Accelerating the pace of engineering and science

Simscape Fluids

Key Features

  • Pump models, including centrifugal, jet, and axial-piston pumps
  • Valve models, including check valves, directional valves, and pressure relief valves
  • Rotational and translational actuator models, including optional friction and centrifugal forces
  • Heat exchanger models for modeling heating and cooling systems
  • Tank and pipe models with elevation effects for modeling fluid transportation systems
  • Customizable library of common fluids, with ability to import properties from common databases
  • MATLAB® based Simscape™ language for creating custom component models
  • Support for C-code generation (with Simulink Coder™)

Fluid Power

Simscape Fluids™ is used to design construction equipment, tune closed-loop actuation systems, and evaluate system-level performance of hydrostatic transmissions. You can easily model custom components and systems.

Applications and Tasks

Simscape Fluids enables you to model actuation systems. You can size actuators for construction equipment, such as front loaders and backhoes. You can design control logic in machine tools and tune controller parameters in power steering systems. Configurable component models let you refine system-level requirements in diesel injection systems and investigate the stability of hydrostatic transmissions with hydraulic control units.

FMTC Optimizes Hydrostatic Powertrain Using Simscape Fluids (User Story)
FMTC teams reduced fuel use by 25%, shortened analysis time by 75%, and reduced total cost of ownership by 15%.

Backhoe with hydraulic actuation model in Simscape Fluids.
Backhoe with hydraulic actuation model (bottom) in Simscape Fluids. The hydraulic actuation system is connected directly to a control algorithm in Simulink and a 3D mechanical model in Simscape Multibody.

Component Libraries

Simscape Fluids provides linear and rotary actuators that connect hydraulic, pneumatic, mechanical, and thermal systems. Pumps and motors with fixed and variable displacement are parameterized to accept manufacturer data sheet and test rig data. You can configure flow control, pressure control, and directional valves to match standard valve types. You can configure the component models for detailed simulation or hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) tests.

Pump and motor component models.
Pump and motor component models (top) and examples of component parameterizations (bottom).

Custom Components

You can create models of custom designs by assembling components provided in Simscape Fluids. For example, you can model custom directional valve configurations by connecting Variable Orifice blocks. You can include effects such as spool dynamics and hydraulic forces. Custom actuators, including digital hydraulic actuators, can be modeled by combining piston chambers and other components. You can create, parameterize, and document reusable hydraulic component models using Simscape Fluids.

Custom model of a valve in Simscape Fluids.
Custom model of a valve in Simscape Fluids (top left). Six orifices and a check valve are used to model the six-way, three-position directional valve (bottom), and key parameters can be adjusted via the dialog box (top right).

Heating and Cooling

With Simscape Fluids, you can select components and design controllers in heating and cooling systems. Heat exchangers, pipes, valves, and other components cover standard and custom designs.

Heat Exchangers

Heat exchanger model in Simscape Fluids.
Heat exchanger model in Simscape Fluids (top left) used in a lubrication system model (bottom). You can select different types of heat exchangers in the dialog box (top right).

Simscape Fluids enables you to model concentric pipe, shell and tube, cross flow, and other types of heat exchangers. You can model standard designs, including parallel or counter flow, single or multiple shell passes, and mixed or unmixed flow. Using foundation components, you can create custom heat exchanger designs. Parameterization options let you incorporate measured data to make sure your system is represented accurately.


The pipe components in Simscape Fluids enable you model flow dynamics within the pipe and heat transfer with the pipe wall. You can model engine cooling, oil transportation, and other fluid systems. You can add or neglect physical effects, such as compressibility, fluid inertia, and wall compliance, to fit the level of model fidelity to your design task. Phenomena such as water hammer can be reproduced using these components.

Pipe model in Simscape Fluids.
Pipe model in Simscape Fluids. Different parameterization options enable you to add or neglect physical effects.

