6th March 2013

OpenFOAM 2.2.0: Post-processing

Function Objects

OpenFOAM can carry out post-processing automatically while the simulation is running using function objects. In v2.2.0, the range of available functionality has been extended to include the following. All function object data is now output to a postProcessing directory in the case directory.

  • new wallShearStress – calculates the wall shear stress for incompressible and compressible cases.
  • new pressureTools – enables the calculation of pressure (from kinematic pressure), total pressure, pressure coefficient and total pressure coefficient.
  • new CourantNo – calculates the Courant number.
  • new DESModelRegions – calculates a scalar field for use with DES turbulence models, to indicate the regions specified by RAS and LES regions, respectively.
  • updated forces – forces and force coefficients can now be additionally written into data bins, along a user-defined direction, as shown below for the motorbike tutorial case:


  • updated faceSource – when employing the valueOutput option, values can now be written in formats such as VTK, as opposed to raw data values.
  • new fieldValueDelta – enables operations including addition, subtraction, minimum and maximum to be applied to faceSource and cellSource function objects, e.g. to calculate the flux imbalance across inlets and outlets.
  • new scalarTransport – enables the solution of a scalar transport equation, where the scalar can be specified using via boundary conditions, or using the new fvOptions framework. The following images show the time evolution of three point sources added to the pitzDaily tutorial case:




  • new yPlusRAS and yPlusLES – calculates yPlus for incompressible and compressible cases, employing RAS and LES turbulence, respectively.
  • new Lambda2, Peclet, Q – calculates flow fields for Lambda2, Peclet, and Q.
  • new wallBoundedStreamLine – creates streamlines in VTK format to show near-wall flow, as shown for the motorbike tutorial case:


  • updated fieldMinMax – updated to include the locations of minimum and maximum values.
  • new processorField – writes a scalar field of the local processor index.
  • turbulenceFields – stores turbulence fields e.g. R, devRhoEff, muEff.
  • new cloudInfo – outputs Lagrangian cloud information to a file. The current outputs include total current number of parcels and total current mass of parcels.
  • new calcFvcDiv – calculates the divergence of a field, and stores the result on the mesh database for further post-processing.
  • new calcFvcGrad – calculates the gradient of a field, and stores the result on the mesh database for further post-processing.
  • new calcMag – calculates the magnitude of a field, and stores the result on the mesh database for further post-processing.


  • Motorbike – example of forces and wallBoundedStreamline function objects

Other post-processing

Version 2.2.0 includes the following new post-processing capabilities.

  • The foamHelp utility (see documentation) provides a help interface to the function objects, e.g. to open the Doxygen help for the fieldMinMax object:
    foamHelp functionObject -browse fieldMinMax
  • The set of available surface data writers has been extended to include a nastranCSE writer.