This section provides an overview of flow boundaries in
FLUENT and how to use them.
FLUENT provides 10 types of boundary zone types for the specification of flow inlets and exits: velocity inlet, pressure inlet, mass flow inlet, pressure outlet, pressure far-field, outflow, inlet vent, intake fan, outlet vent, and exhaust fan.
The inlet and exit boundary condition options in
FLUENT are as follows:
Velocity inlet boundary conditions
are used to define the velocity and scalar properties of the flow at inlet boundaries.
Pressure inlet
boundary conditions are used to define the total pressure and other scalar quantities at flow inlets.
Mass flow inlet
boundary conditions are used in compressible flows to prescribe a mass flow rate at an inlet. It is not necessary to use mass flow inlets in incompressible flows because when density is constant, velocity inlet boundary conditions will fix the mass flow.
Pressure outlet
boundary conditions are used to define the static pressure at flow outlets (and also other scalar variables, in case of backflow). The use of a pressure outlet boundary condition instead of an outflow condition often results in a better rate of convergence when backflow occurs during iteration.
Pressure far-field
boundary conditions are used to model a free-stream compressible flow at infinity, with free-stream Mach number and static conditions specified. This boundary type is available only for compressible flows.
Outflow boundary conditions
are used to model flow exits where the details of the flow velocity and pressure are not known prior to solution of the flow problem. They are appropriate where the exit flow is close to a fully developed condition, as the outflow boundary condition assumes a zero normal gradient for all flow variables except pressure. They are not appropriate for compressible flow calculations.
Inlet vent boundary conditions
are used to model an inlet vent with a specified loss coefficient, flow direction, and ambient (inlet) total pressure and temperature.
Intake fan boundary conditions
are used to model an external intake fan with a specified pressure jump, flow direction, and ambient (intake) total pressure and temperature.
Outlet vent boundary conditions
are used to model an outlet vent with a specified loss coefficient and ambient (discharge) static pressure and temperature.
Exhaust fan boundary conditions
are used to model an external exhaust fan with a specified pressure jump and ambient (discharge) static pressure.