Thermal and fluid dynamic analysis using analytical methods and numerical software tools (CFD & FEA)
Thermal and fluid dynamic analysis using both hand calculations and PC-based numerical tools:
- Flow analysis with numerical methods (CFD)
- Thermal analysis of structures / systems with numerical methods (FEM)
- result verification and plausibility checks using both hand calculations
- model validation against experimental measurements
Thermal processes play a role in almost any industrial activity or commercial product: They are found in manufacturing, from welding to die casting, from injection molding to laser cutting, from heat treatment processes to thermosetting resins. They can be part of a product as well, as in internal combustion engines, in heating or air conditioning systems, or in solar thermal systems.
Heat is also generated as a consequence of internal losses in machinery, electrical systems and electronics, bringing a universal need for cooling and thermal management systems: With the increasing demand for automation, machines are equipped with more and more electronics, and existing products are often retrofitted with upgrade packages leading to higher total heat output. The heat generated is often confined in the narrow spaces of existing cabinets, potentially exceeding the capacity of the cooling system. This often calls for detailed thermal and fluid-dynamic analyses to guarantee that the system can still safely operate under all foreseen loads and ambient conditions.
Although fluid dynamic phenomena are often coupled with thermal processes, the purely fluid dynamic applications are countless: from valves and flow control devices to propellers, from racing cars to flying aircrafts.
Moreover, thermal and/or fluid mechanical phenomena can be relevant for the mechanical design of a system: Mechanical components can, for example, be subjected to stresses up to the failure point due to fluid loads. High temperatures can endanger the load bearing capacity of structures due to material softening. Uneven temperature fields cause internal stresses that can compromise the structural integrity or cause unwanted deformations or even lead to instability phenomena.
Hand calculations may suffice for simple cases, but problems that are more complex require computer-based numerical tools (FEA and CFD) where the geometry can be discretized and the thermal / fluid phenomena can be computed numerically.
We always perform checks and results validation against simplified models and hand calculations, in order to have the required confidence in the data we provide and to avoid unnecessarily complex simulations.
Overly large domains or too detailed flow phenomena cause significant increases in the computing time. By keeping the model “as simple as possible and as complex/detailed as necessary” we are therefore able to perform numerical simulations in an efficient way, ultimately saving time and money in your development process.
Thanks to our experience, we also have the know-how required to interpret the results and use them to identify the root causes of problems and the design weaknesses and to formulate optimizations and corrective measures.
- Cooling systems design
- modeling of complex pipe flows
- Ventilation systems
- Evaluation of lift/drag coefficients
- Structural integrity under thermal loads