Home » How to do a simple Thermal Analysis in SolidWorks?

What is Thermal Analysis? 


Thermal analysis is the study of changes in temperature with respect to time. The changes can be either physical or chemical. Changes occur in the material or part when it is subjected to heat. In another word, we can also say that it is used to analyze the temperature and time when the part is heated or cooled.

Need for Thermal Analysis

Thermal analysis helps to monitor the behavior of the material when it is subjected to heat transfer. The heat transfer can be from higher to lower or vice versa. In another word, we can also state that it helps in monitoring the phase behavior and stability of the material. There are many changes that occur in a part when it is exposed to heat. The changes can occur in the material’s shape, molecular structure, density, flux transfer, and strength.

Solidworks comes with the Module of simulation. This module is available in the Solidworks premium version only. The simulation module contains various types of analysis. In this article, we are going to look after Thermal analysis. For thermal analysis, we need the boundary conditions which we give as input in the software. Some boundary conditions are already predefined in the software.

The parameters and boundary conditions which are majorly required while doing the analysis are-

  • Material
  • Ambient temperature
  • Heat/temperature
  • Convection / conduction / radiation coefficients.

These are fed into the software as input for doing thermal analysis.

Thermal Analysis in Solidworks

To do the analysis in Solidworks make sure the Simulation module is active. To activate the simulation tab click on the options drop-down button. After that, click on Add-ins and tick the box in Infront of the Solidworks simulation and then press OK. The second method is to add Solidworks add-in to the command tab. To add Solidworks add-in right-click on the command manager blank area. Tabs > Solidworks add-ins.

Click on the Simulation Tab from the command manager. Then, click on New study from the command manager.

In property manager, you will see the list of simulation options available to do. Firstly, give the name to the analysis. Secondly, select the Thermal under Advanced simulation. Then, press OK.

Assigning material

You will see various options in the command manager to give input in the analysis. First, we have to assign the material to the part. To assign the material click on the Add material form command manager. In the pop-up window select the material and click on the Apply button. Then, click on Close.

Applying boundary conditions

The second step is to apply the temperature to the system. Right-click on the Temperature Loads and select Temperature. You can select any option which is applicable according to the condition.

Select the surfaces on which that parameter is applicable. After that, give the value with proper units, and after that click on OK.

Creating mesh

Thirdly, we have to create the mesh. From the property manager right-click on the mesh and select Create mesh. Mesh density can change by moving the arrow left or right. However, If you want to make changes in mesh size then, you can select the mesh parameters option. After setting the mesh quality options click on OK.

Finally, we have to run the analysis study. Click on Run this study from the command manager. The resulting loading completes and represents in color graphics with the temperature scale on the right.

However, you can make changes by right-clicking on the Thermal1 result. We can define or highlight the Minimum and maximum temperature on the part. Changing the graphic style or temperature units.