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Heat Transfer shareware for 2 Dimensions?

  1. Sep 13, 2009 #1

    I'm trying to design a system that creates a thermal gradient in 2 dimensions through several layers of very different material (copper, acrylic, and ice). I was wondering if there's some cheap software available or even some kind of shareware out there that could give me at least some ballpark numbers. Anyone have any clue? I might even be able to use a 1-D software if you happen to know where I can find that, too.

    many thanks,
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 14, 2009 #2
    If you know the thermal conductivities of the materials then you could use any finite element software such as ANSYS, NASTRAN, etc ... None of them are cheap or free. Sorry. For starters though you could just assume that the problem is one dimensional and do it by hand. Consult any basic heat transfer text. Again, assuming that you know the thermal conductivities. Yes, thermal conductivities are a function of temperature but just assume the thermal conductivity is constant to get a quick hand calc started.

  4. Sep 14, 2009 #3

    someone suggested I look at the Demo version of WinTherm.

    http://www.thermoanalytics.com/products/wintherm/index.html" [Broken]

    It limits me to about 300 nodes and it looks like I can use their "primitives" to create crude shapes, probably good enough for what I'm doing right now.

    Does that sound reasonable?

    thanks for helping,
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Sep 14, 2009 #4
    Never heard of that program before. Let me know how it works out.

    As long as your results are grid independent with the small number of nodes and you are confident with the results, then accepting the results is up to you.

    What I mean by grid independent is; The solution doesn't change when you increase the number of nodes.

    Also, since you haven't used this software before, I highly recommend that you do a hand calc to see if the program results agree.

  6. Sep 14, 2009 #5
    Thanks again, Matt,

    I'll take your advice on the node independent issue, and report back on whether or not I can get this to work for a newbie. It might be a while, though.

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