Friday Flownex Tech Tips #6

Creating Custom Fluids

Occasionally glossed over, adding custom fluids is a fairly standard operation in Flownex that we don’t think about until it’s necessary. There are a couple of ways to do this which we’ll go over in today’s post. I am working in Flownex 8.12.7.4334.

Creating a mixed fluid

To create a mixed fluid we first need to create a folder for this fluid in our project database. This can be done in the charts and lookup tables pane by right clicking on “mixed fluids” and selecting “add category”. We can create our new fluid by right-clicking on the new folder and selecting “Add a new mixed fluid”. Note we can right-click and rename both the fluid itself and the containing folder.

To define our new mixed fluid we double-click on the new mixed fluid to open the editor. Here we can add the components of our mixed fluids.

Creating a new fluid from scratch

To create a fluid from scratch we repeat the same process of creating a folder and creating a new fluid as above with the exception being that we’d complete these steps under the “Pure Fluids” category. Once this is done we’ll need to double-click or right-click > edit our from scratch fluid and enter in the fluid properties. Note for many properties we can define the relationship with pressure and temperature as constant (non-dependent), table, equation, or script.

Importing a fluid

To import a fluid we will follow the same steps of creating the folder under pure fluids. Now instead of right-clicking and adding new we will right-click and select “import”. Then we simply navigate to our desired fluid file and click “Ok”.

Bonus Tips!

  • In the window where you define your fluid you’ll notice the “Test” button. This feature can be utilized to test created fluids to confirm properties against known properties for given pressures and temperatures.
  • We can also copy and paste fluids from the master database into the project database to give us a good starting point for creating similar fluids (or extending properties to higher/lower temps/pressures).

Adding a Background Image in Flownex

In this post I will go over what is usually the first step in any Flownex network I build. Adding a background image not only helps me lay out my network but also helps colleagues and clients understand networks at a very quick glance. In this example I am using Flownex version 8.12.7.4334

Choosing an Appropriate Image

The first thing we want to do is to make sure that the image size is such that it’s reasonable in size both resolution-wise (so it doesn’t appear pixelated), and right-size so that components don’t appear too small when placed on top. I recommend something in the multi-thousand of pixels both in width an height. 3000 pixels at a minimum. I usually shoot for around 10,000 wide by 5,000 high if the background image will be landscape. For very complex, large networks, it may make sense to go much larger.

Once we’ve found an appropriate image we will want to make a note of the exact size. This can be found by right-clicking on the image file, selecting properties, and navigating to the details tab.

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Confirming Image Resolution

Resizing Flownex Canvas

The canvas in Flownex can be resized to match this resolution by right-clicking on the canvas, selecting edit page, and populating the correct inputs:

Editing Canvas Inputs

Applying Background Image

The background image can be applied by clicking the radio button next to Style in the Appearance subcategory. Here we will change the Fill Style type to Image, then click the Select Image button:

Styles Editor

The images saved locally to this project will appear here. To add an image we simply click Add Image, navigate to the image of our choice, and click open. Now that it is available as an option we select the image in the Image Selector Gallery and click OK.

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Image Selector Gallery

We can press OK in the Styles Editor to confirm our changes and we should now see our added image as the new background!

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Drawing Canvas with Background Image

Bonus Tips!

  • Adjusting the Fill Style opacity can fade out the background image so that it doesn’t overwhelm the Flownex components placed on top.
  • Turning off the grid under the View ribbon can make the canvas a bit more aesthetically pleasing.