Definition Of Heat Flux In ANSYS® Thermal Analyses

Heat flux is a very important factor in heat transfer and thermal analyses in engineering. In CAE analyses, heat flux is also a very important boundary condition for thermal problems. ANSYS® provides a tool to define Heat Flux to a body or geometry. Here, we explain how to define heat flux in ANSYS® Mechanical thermal analysis.

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How To Define Heat Flux Thermal Analyses In ANSYS® Mechanical?

The energy per unit time is defined as the heat flow rate in heat transfer. Heat flux is a physical definition that heat flow rate is divided by an area. So, heat flow on a unit area in unit time is defined as heat flux. Heat flux has the unit of W/m2.

Heat flux can be defined in ANSYS® Mechanical in the following analysis types: Steady-State Thermal, Transient Thermal, and Thermal-Electric analyses.

Select the ‘Heat Flux’ in ANSYS® Mechanical.

The definition of heat flux in ANSYS® Mechanical is very simple. Just right-click on the given analysis which is Steady-State Thermal. Inside ‘Insert’, click on ‘Heat Flux’ as shown by the green arrow above to define heat flux in ANSYS® Mechanical.

Select the required geometries to define Heat Flux.

After selecting ‘Heat Flux’ as shown by the green arrow above, click to select the geometric features to define heat flux on them as shown by the green arrow above. Then click on the ‘Apply’ button as shown by the red arrow above in ANSYS® Mechanical.

Select the definition method to define heat flux in ANSYS® Mechanical.

If you click the little pop-up menu next to ‘Magnitude’, you will see the three methods that you can define ‘Heat Flux’ in ANSYS®. You can define the heat flux as ‘Constant’, ‘Tabular’, and ‘Function’.

If you select ‘Constant’ which is also default selection, you need to enter a heat flux value in the ‘Magnitude’ section.

Define heat flux as tabular data.

If you select the ‘Tabular(Time)’ selection also, you need to enter time values inside the ‘Tabular Data’ table as shown by the red arrow above in ANSYS® Mechanical. Then enter the required heat flux values to corresponding places next to time. At each time, the heat flux will be that value in the table.

Define heat flux as a function.

If you select ‘Function’, you need to define your heat flux value as a function as shown by the red arrow above example. The variable in these functions is ‘time’. You can see the value of heat flux for each time step from the tabular data as shown by the blue arrow above.

You can also change the ‘Number Of Segments’ to change segments of steps in tabular data.


This can be a very good reference to define ‘Heat Flux’ in ANSYS® Mechanical thermal analyses.

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NOTE: All the screenshots and images are used for educational and informative purposes. Images used courtesy of ANSYS, Inc.

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