Valves and Restrictions

Simscape Fluids provides directional, flow control, pressure control and other types of valves. These components enable you to include thermostats in heating systems and valve manifolds in lubrication systems. You can create custom valve designs by assembling variable orifices and other restrictions into a new component.

ABB, Deltamarin, and VTT Optimize Ship Energy Flows with Simscape (User Story)
Engineers reduced testing costs by tens of thousands of euros, optimized multiple subsystems within the ship, reduced fuel use, and improved energy recapture.

Pipe model in Simscape Fluids.
Pipe model in Simscape Fluids. Different parameterization options enable you to add or neglect physical effects.

Fluid Transportation

Simscape Fluids enables you to design fluid transportation networks. You can determine required sizes of pipes, pumps, and tanks for applications such as water supply, fuel supply, and machinery lubrication systems.


Simscape Fluids provides pipe components for use in systems where the difference in elevation affects the pressure at nodes in the fluid network. These components enable you to model water supply networks, aircraft fuel systems, and other fluid transportation systems. Pipe elevation can vary during simulation to model systems that move, such as aircraft. You can also enable effects such as friction losses, fluid inertia, and fluid compressibility.

Fraunhofer and Ricardo Develop Piezoelectric Pump with Simscape (User Story)
Engineers increased output pressure by a factor of ten, reduced development time by 50%, and simultaneously optimized both the mechanical and hydraulic designs.


Simscape Fluids provides tank components to model pressurized tanks and reservoirs. These components enable you to track the volume of fluid in applications such as water supply networks and transmission lubrication systems. You can use these models to determine design control algorithms, refine requirements for pump sizes, and determine steady-state flow rates and pressures.

Analyzing Results

The analysis capabilities in Simscape Fluids enable you to rapidly explore and improve the performance of your design. They also help you ensure that your Simscape Fluids model has the right amount of detail for your task.

Exploring Simulation Results

Using the Simscape Results Explorer, you can explore the simulation results for Simscape Fluids models, including variable values and the timing of events. You can navigate directly from plots of the results to the model (blocks and individual equations) to investigate the causes of the behavior you see. Using MATLAB code, you can automate any analysis, including time-based, frequency-based, and event-based analyses.

Simscape Results Explorer.
Simscape Results Explorer (right) for exploring all simulation results from Simscape model (left). You can navigate back and forth between the schematic and the simulation results.

Measuring Model Complexity

To identify computationally intensive portions of your model, you can measure the complexity of your Simscape Fluids model in quantities such as variables, equations that can trigger events, and constraints. This helps you determine if your changes are likely to improve the performance of the model during simulation. The Simscape Statistics Viewer links directly to the model (blocks and variables) to help you adjust model fidelity.

Simscape Statistics Viewer.
Simscape Statistics Viewer (right) for measuring complexity of a Simscape model (left), showing retained and eliminated variables and other statistics. You can navigate directly to the source (block or equation) in the model.

Simulink Enabled Capabilities

Simulink® capabilities enable you to solve challenging control design problems using Simscape models. Advanced linearization and automatic control tuning techniques help you apply complex control strategies and find controller gains that achieve robustness and response time goals. Profiling and advisor tools identify bottlenecks in your simulation and help you improve your model.

Simscape Platform

Simscape is the platform for all Simscape add-on products. In addition to the Foundation libraries, it provides much of the core technology for modeling and simulating physical systems in all domains.

Modeling with Physical Connections

Simscape components represent physical elements, such as pumps, motors, and op-amps. Lines in your model that connect these components correspond to physical connections in the real system that transmit power. This approach lets you describe the physical structure of a system rather than the underlying mathematics. Electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, and other physical connections are represented in your multidomain schematic by lines whose color indicates their physical domain. You can see right away which systems are in your model and how they are connected to one another.

Carnegie Energy Designs Wave Energy Farm Using Simscape Fluids (User Story)
Teams estimated component loads using simulation, gained crucial insights into system behavior, and accelerated sensitivity studies via parallel computing.

Mass-spring-damper expressed as a block diagram and a schematic.
Mass-spring-damper expressed as a block diagram and a schematic.

