A thermal analysis may be required for a range of purposes, with the most common being:
- To determine temperature levels and distributions throughout a component or assembly
- To determine the peak temperatures occurring within an assembly or a structure
- To predict heat transfer rates or characteristics (see Heat Transfer page)
Once the thermal modelling has been performed, the calculated temperature distributions can be used:
- To assess whether the temperatures at any locations have exceeded limiting value
- As a loading in a structural analysis to determine the distortions and thermal stresses, or to be combined with other forms of loading
In order to achieve accurate results, most thermal analysis projects are performed by Eatec Engineering Analysis using finite element analysis (FEA) or computational fluid dynamics (CFD). This requires fewer assumptions to be made, and allows non-linear material properties and boundary conditions to be represented.
Steady state thermal modelling can be performed to determine temperature distributions and levels, and heat flows, when the thermal loads do not vary with time. The thermal analysis can represent conduction, convection and radiation.
Transient thermal modelling is required when the thermal loads vary with time or the behaviour of the structure as it achieves steady state conditions needs to be determined. As with the steady state thermal analyses, conduction, convection and radiation can be represented.
In some projects, the thermal analysis identifies that the design does not provide the required performance. In these instances, where required, Eatec Engineering Analysis 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), or a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis and relatively simple calculations will provide results which are sufficiently accurate. Eatec Engineering Analysis 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.