Simcenter STAR-CCM+ v13.04: What’s New?

By Stephen Ferguson

The latest release of Simcenter STAR-CCM+ will help you to engineer innovation.


Driven by the competing demands of evolving customer expectations and increased emissions regulation, the global automotive industry is in a race to deliver ever more sustainable vehicles that offer an uncompromised driving experience while reducing environmental impact. Simcenter STAR-CCM+ v13.04 contains a range of new features that increase the productivity of all simulation engineers but specifically focuses on enhancements to engine simulation capabilities.  

Simcenter STAR-CCM+ v13.04 benefits and features at a glance:


Cleaner vehicles through improved engine simulation

The automotive industry is experiencing an era of unprecedented innovation as manufacturers are forced to consider a range of revolutionary new technologies that significantly reduce the environmental impact of new vehicles without compromising overall driving experience.

With this in mind, Simcenter STAR-CCM+ v13.04 includes critical improvements to in-cylinder modeling capabilities that are intended to increase the productivity and realism of powertrain simulation. One significant improvement is the ability to simulate charge motion, modeling the injection and mixing of fuel with the inducted air.  Using the STAR-ICE add-on, you can quickly set up ICE simulations through automatic model selection, simple time step control, easy injector definition, and automatic selection of common post-processing outputs. These enhancements let ICE engineers gain deep insight and optimize the quality of combustion, leading to improved fuel economy and reduced harmful emissions.

Simcenter STAR-CCM+ v13.04 also introduces a new fluid-film co-simulation capability aimed at increasing the speed of SCR simulations involving physics with multiple time scales. This hybrid approach splits the physics into two simulations: the first models how the high-frequency spray injection forms a fluid film using a very fine time-step and the other models how the film slowly builds up with a much coarser time step. By bringing these simulations together in a single study, you can make decisions based on long-term usage cycles, without compromising the fidelity of the model. 

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Increased insight through faster and more comprehensive multiphase simulation 

The solution of complex industrial problems often involves the interaction between multiple fluids, sometimes including phase changes between them. Simcenter STAR-CCM+ v13.04 lets you set up complex multiphase simulations with access to a single and easy-to-navigate model selection panel. This panel allows users to see and select all interrelated multiphase models at once and is particularly valuable for handling hybrid multiphase simulations that involve multiple models and phase interactions. Using the model selection panel reduces the errors and time involved in searching for the various models required to simulate your problem.

The latest release also significantly reduces the computational expense for Volume of Fluid (VOF) simulations. The new multi-step approach decouples the flow time step from the restrictive VOF constraints, allowing the time step to be increased by orders of magnitude while delivering equivalent accuracy. This new feature is of particular importance for the Marine and Off-Shore Industry and applications such as gearbox and fuel tank sloshing, water management and casting. 

This release also includes a new statistical reporting tool to simplify the post-processing workflow and improve decision making for transient results that often contain a lot of noisy data, including VOF simulations. This statistical treatment of data provides a more concise view of results by looking at mean, minimum, maximum or sum of any data source being monitored such as the VOF phase in a mixing application. It also reduces the need to store massive amounts of data, resulting in significantly smaller simulation files.

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Use existing engineering knowledge to enhance automated design exploration

The introduction of Design Manager into Simcenter STAR-CCM+ made single-design CFD simulations a thing of the past, granting all engineers the ability to automatically and intelligently improve their designs based on simulation data. However, as clever as automated design exploration is, a good product design also depends on engineering knowledge. Rather than start each new design study from a blank piece of paper, it is useful to incorporate existing engineering knowledge into the design exploration process.

Design manager 13.04 includes a customizable way to exploit existing product knowledge  to speed up and better drive optimization. By adding manual seeds before or during an optimization study, users can select specific simulations to run or insert designs of interest based on engineering knowledge or previous results.

Design Manager in v13.04 now also you to create new plots while design studies are running, enabling you to monitor results and make the necessary changes early, rather than wait for a design study to finish. 

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Enable enterprise collaboration with simulation tree comments

Although engineering simulation used to be a solitary occupation, with a single engineer working on a single simulation, these days it is a collaborative effort. Simulation models are often shared and reused by multiple engineers working in different geographical locations, companies or even eras (using older simulation models retrieved from the archives). With this in mind, it becomes even more important to record modeling intentions when setting up or changing a simulation.

Simcenter STAR-CCM+ v13.04 introduces the ability to include comments directly into the simulation tree. This lets simulation engineers to store contextual information within the simulation file, enables collaboration when handing off and sharing simulation files and allows for capturing evolving best practices on the fly. 

This release also brings an upgrade to the bi-directional connectivity between Simcenter STAR-CCM+ and NX. Users now have access to the latest version of NX, allowing them to use full-fidelity NX 12 models for their design exploration studies. Design modifications can be made either from Simcenter STAR-CCM+ or NX 12 CAD environment, automatically updating the parent assembly as the design evolves.

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For information on all of the new features or to download Simcenter STAR-CCM+ v13.04, please visit the Steve Portal.

This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at