the PUR foam acting on the cavity. NOGRID unites abilities to handle free surface flow and moving parts in the domain and allows the simulation of any conceivable refrigerator geometry and operation modes such as
  • polyurethane (PUR) injection by one or more inlets,
  • moving parts and inlets,
  • free definable PUR properties by equations or curves and
  • large refrigerator geometries with small gaps or cutouts.
NOGRID's particular strengths are the rapid preprocessing (no grid needs to be generated) and the outstandingly short computation time even for complicated cavities with very small ducts.

Three possible types of production

The left example shows a refrigerator where the PUR is injected using two inlets at the lower side. The foaming process starts when the PUR enters the cavity, the filling is done after two seconds. In the middle example the fluid is injected by a pipe which moves outwards during the filling process. In the right example the simulation starts with PUR liquid inside an open cavity. The cavity closes and presses the foaming liquid into the refrigerator wall.

PUR injection in a fridge by two fixed inlets PUR injection by a moving pipe PUR distribution in a fridge by a closing cavity
Figure 1: Simulation of PUR foaming in a fridge - injection by two fixed inlets (left), injection by a moving pipe (middle) and PUR distribution by a closing cavity; computed with NOGRID points
Click on the animations to see high quality videos.

Identification air entrapment

Air entrapment increases the heat conductivity of the thermal isolation and must be avoided. CFD simulations can reveal critical positions. In our simulation the cooling cutouts on the lower left side of the refrigerator are at risk for an entrapment, see figure 2. The PUR enters the gaps from both sides, resulting in an entrapment of air. A solution would be ventilation holes or different inlet positions.

Velocity field and free surface flow near cooling cutouts in a fridge

Figure 2: Velocity field and free surface flow near cooling cutouts, computed with NOGRID points
The simulation shows that this position is at risk for an air entrapment.