Simulation of Thermal Strains with Specification of Absolute Temperatures
Tips & Tricks
The structural analysis programs RFEM and RSTAB are able to simulate a thermal strain of structural components by means of temperature loads. The temperature loads are subdivided, because global changes in the temperature of structural components involve a membrane effect, and because temperature changes in relation to the height of structural components implicate bending effects. Temperature load application is now divided into the following two types.
- Uniform temperature Tc along the member axis x (membrane effect)
- Non-uniform temperature ΔT over the y or z axis (bending effect)
In particular cases, thermal strains are not described by uniform and non‑uniform temperatures but surface temperatures of structural components. That's why it's recommended to recalculate specific surface temperatures as shown in the example below.
Mounting temperature: 20 °C
Temperature on top surface of component: 60 °C
Temperature on bottom surface of component: 22 °C
Tm - mounting temperature = (Tt + Tb) / 2 - mounting temperature
= (60 °C + 22 °C) / 2 - 20 °C = 21 °C
Tt - Tb = 60 °C - 22 °C = 38 °C
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