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Pro-Mechanica Tutorial Part 4: Thermal Loads

written by: Suvo • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 8/2/2013

In the earlier part of the tutorial we have discussed structural load, here we will discuss about various thermal loads, which can be simulated using pro mechanica.

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    Thermal FEA is bit more complicated then structural FEA becuase it includes additional parameters like material properties (thermal conductivity, density and heat capacity), surface conditions (specified temperature or insulated), and applied surface thermal load.

    Thermal heat loads are available when you will select the thermal type of analysis. How do you do that? There are two ways: at the beginning of a mechanica analysis there will be a model type selection dialogue box where you can select thermal.

    However, if you are in middle of a structural analysis then you have to follow this path:

    Edit > mechanica model type

    To get the model type selection dialogue box.

    Heat load: click on

    Insert > heat load

    heat load   or alternatively you can click on the related icon. Once you do that pro mechanica will ask you for the types of reference (like, surface, edge, point) on which you want to apply heat load. Then it will open the heat load dialogue box:

    In the name field you have to put a new name for each heat load.

    In the member of set field you can give a new load set name if you have not already defined load sets earlier. These two fields are similar to the structural load, which we already discussed.

    In the third field you will be able to select the references, the types of reference is depends upon what you choose earlier.

    Distribution: Like structural loads here you will tell pro mechanica whether you want to specify total heat load or heat load per unit area on the selected reference entities.

    Spatial Variation: You will define the way of distribution of heat load. You can select uniform to get the uniform distribution over the reference entities or functions of coordinates to get the heat load distribution controlled by a specified equation or you can go for interpolated over entity to get the heat load distribution varies by specified scale factor on specified points. These terms were discussed in part-2 of this tutorial.

    Please note some important similarities between heat and structural loads:

    • Heat load is equivalent to applied force/moment loads in structural analysis.
    • Temperature is equivalent to displacement.
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    Heat Transfer Rate (Q): you have to specify either the magnitude of total heat transfer rate or the magnitude of total heat transfer rate per unit area/length/volume depending upon the distribution option you have selected.

    In the case that your applied heat load is a function of time then you have to check the box in front of “time dependent" and you have to specify the function as well. Details on this will be discussed in a later part of the tutorial.

Pro-Mechanica Tutorial

Pro-mechanica is a FEA module of pro-engineer. If you complete reading this series and do practice as required then you will be able to do analysis using pro-mechanica, of course you should have basic knowledge of pro-engineer or other 3D cad package.
  1. Pro-Mechanica Tutorial Part 1: Introduction to FEA
  2. Pro-Mechanica Tutorial Part 2: AutoGEM & Meshing
  3. Pro-Mechanica Tutorial Part 3: Structural Loads
  4. Pro-Mechanica Tutorial Part 4: Thermal Loads
  5. Pro-Mechanica Tutorial Part 5: Thermal Constraints
  6. Pro-Mechanica Tutorial Part 6: Structural Constraints
  7. Pro Engineer Mechanica Tutorial Part 7: Analysis and Design Studies
  8. Pro-Mechanica Tutorial Part 8: Reviewing FEA Results

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