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Performing Thermal Analysis

To perform  thermal analysis:

  1. Create a thermal study. Right-click the top icon in the Simulation study tree and select Study to access the Study dialog. Define the Properties of the study to set the type of the study (transient or steady state), interaction with SolidWorks Flow Simulation and the solver.

  2. Define material for each solid and shell. To define a material for a solid or shell, right-click its icon in the Simulation study tree and select Apply/Edit Material. You must define the thermal conductivity (KX) for steady state thermal studies. Density and specific heat may also be required for transient studies. Specify temperature-dependent properties if applicable.

  3. Define thermal loads/restraints.  You can define temperatures, convection , heat flux , heat power, and radiation. Click here for a summary on thermal loads and restraints. For transient studies, you specify thermal loads and restraints as a function of time.

You can prescribe temperature on faces, edges, and vertices. Specify thermal energy as heat flux or heat power. Convection and radiation are applied as boundary conditions. When specifying convection, you need to enter the convection coefficient and the ambient temperature of the fluid or gas. Similarly, for radiation, you need to specify the emissivity and the surrounding temperature. The Stefan-Boltzmann constant is automatically defined.

  1. For transient studies, you can define a thermostat.

  2. For assemblies and multi body parts make sure to define the proper contact settings. Contact conditions affect the flow of heat through the contact areas. You can define thermal contact resistance between contacting faces.

  3. Mesh the model and run the study. Before running the study, you can use the Result Options to request  generating plots automatically.

If you run a study before meshing it, the program meshes the study automatically before running it. You can also request to run the study by checking Run analysis after meshing in the Mesh PropertyManager.

  1. View the results:

  • To display a plot, double-click its icon.

  • To define a new plot, right-click the Results folder, and select Define Thermal Plot. You can plot temperature, temperature gradients, and heat flux.

  • To list results, right-click the Results folder and select List Thermal.

  • To generate a report, right-click the Report folder and select Define.

  • For transient studies, you can graph results using the Probe tool.

When you run a study that does not have any result folders, the software creates the folders and plots specified in the result options for the study type. If result folders are present, the software updates the existing plots.

More on viewing results of thermal studies.

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