Simscape Platform Capabilities

Simscape Fluids is based on Simscape, which provides much of the core technology and capabilities necessary for modeling and simulating physical systems in all domains. Simscape enables you to:

Simscape Product Family

The Simscape family of products consists of six products that cover a range of applications. You can combine any set of the Simscape add-on products with the Simscape platform to model multidomain physical systems. The add-on products include more advanced blocks and analysis methods.

The Simscape family of products, shown in the Simulink library browser.
The Simscape family of products, shown in the Simulink library browser (left). The products provide hundreds of components (examples upper right), and advanced analysis tools, including 3D animation from Simscape Multibody (lower right).

Converting to C Code

You can convert Simscape Fluids models into C code using Simulink Coder. Converting Simscape Fluids models to C code enables them to be used for tasks such as HIL testing and optimization where batch simulations are performed. Converting to C code also enables the sharing of protected models.

Testing Without Hardware Prototypes

Simscape Fluids models enable you to test embedded control algorithms and controller hardware without using hardware prototypes. In addition to software-in-the-loop (SIL) and processor-in-the-loop (PIL) tests, converting your Simscape Fluids models to C code lets you run hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) tests. This enables you to test embedded controllers without endangering equipment and personnel, and increases your confidence that the system will behave as specified when you connect the controller to the real system.

Volvo CE Develops Human-in-the-Loop Simulator Using Simscape (User Story)
Volvo Construction Equipment tested new concepts for construction equipment, reduced the number of prototypes by 30-50%, and resolved field issues faster.

Workflow for testing embedded software and hardware without prototypes.
Workflow for testing embedded software and hardware without prototypes. Convert an algorithm to C code for PIL tests, and convert a Simscape model to C code for HIL tests.

Running Batch Simulations

Many engineering tasks, such as optimizations and parameter sweeps, require running many sets of simulations. Converting your Simscape Fluids model to C code enables the efficient execution of these tasks. You can accelerate individual simulations, and run batches of simulations in parallel over multiple processors or distributed across a computing cluster.

Sharing Models

Simscape helps you make efficient use of your purchased software when sharing models that use Simscape Fluids. It also provides methods of sharing models while protecting your intellectual property.

Accessing Capabilities in Simscape Add-on Products

Using Simscape Editing Mode, Simscape users can perform many tasks on models that use Simscape add-on products even if they have not purchased the add-on products. Those tasks include viewing, simulating, and changing parameter values in the model. As a result, your team can leverage advanced components and capabilities from the entire Simscape product family without requiring that each engineer purchase a license for each Simscape add-on product.

Working with Simscape Models
Task Model Developer
(Purchases Simscape and Simscape add-on products)
Model User
(Purchases Simscape)
Log data and plot results
Change numerical parameters
Generate code with Simulink Coder
View Simscape Multibody animations
Access PowerGUI functions and settings
Change block parameterization options  
Make or break physical connections  

Sharing Protected Models

You can share Simscape Fluids models with other users while protecting your intellectual property. You can protect custom components defined using the Simscape language as well as subsystems containing Simscape Fluids components. Sharing these models lets other users run simulations, vary parameters, and convert them to C code, but prevents them from seeing the original implementation.

Simscape in Academia

MATLAB, Simulink, and Simscape are used at many leading universities. Educators can use modeling and simulation with 3D visualization to engage students with realistic examples and make classroom theory come alive. Using simulation, students can prototype in a virtual environment, which encourages them to try out new designs and to explore the entire parameter space. Simulation enables them to optimize their designs in research projects and student competitions. Because these products are also used widely across industries such as automotive, aerospace, and robotics, graduating students who have experience with MATLAB, Simulink, and Simscape are in demand by employers.

Learn more about engaging students with modeling and simulation.

Marquette University Integrates Simscape into Curriculum (User Story)
Students acquire engineering communication skills and are motivated with real-world challenges. Graduates are prepared for their careers. 

Physical Modeling with Simscape

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