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# Workshop 3 Thermal Contact

WS 3-1

## Workshop 3 - Thermal Contact

Problem Description

Training Manual

## A set of electrical contacts is to be modeled in both an open and closed configuration.

Well assume both parts are structural steel.

While open, the heat load flows only through the Arm of the assembly. When closed, the contacts allow heat flow through the Arm and Base. The contacts are modeled with a gap, so we will use the contact pinball control to simulate a closed contact configuration.
Gap Arm

Base

WS 3-2

## Workshop 3 - Thermal Contact

Problem Description
Boundary Conditions:
Heat flux on end face of arm = 0.5 W/mm2 Temperature fixed on 2 bottom surfaces of base = 30 C Convection on 5 faces on arm: h = 2e- 4 W/(mm2* C)
No convection on heat flux surface or circular contact region.

Training Manual

## Convection on 8 faces on base: h = 4e -4 W/(mm2* C)

No convection on 2 temperature surfaces or circular contact region.

WS 3-3

## Workshop 3 - Thermal Contact

Units Setup

Training Manual

Open Workbench and specify the unit system (Metric, kg, mm, s, C, mA, N, mV). Choose to Display Values in Project Units.

WS 3-4

## Workshop 3 - Thermal Contact

Model Setup
1. From the Workbench project page toolbox, select a Steady State Thermal analysis system.

Training Manual

2. Right click the Geometry cell and import geometry Contacts_WS3.x_t. 3. Double click the Model cell to open the Mechanical application.

WS 3-5

## Workshop 3 - Thermal Contact

Model Setup
4. When the import is complete you will notice that no contact has been defined. This is because the gap is larger than the default search tolerance. We begin by adding manual contact. 5. Highlight the Connections branch RMB > Insert > Manual Contact Region. 6. Scope one circular face to the contact region and the other to the target (note, the order is unimportant in this example).

Training Manual

WS 3-6

## Workshop 3 - Thermal Contact

Model Setup
7. In the Advanced contact details change the Pinball Region setting to Radius.
Recall from chapter 3 that, with bonded and no separation contact, the pinball controls heat flow. As long as the contact and target surfaces are within the pinball radius, heat transfer can occur.

Training Manual

## 8. Enter a pinball radius = 0.5 mm.

Note a sample pinball is displayed for visual reference once a radius is entered.

WS 3-7

## Workshop 3 - Thermal Contact

Model Setup
9. Highlight the Steady State Thermal branch and add boundary conditions as described: 10. Highlight the end face of the arm, RMB > Insert > Heat Flux.
Magnitude = 0.5 W/mm2

Training Manual

11. Highlight the 2 bottom surfaces of the base, RMB > Insert > Temperature.
Magnitude = 30 C

WS 3-8

## Workshop 3 - Thermal Contact

Model Setup
12. Select 5 faces on the arm (top, bottom, both sides and the opposite end from where the heat flux was applied). 13. RMB > Insert > Convection
Film coefficient = 2e -4 W/(mm2 * C) Ambient Temperature = 30 C

Training Manual

14. Select the 8 faces on the rectangular section of the base (not the 2 ends where the temperature load is applied). 15. RMB > Insert > Convection
Film coefficient = 4e -4 W/(mm2 * C) Ambient Temperature = 30 C

WS 3-9

## Workshop 3 - Thermal Contact

Solution
Note, a default mesh is used of this example. In actual practice, always check the mesh quality and add mesh controls as needed.

Training Manual

Since we assume a steady state linear analysis, no analysis settings will be modified.

16. Solve

WS 3-10

## Workshop 3 - Thermal Contact

Postprocessing
17. When the solution completes, drag and drop the temperature and both convection loads onto the Solution branch to setup reaction probes. 18. Evaluate All Results.
Note the reactions from both boundary conditions on the base are essentially zero.

Training Manual

Note that the applied heat flux is 0.5 W/mm2 and the area of the face is 40 mm2, which yields a total heat load of 20 W.

WS 3-11

## Workshop 3 - Thermal Contact

Postprocessing
19. Add a temperature result and evaluate the result.
Note the temperature distribution within the assembly. As expected, no heat is flowing from the arm to the base since the contact pinball is smaller than the geometric gap.

Training Manual

Next we will model a condition where the contacts are closed. While we could modify the geometry to close the gap, instead we will increase the pinball size to simulate the gap is closed. Continued on the next page.

WS 3-12

## Workshop 3 - Thermal Contact

Postprocessing
20. Return to the schematic and highlight the top cell in the system, RMB > Rename.

Training Manual

## 21. Rename the system Contact Open.

22. Again highlight the top cell in the system, RMB > Duplicate. 23. Repeat the steps above to rename the new system Contacts Closed.

WS 3-13

## Workshop 3 - Thermal Contact

Model 2 Setup

Training Manual

24. Double click the Model cell in the Contact Closed system to open the new analysis.

WS 3-14

## Workshop 3 - Thermal Contact

Model 2 Setup
Since the model is a duplicate of our original, only the contact needs to be changed. 25. Highlight the contact region and change the pinball radius to 1mm. The bonded contact type assumes closed contact whenever contact and target faces are within the pinball. we can use this to simulate a closed contact condition here. 26. Solve.

Training Manual

WS 3-15

## Workshop 3 - Thermal Contact

Model 2 Postprocessing
Again checking the reactions at the boundary conditions we can verify a steady state heat balance. RT = 2.3222 W, RC1 = 10.62 W, RC2 = 7.0582 W RT + RC1 + RC2 = 20 W

Training Manual

Note the temperature distribution now shows heat transfer from the contact arm to the base as expected.