Steady State Thermal Analysis in ANSYS Mechanical

Steady State Thermal Analysis in ANSYS Mechanical

ANSYS provides very extensive tools to make thermal analyses at the engineering level. But building the analysis system by using different tools of ANSYS Mechanical is not a simple thing. Also, you need to define correct boundary conditions, obtain a well and optimized mesh structure, and need to define thermal and material conditions in a good way. Here, you can find out information about the general steps to make steady-state thermal analyses in ANSYS Mechanical.

How to Make Steady-State Thermal Analyses in ANSYS Mechanical?

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Firstly, we need to understand, what the steady-state thermal analysis means. In steady-state conditions, boundary conditions and loads are not changing rapidly with the changing time. We can not classify most of the physical real-life events in the steady-state category. But with the proper engineering assumptions, we can do theoretical engineering analyses of nonsteady-state conditions.

An experienced engineer can calculate the deviations of theoretical calculations from real-life applications. If deviations are acceptable, steady-state analyses can be appropriate.

Why Steady-State Analyses?

In steady-state analyses, boundary conditions and loads such as temperature, convection, heat flow, radiation, heat flux, etc. in thermal analyses, must not change with the changing time. If the abrupt changes in engineering analyses, the calculation is much harder.

Also in terms of your computational source, nonsteady-state analyses will put pressure on your sources.

You can use steady-state thermal analyses to obtain primary conditions for further analyses such as static structural analyses or transient thermal analyses. So, steady-state thermal analyses can be linked to other analyses like them. Think about a situation that you need to make a structural analysis in very high temperatures, and you do not know the source of the heat. You can define all the thermal conditions inside steady-state thermal analyses. And then link the solutions that you obtain to other analyses types in ANSYS® Workbench.

First of all, you need to import your geometries or assemblies into the ANSYS environment.

Definition of Material Properties in ANSYS Mechanical Steady-State Thermal Analyses

In steady-state thermal analyses in ANSYS Mechanical, you need to select your materials for your analysis geometries. There are lots of default materials available in the ANSYS material library. You can select one of them to assign to your bodies.

You can also change the properties of material available in ANSYS Engineering Data. 

If you have a special material that is not in the ANSYS material library, you can also add new material in the ANSYS material library. 

Linearity and non-linearity are very important in terms of the correctness of thermal analyses. If the material properties are changing with the increasing temperature, non-linear conditions are prevailing. But in general, finding information about the specific material’s properties with the changing temperature can be hard.

If you are using changing material properties with the changing temperatures, you need to activate the non-linear material effects in steady-state thermal analyses in ANSYS Mechanical.

You need to define the most important material property in steady-state thermal analyses in ANSYS®, is Thermal Conductivity.

You need to specify the initial temperature for the ANSYS solver. This information is required because, if the material properties are dependent upon the changing temperature.

Enter an initial temperature value for steady state thermal analysis in ANSYS.
Definition of initial temperature for Steady-State analyses in ANSYS® Mechanical.

Create the Required Mesh Structure for Steady-State Analyses

A proper amount of mesh density is very important. For the geometry sections where results are very important, you need to increase the density of your mesh. But you need to consider your computational capacity. In that way, optimization of mesh structure is very important.

ANSYS provides lots of kinds of mesh optimization tools for users. You can use these options to obtain the required mesh structures.

Specify the Initial Conditions for Your Analysis

Select a thermal condition.

As you see that, you can define the required initial conditions such as; Temperature, Convection, Radiation, Heat Flow, Perfectly Insulated, Heat Flux, and Heat Generation.

For example, if you define temperature you just need to select the part of a geometry that you want to apply temperature on it, then click on ‘Apply’. Then enter the temperature value as shown in the red box below. Also, you can apply time steps to define the changing temperatures with the changing time. But it is not recommended for steady-state analyses. You can use this property just very small increments of temperature with the changing time to keep steady-state conditions.

Enter the temperatures for steady-state thermal analysis in ANSYS.
Adding temperature in steady-state analysis in ANSYS Mechanical.

Definitions of other boundary conditions are just like the definition of temperature in ANSYS Mechanical.

Add the Results that You Want to See from Steady-State Thermal Analysis

Enter a result.
Results for steady-state thermal analysis in ANSYS Mechanical.

As you see above, you can add a bunch of solutions to see after the solution of steady-state thermal analysis in ANSYS Mechanical.

You can see the results of Temperature and Total/Directional Heat Flux in ANSYS Mechanical as gradients.

If you click on the ‘Solve’ button, you will start the solution of steady-state analysis that you built in ANSYS Mechanical.

Conclusion

Finally, the Steady-State Thermal analysis tool of ANSYS is a very useful tool to obtain thermal solutions for engineering systems.

So, this is the general information about the steady-state analysis in ANSYS, and this information can be a very good reference for you.

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