Hitting the ‘Create Simulation’ button leads to the following options:
Choose Thermomechanical as an analysis type and click the ‘Create Simulation’ button to confirm. After that, a simulation tree showing you all the necessary steps to set up all your simulation will show in your workbench.
2. Assigning the Material and Boundary Conditions
In this section we will define the physics of our model.
2.1 Model (Gravity)
In the first step, we define the magnitude and direction of the gravity by assigning the values below:
The magnitude of the gravity that we use is -9.81 \(m^2/s\) in the direction 1 in \(e_y\).
2.2 Define a Material
Afterwards, we will define the material of our piston and we will use Aluminium as the material.
2.3 Assign the Boundary Conditions
A thermomechanical analysis will need two boundary conditions which are the thermal boundary conditions and the mechanical boundary conditions we will set up both in this section.
a.Thermal Boundary Conditions
We will use a Convective heat flux boundary condition as our thermal boundary conditions. You can therefore add a boundary condition by hitting the ‘+’ and select ‘Convective heat flux boundary’ condition:
Following the above instructions open the setup options for convective heat flux. We will define them according to the picture below:
Firstly, you can set the \(T_0\) Reference temperature as 741 \(°C\) and the Heat transfer coefficient as 450 \(W/(K.m^2)\).
Next, you will need to define the surface where the boundary condition is applied. For example, this is the boundary condition for the top of the piston.
Follow this procedure for each row within the table below:
Reference temperature [°C]
Heat transfer coefficient [W/(K*m^2)]
Ring 1 Groove
Ring 2 Groove
Ring 3 Groove
Interior and skirt
Table 1: Convective heat flux boundary conditions for engine piston.
b. Mechanical Boundary Conditions
Now it is time for the mechanical conditions, which are three pressure definitions (top and the first two rings) and two remote displacements. For example, we will assign a pressure boundary condition to the top of the piston.
By following the same process as before, you can select the pressure boundary condition in the lists of boundary conditions. After that, we will use a pressure value of 2e7 \(Pa\) at the top face of the piston. The pressure boundary conditions for the other parts can be seen in the table below:
Table 2: Pressure boundary conditions.
Now, you can create the two remote displacements and give them the following properties:
For the first remote displacement, we will apply it at the top pin of the piston with coordinate of the external points:
x: 0 m
y: -0.042 m\(m\)
z: 0.02028 m \(m\)
For the second remote displacement at the opposite side of the piston, the remote point will have the coordinates:
y: 0.042 \(m\)
z: -0.01992 \(m\)
Now all boundary conditions are assigned and we can proceed to creating the mesh.
We will use the standard algorithm for our mesh, which is a good choice in general as it is quite automated and delivers good results for the most geometries. For this tutorial, we will generate a second-order mesh.
You will only need to change the sizing to Manual and set our maximum edge length as 1.8e-3 m and enable the 2nd order elements to toggle. Make sure your setting look like the picture below:
When the mesh has been generated, you can observe your mesh. The mesh will have about 235.2k nodes and 150.3k cells and look like this:
If we create a first-order mesh, it will visually look exactly like the second-order mesh, because the cell count is the same for both. However, the second-order mesh has additional nodes between two connecting nodes, which helps to model deformations more accurately.
4. Start the Simulation
Finally, you can run your thermomechanical analysis for the engine piston and you can do this by clicking the ‘+’button to start a simulation run.
Moreover, you can change the name of your simulation to your liking and start the simulation by clicking ‘Start’
Did you know?
Since we have generated two different mesh, we can select each mesh and run a simulation for each mesh simultaneously.
After the simulation has finished, you can access the simulation results by clicking ‘Post-process results’ in your run dialog box or by going into the Solution fields and you will be redirected to the post-processor.
You can choose what properties to visualize by going into Results and choose which property to visualize. For example, we will show the Temperature and the von Mises stress in this tutorial.
Below is the temperature distribution of the piston:
We can also see the von Mises stress distribution below for your engine piston:
Congratulations! You finished the thermomechanical analysis of an engine piston tutorial!
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