Engine thermal mechanical analysis

Paul Boughton

During engine design, FEA provides designers with a tool for evaluating potential designs and indicating possible improvements.

Obtaining an accurate stress solution requires nonlinear FEA, because a multi-step, sequentially coupled thermal stress analysis is necessary to capture the effects of thermal cycling on the stress in the engine. A fully integrated solution, such as Abaqus for CATIA V5, enables designers to perform nonlinear FEA directly from within the CAD system. This close coupling between CAD and FEA helps to reduce design cycle times by eliminating cumbersome data import issues. In this case study, the designer starts with a thermal analysis to determine the temperature distribution throughout the engine.

With the thermal analysis solved, the designer moves on to the multi-step stress analysis, which uses the temperature distribution results from the completed thermal analysis as input. The stress analysis consists of three sequential analysis steps, each using the end state of the previous step as its starting point. The analysis begins with a bolt-pretensioning step, followed by an operating load step, and concluding with a cool-down step. The designer analyses the stress and permanent strain results at various points during the analysis sequence to determine the effectiveness of the design and whether modifications are necessary.

Abaqus Europe BV is based in Maastricht, The Netherlands.


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