Alan C. McClure Associates Adds HELYX Analysis Software To Enhance Computational Fluid Dynamics Capabilities

Alan C. McClure Associates (ACMA), one of the industry’s premier naval architecture and engineering firms, recently announced that the company finished the installation, training and implementation of its new Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis software - HELYX by Engys. This software is based on OpenFOAM (Open Field Operation and Manipulation), an open-source CFD software library.


"The graphic user interface (GUI) was a real selling point for us,” says ACMA Naval Architect Nick Barczak. "ACMA decided to add this platform since we were already wellversed in general CFD input structure and, therefore, the learning curve was minimal."


"But the major reason we acquired this leading-edge CFD software," notes ACMA VP Darrel Harvey, "was the simplified license structure that allows us to reduce our analysis cost which we, in turn, can pass on to our customers." 


ACMA has already begun utilizing CFD software in a number of applications, most notably in thermodynamic studies as it applies to LNG tank installations in new builds, as well as in existing hulls. The ability to make simple changes, such as adding insulation and/or changing insulative properties or boundary conditions, can be handled easily and the resulting effects are apparent in a relatively short period of time.


According to ACMA Naval Architect Jeff Reifsnyder, "Once the model is developed and we’ve gone through the verification process, changes can be made in a manner of a few minutes or hours and the model can be run with results normally known in as little as a day."


ACMA is also using its new HELYX software to perform typical hydrodynamic studies, as well as computing aerodynamic loads for above-water equipment. Of course, the company still uses its licensed copy of Star CCM+ CFD software when it’s suited for a project.


"It's definitely an advantage for ACMA to have the in-house capability to provide this kind of advanced, cost-effective tool to the industry," says Harvey. "Combined with ACMA’s in-depth knowledge of the marine industry and ship/barge design, our new HELYX CFD software will enable us to further streamline processes and improve communications with our clients. That kind of one-stop-shop service is a win-win situation for everyone."


About Alan C. McClure Associates, Inc. (

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Alan C. McClure Associates, Inc. is one of the industry’s premier naval architecture and engineering firms, and has been providing a wide variety of engineering and design services to an international clientele for four decades. Projects include drilling rigs, floating production systems and support craft for the offshore petroleum industry. Our array of services also includes project management, legal/arbitration consulting, surveying and negotiations. The ACMA staff and services represent the engineering disciplines necessary to successfully complete projects in naval architecture, marine engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and engineering mechanics.


About ENGYS (

ENGYS develops, supports and delivers best-in-class CAE software solutions based on open-source technologies, offering a variety of expert products and services focused around the OpenFOAM® library for CFD and DAKOTA for MDO. ENGYS involvement with FOAM and OPENFOAM® dates back to 1999, providing unparalleled knowledge and experience in the development, integration and application of this tool to deliver open-source based CFD solutions worldwide. The company operates globally through a network of offices in the UK, Germany, Italy, USA and Australia, and local distributors in Japan, South Korea, China, USA and Benelux. ENGYS®  and HELYX® are registered trademarks of ENGYS Ltd.

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