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Tutorial: Hex-dominant parametric – Electronics cooling

In this tutorial, the meshing process for an electronics cooling geometry through the conjugate heat transfer (CHT) technique is carried out, using the “Hex-dominant parametric” approach. The “Hex-dominant parametric” (only for CFD) is the semi-automatic meshing option that uses hexahedral cells and allows full flexibility in meshing parameters with all type of refinements options. The objective is to get a high-quality mesh with sufficient resolution to capture key features in the model.

This tutorial will highlight some essential points of the meshing process that help users achieve better simulation results.

You can find the link to the tutorial project containing the geometry here:

SimScale Tutorial project: Conjugate Heat Transfer- Cooling of an electronic sink

Create new simulation

  • As a first step, we need to create a new simulation. To create a simulation, left-click under the ‘Geometries’ tab and then on Create Simulation.

    create simulation button in the SimScale workbench
    Create Simulation for Conjugate Heat Transfer
  • Select the simulation model. Click on Conjugate Heat Transfer.

    Meshing, CFD, Simscale, Internal Flow Analsysis, Electronic Cooling, Meshing Tutorials
    Conjugate Heat Transfer Analysis for Electronic Heat Sink
  • The uploaded geometry of the electronic cooling sink has three solids; two representing the FB-4 chips, one for the heat sink, and one fluid region which represents the air domain.

Mesh Generation

  •  Left-click on the mesh icon to create a new mesh.
  • Choose the Hex-Dominant parametric Algorithm.
  • Select the number of cells in each direction for Bounding Box resolution as shown in the figure below.

    Meshing, CFD, Simscale, Internal Flow Analsysis, Electronic Cooling, Meshing Tutorials
    Mesh Settings – Bounding Box Resolution
  • Scroll down to specify the Number of computing cores (processors) for the meshing operation (16 in this tutorial)

    Meshing, CFD, Simscale, Internal Flow Analsysis, Electronic Cooling, Meshing Tutorials
    Selecting the number of processors for meshing

Geometry Primitives (Base Mesh Box and Material Point)

Meshing, CFD, Simscale, Internal Flow Analsysis, Electronic Cooling, Meshing Tutorials
Set up the coordinates of the background mesh box

Next, start with the Background Mesh Box, under Geometry Primitives. Here we can specify the extents of the box for the base mesh. It is suggested to maintain the automatic bounding box generated when a geometry is imported, since this is an important factor when it comes to splitting the different faces. The following Background Mesh Box and Material Point settings can be left as default for any other simulations you want to perform using conjugate heat transfer problem.

  • Keep the default values for material point coordinates.

    Meshing, CFD, Simscale, Internal Flow Analsysis, Electronic Cooling, Meshing Tutorials
    Set up the coordinates of the material point

Mesh Refinements

  • In order to have a finer mesh over the surface of the body, we can add surface refinement.
  • Click on Refinements to add a new refinement and select surface refinement. We use 2 surface refinements:

Fluid Region Surface Refinement

  • Click on ‘Refinements’ to add a new refinement and select surface refinement.
  • Rename it to ‘Fluid Surface Refinement’
  • Specify the parameters as shown in the figure below. The fluid domain has to be selected for this surface refinement.

    Meshing, CFD, Simscale, Internal Flow Analsysis, Electronic Cooling, Meshing Tutorials
    Surface refinement of fluid regions

Solid Region Surface Refinement

  • Click on ‘Refinements’ to add a new refinement and select surface refinement.
  • Rename it to ‘Solid Region Refinement’
  • Specify the parameters as shown in the figure below. The remaining 3 solids have to be selected for the surface refinement.

    Meshing, CFD, Simscale, Internal Flow Analsysis, Electronic Cooling, Meshing Tutorials
    Surface refinement for solid regions
  • Once the mesh is fully set up, the mesh generation can be started.

Mesh Inspection

  • The generated mesh is displayed below:

    Meshing, CFD, Simscale, Internal Flow Analsysis, Electronic Cooling, Meshing Tutorials
    Mesh generated for electronic heat sink
  • Click on generate mesh clip to inspect the internal mesh. Adjust the settings of the normal. Click on generate mesh clip icon.

    Meshing, CFD, Simscale, Internal Flow Analsysis, Electronic Cooling, Meshing Tutorials
    Generation of mesh clip for mesh inspection
  • The mesh of the heat sink is shown below

    Meshing, CFD, Simscale, Internal Flow Analsysis, Electronic Cooling, Meshing Tutorials
    Surface refinement over the heat sink
  • The meshes of both the chips are presented below:

    Meshing, CFD, Simscale, Internal Flow Analsysis, Electronic Cooling, Meshing Tutorials
    Surface refinement over chips
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