There are a number of books on the finite-element method, and one must wonder if there is a need for a specialist book dealing with its application only to heat and fluid flow. Almost half the material in this book could be found in a good general book. A part of what remains is concerned with the derivation of the (differential) equations governing heat and fluid flow problems. The development of the solutions to these equations is mostly through examples, and it does not bring out the features that characterise the application of the finite-element technique to problems involving heat and fluid flow.
The specialisation on problems of heat and fluid flow means that in the consideration of convective-heat transfer problems, the differences between the solution of flow problems and the solution of heat-transfer problems are not identified. A less specialised treatment that considers the solution to flow problems before convective heat transfer problems would have given a simpler picture.
Despite these reservations, this book provides a clear development of the finite-element method. The emphasis, in the chapter on applications, on the need for comparisons with accepted solutions to benchmark problems is to be applauded.
Robert Cheesewright is research fellow in design and systems engineering, Brunel University.
Fundamentals of the Finite Element Method for Heat and Fluid Flow. First edition
Author - Roland W. Lewis, Perumal Nithiarasu and Kankanhalli N. Seetharamu
Publisher - Wiley
Pages - 341
Price - £85.00 and £39.95
ISBN - 0 470 84788 3 and 84789 1