June 29, 2015

Application of Loads in SolidWorks Simulation

Simulation:  Application of Loads

 SolidWorks Simulation allows users to set up and run tests using finite element analysis (FEA).  The manner in which a user sets up a test will determine whether the results are an accurate result of real-world conditions.  (Also Read:Symmetry in SolidWorks Simulation -Guide to applying loads and restraints appropriately)

Consider the electrical component shown below.  The main grey surface consists of ceramic porcelain whereas the small red parts indicate components that generate heat on the board.  We are interested in the heat distribution for this part under working conditions.

application of loads in simulation

In order to set up the problem we define the material properties for each component.  This includes the red electrical components as well as the grey ceramic porcelain.  Following material definition, we define heat generation power of 0.2W for the red components and convection of 0.2 W/m^2 K for the outside surfaces.  The convection is a mechanism of heat transfer used to dissipate the heat.  

application of loads solidworks simulation

It is important to pay attention to detail when defining a simulation study.  Consider the definition of 0.2W heat generation for the red components.  The user must differentiate whether the heat generation is generated for each component or whether it is generated across the sum total of components.  This is an important distinguishing factor.  In this case it is set to “Per item” which is correct.

Furthermore, as a tip, if the user were to use symmetry to divide a heat generating part in half and the heat generation is defined in terms of Watts, it follows that the Watt value must also be divided by half since Watt is a total heat generating value.  The relationship is similar to that of force and pressure.

applying loads in solidworks simulation

Once the analysis is successfully set up we need to mesh the component.

loads in solidworks simulation

Once the component is meshed, we may run the analysis.  According to the conditions set for this thermal analysis we are seeing a maximum value of 460C occurring on the inner components.  The heat generated from the components travels outward to a temperature of 427C towards the outer edges of the ceramic porcelain.  

thermal analysis

The manner in which the simulation analysis was set up can greatly affect the results.  

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