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Thermomechanical simulation is a powerful tool for understanding and predicting the behavior of materials and systems subjected to thermal and mechanical loads. It offers significant advantages in terms of optimized design, failure prevention, reduced development time and costs, and understanding of physical phenomena. This makes it possible to identify critical zones at actual operating temperatures, optimize operation or maintenance, better target physical tests, substitute materials, redesign and limit post-realization modifications. The solution will be built up through iterations that numerically reproduce the product’s thermomechanical behavior.

Thermomechanical simulation can be used for the entire product life cycle, including :

How materials deform and behave under specific temperature and stress conditions. Simulation is also an asset for developing new materials that are more efficient, recycled, recyclable and so on.
To design light, resistant structures capable of withstanding the high temperatures encountered in extreme environments.
Thermomechanical simulation can be used to identify areas susceptible to excessive deformation, critical stress or high temperatures. Knowledge of potential failures enables preventive measures and maintenance plans to be implemented.
Thermomechanical simulation also makes it possible to study transient phenomena, such as rapid temperature changes, or cooling or heating processes in fine detail and without the need for varying physical constraints.

Our teams are ready to provide you with invaluable technical support for your cooling system design projects or to anticipate material reactions to sudden temperature variations. With their solid expertise in mechanical behavior laws and material properties, including complex media, our specialized engineers will guide you with confidence. Our commitment encompasses :

  • Evaluate the performance of your products under their operating conditions and optimize their performance by substituting materials, adding coatings or improving geometry (e.g. optimizing cooling channels).
  • The coupling of thermal analysis results with a mechanical study (unidirectional or bidirectional), or even with a fluid-structure interaction (FSI) study or CFD analysis.
  • Consideration of all types of heat transfer: conduction, natural or forced convection, radiation, but also phenomena such as phase changes or energy deposits.

The choice of tools is systematically made in consultation with your teams, so that they can reinternalize the models if they so wish. The main tools used are :

for its ability to perform advanced thermomechanical analyses. It offers a wide range of functions for modeling and solving heat transfer, strain and stress problems.

This is because it can be used to model thermal and mechanical interactions, non-linearities, contacts, and so on.
For its advanced analysis capabilities and advanced material models
For its advanced thermomechanical analysis capabilities, in particular for modeling and solving heat transfer, strain and stress problems in a wide variety of applications.
Standard, which focuses on mechanical and thermomechanical analysis. It can be used to solve complex problems involving non-linear materials, contacts, large deformations, etc.
SOLIDWORKS Simulation offers features for thermomechanical analysis, including heat transfer, structural deformation and thermal response of assemblies.
which enables you to solve coupled thermomechanical problems, with modules dedicated to heat transfer, structural mechanics, etc.

To ensure you get the right answers, our teams provide active support, guiding you through the entire process: from identifying your initial needs to implementation, ensuring a solution that’s right for you at every stage of your project.

  • Validation of the numerical model representative of the real system you wish to study. By taking into account the appropriate thermal and mechanical properties of the material, as well as the interactions between the different parts of the system, and even by choosing acceptable analogies.
  • Definition of boundary conditions such as temperature conditions, applied stresses, external forces, etc.
  • Creating the discretized model: Proper meshing is essential to obtain accurate results, while keeping model sizes and calculation times easily manageable.
  • Material data correlation, experimental validation, supervision of physical tests and numerical modeling.
  • Analysis and interpretation of results with the project team to validate options or define additional iterations to be considered.

Examples of realizations :

In the nuclear industry, thermomechanical simulation is vital for guaranteeing equipment safety under extreme stress. For example, when designing a reactor, standards such as ASME, RCC-M, RCC-MRx are followed to assess thermomechanical effects on high-pressure vessels. Nuclear codes cover welds and structures. Simulations help predict potential deformations, stresses and failures, ensuring reliability and safety in compliance with rigorous standards such as EN-13445.

Thermomechanical simulation is essential in medtech, particularly for the development of orthopedic prostheses. For example, when designing a hip prosthesis, simulations can be used to assess the mechanical stresses and temperature changes to which the prosthesis is subjected during patient movement. These analyses help to optimize geometry, materials and manufacturing processes, ensuring the prosthesis’s durability, biological compatibility and long-term performance.

Thermomechanical simulation is crucial to the design of batteries for electric mobility. For example, when developing a new battery for electric vehicles, simulations can be used to analyze the temperature variations and mechanical stresses to which the battery is exposed during charging, discharging and driving. This analysis helps optimize cell layout, select appropriate materials and design an efficient cooling system. In this way, thermomechanical simulation helps to improve the safety, durability and overall performance of electric vehicles.
Thermomechanical simulation plays a crucial role in the field of renewable energies, particularly for sizing and verifying the integrity of molten-salt heat exchangers used in concentrating solar panels. A concrete example is the Noor project in Ouarzazate, Morocco, where these heat exchangers are used. Simulations are used to analyze the stresses, strains and temperatures to which heat exchangers are subjected during operation. This approach helps to optimize their design, ensure their resistance and guarantee better performance of solar installations, thus contributing to the overall efficiency of the system.
In high-tech watchmaking, thermomechanical simulation plays a crucial role. For example, when designing a luxury automatic watch, simulations help to assess the deformations and stresses undergone by components such as gears and balance wheels, at various temperatures. By integrating innovative materials and precise design parameters, simulation ensures chronometric performance and durability, guaranteeing the quality and precision of fine timepieces, which must perform with excellence despite environmental variations.
Thermomechanical simulation is crucial for sports equipment subject to wide temperature variations. For example, in the design of high-performance skis, simulations assess the effects of changing temperatures on composite materials. By integrating local weather data, simulations can predict potential ski deformations and optimize ski construction to maintain optimum stability while guaranteeing exceptional performance, giving athletes the best possible skiing experience whatever the weather.
In the aerospace industry, thermomechanical simulation is essential. For example, when designing a rocket engine, simulations assess the stresses and strains caused by extreme temperatures during flight. By complying with standards such as ESA guidelines, simulations guide the design of materials and structures, ensuring reliability and safety. Thermomechanical simulation therefore plays a crucial role in the development of advanced space technologies capable of withstanding the rigors of the space environment.