Efficient two-way coupling between Elmer and OpenFOAM
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EOF-Library // Build Status

Libraries for coupling Elmer FEM and OpenFOAM + test cases. For detailed information how this software works check our article preprint.


This software is maintained by Juris Vencels from University of Latvia in cooperation with CSC - IT Center for Science Ltd. (Finland).

  • Software improvements and suggestions are very welcome.
  • If you find this software useful then drop me a message, we could promote each other work.
  • The best way to support development of this library is buying consulting services.
  • GPL v3 license allows commercial use of this software.


We use EOF-Library for solving magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) problems, e.g., electromagnetic induction melting, stirring, levitation and other cases where metals interact with electromagnetic fields.

Other users have found it useful for plasma physics, convective cooling of electrical devices and other applications. EOF-Library allows coupling internal fields between almost any Elmer and OpenFOAM solvers.


  • Both Elmer and OpenFOAM must use the same OpenMPI version!

How to

There are two options to install and use this software:

  1. Docker install (best for beginners and running on clouds) - Linux, Windows, MacOS
  2. Complete install (best for developers and advanced users) - Linux

Performance-wise these two options are comparable. Docker installation comes with OpenFOAM and Elmer installed, and environment is set. This is preferred option for most users and for running simulations on multiple computers or cloud.

On the other hand complete installation gives users more flexibility, it is preferred option for developers who want to work on their own solvers or have full control over software and its source code.

1. Docker

First, you will need to install docker on your OS:

  1. Ubuntu/Linux (preferred) - https://docs.docker.com/install/linux/docker-ce/ubuntu/
  2. Windows - https://docs.docker.com/docker-for-windows/install/ https://docs.docker.com/docker-for-windows/install/
  3. MacOS - https://docs.docker.com/docker-for-mac/install/

Then, follow commands below to install the software & run demo simulation.

  • Create an empty folder
mkdir runs
cd runs
  • Run Docker image and bind mount current host system folder ${PWD} to newly created EOF-Library/runs folder
docker run -it -v ${PWD}:/home/openfoam/EOF-Library/runs eof-library/eof_of6:latest
  • Update EOF-Library and compile it
  • Compile OpenFOAM solver
cd EOF-Library
wmake solvers/mhdInterFoam6
  • Copy test simulation
cp -r tests/levitation2D runs
  • Prepare case
cd runs/levitation2D
ElmerGrid 2 2 meshElmer -metis 2
  • Run simulaiton on 2 physical cores
mpirun --allow-run-as-root -n 2 mhdInterFoam -parallel : -n 2 ElmerSolver_mpi case.sif
  • Simulation results will appear in host system runs folder

2. Complete installation

  • Get git, cmake, gfortran, blas and lapack.
sudo apt-get install git cmake gfortran libblas-dev liblapack-dev
cmake -DWITH_MPI=TRUE -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=../mpi-install ../elmerfem
make -j install
  • Download EOF-Library:
git clone https://github.com/jvencels/EOF-Library
  • Add this line to .bashrc
  • Check the MPI implementation and version (it is important that Elmer and OpenFOAM was compiled with the same version!)
which mpirun
mpirun --version
  • Compile libraries
cd EOF-Library/libs
elmerf90 -o Elmer2OpenFOAM.so Elmer2OpenFOAM.F90
elmerf90 -o OpenFOAM2Elmer.so OpenFOAM2Elmer.F90
  • Add this line to .bashrc
  • Colmpile OpenFOAM solver
cd coupleElmer
cd ../../solvers/mhdInterFoam
  • Copy test
cd ../..
mkdir runs
cd runs
cp -r ../tests/levitation2D .
  • Prepare test
cd levitation2D
ElmerGrid 2 2 meshElmer -metis 2
  • Run OpenFOAM on 2 processes and Elmer on 2 processes
mpirun -np 2 mhdInterFoam -parallel : -np 2 ElmerSolver_mpi