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Thermal Analysis (FEA)

Thermal Analysis
A thermal analysis is generally undertaken to determine:
  • Temperature levels and distributions
  • Heat flow rates and paths
  • Overall heat transfer characteristics

The results from thermal modelling are frequently used to determine:

  • Whether a design meets a particular insulation or conductivity requirement.
  • Peak temperatures, which can be assessed against allowable values.
  • A temperature field which can be used in a stress analysis to determine thermal stresses and distortions.

In order to improve the accuracy of the calculations, most thermal analysis projects performed by Eatec use finite element analysis (FEA). This requires fewer assumptions to be made, and allows nonlinear material properties and boundary conditions to be represented.

A thermal finite element analysis (FEA) can consider:

  • Steady state conditions
  • Transient conditions
  • Temperature dependent material properties
  • Thermal resistances at interfaces
  • Coupled thermal and structural solutions

The three methods of heat transfer can be represented in a thermal finite element analysis:

  • Conduction:- represented through the thermal conductivities assigned to the materials, which can be isotropic, orthotropic or anisotropic, and can vary with temperature. Conductance between adjoining or contacting surfaces can be included in the analysis.
  • Convection:- heat transfer can be represented using heat transfer coefficients or by performing a CFD analysis.
  • Radiation:- heat transfer due to radiation from one region of a component or assembly to another, or from the boundary of the structure can be included in temperature calculations.

In some projects, the thermal analysis identifies that the proposed design does not provide the required performance. In these instances, Eatec works with the client to optimise the design in order that it complies with the requirements.

In some instances, it is not necessary to perform a thermal finite element analysis (FEA), and relatively simple calculations will provide results which are sufficiently accurate. Eatec has the expertise to be able to identify when this is the case, and can undertake thermal calculations which will provide results with the required level of accuracy in a cost and time efficient manner.

Eatec has over 30 years experience of providing finite element analysis (FEA) consultancy services to a wide range of national and international clients in industries which include oil & gas, power, marine, processing, defence, transport and industrial.

Click here to see examples of FEA thermal analysis projects.

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