FINFLO is a Navier-Stokes flow solver capable of handling incompressible and compressible flows. The development of FINFLO dates back to 1987, when a research project in CFD was started at the Helsinki University of Technology (HUT). This research led to the development of a sophisticated flow solver.
In addition to the flow solver itself, the FINFLO environment contains several supporting tools for pre-processing (grid-generation) and post-processing (e.g. for visualization, data analysis etc.). FINFLO is effectively parallelized and can be used on supercomputers as well as on personal workstations.
In the FINFLO code the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations are solved by a finite-volume method. Reynolds-averaging is practically the only way to handle the effects of turbulence in technical applications. There are other methods such as large-eddy simulation, but those are still in their infancy. With the Reynolds-averaged equations several strategies can be utilized to model turbulence. In FINFLO turbulence modeling ranges from simple algebraic models (Baldwin-Lomax or Cebeci-Smith) to a full Reynolds-stress closure. The most common approaches (k-e and k-w) are two-equation models, i.e. in addition to the basic flow equations there are two additional differential equations to be solved.
In addition to aerodynamical simulations, the FINFLO-code has many different applications. An important field of application is rotating machinery. The code has been used to compute flows in pumps and ship propellers (incompressible flow) as well as in high-speed compressors, where the flow is compressible. Finflo uses its own solver to perform numerical simulations.
This is in many respects advantageous. If a model needed in a simulation does not exist, it can be easily and without a delay incorporated into the code. New approaches in turbulence modeling can be tested almost immediately after those have been developed.