Calculate thermal expansion from room temperature to 4K


I want to simulate the thermal expansion of a custom part I designed in AutoDesk. It’s a 17mm long copper tube.
The repo is here: Thermal Contraction Copper by lkon | SimScale

That is, I want to know by how much the cylinder contracts if reducing the temperature from 293.1 K (room temperature) to 4K (cryogenics).

The thermal expansion coefficient of copper is strongly temperature dependent. To account for this, I’ve added a table ro the material properties of copper.

My remaining workflow is:

  • Assign a fixed displacement to the bottom face (mechanical boundary constraint)
  • Assign a (time-dependent) thermal load to the entire volume (4K load at the final time step) - again by using a table
  • use a transient analysis
  • assign mesh
  • solve

Unfortunately, in my simulation the copper expands, even though it should contract.

Can someone confirm / help me with this simulation?

1 Like

Hi @lkon, thanks for posting at our forum!

I’d like to say your project looks awesome. It seems like the part is initially contracting

and then starts to expand again at around 53K, which should be unexpected:

I kindly ask for your patience as we’ll make it a topic of internal discussion between our peers :slight_smile: