SimSolid – Volume expansion

Have you ever wondered how to model the effect of thermal expansion/contraction?

SimSolid – Volume expansion

Altair SimSolid™ enables “volume expansion/shrinkage” to be applied to a complete assembly or individual parts. This works similarly to thermal expansion on the body. A volumetric expansion of 100% would yield a similar result as the thermal load of 1 Degree Celsius (°C) with a thermal expansion coefficient of 1/ degree Celsius. This option also allows you to study volumetric shrinkage studies by applying a negative coefficient value.

The example below describes the application of a thermal load compared to using the “volume expansion” feature available within SimSolid.

Thermal Load VS SimSolid Volume Expansion

In this example the following are considered:

    • A 10 mm x 10 mm solid square steel bar (100 mm long) with steel mechanical properties, an Elastic modulus of 200 Gpa and a Poisson’s ratio of 0.3.
    • A thermal expansion coefficient of 1/(°C) with a temperature change of 1°C

Based on the theory, the Change in length based on thermal expansion is calculated as follows:

ΔL = α*L*ΔT

Where:

ΔL = Change in length (mm)

α = Linear thermal expansion coefficient [1/(°C)]

L = Original length (mm)

ΔT = Change in temperature (°C)

Hence, the Change in length for this example is 100 mm.

Figure 1: One end of the bar is fixed
Figure 1: One end of the bar is fixed

The resultant displacement results of the “thermal expansion” load of 1°C are shown below:

Change in length due to the thermal expansion
Figure 2: Change in length due to the thermal expansion

The resultant displacement results of the “volume expansion” coefficient of 100% are shown below:

Change in length due to the thermal expansion
Figure 3: Change in length due to the volume expansion

The example solved considering thermal expansion and the model solved with volume expansion correlate well with the theory.

If you have any other modelling or simulation questions or would like us to do a Free Altair Demo for your business, please contact our friendly Simutron team today!

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