Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here


How to model lightning strike heat / impact in ansys

How to model lightning strike heat / impact in ansys

How to model lightning strike heat / impact in ansys


I am new on here, I hope this is in the right category. I am currently working on a project that involves learning how to model a typical lightning striking a composite plate, which I wish to use Ansys to solve.

I have looked at other research papers which show it can be done but I don't know the software well so I am not sure how to apply it to the software. I firstly want to emulate a similar experiment then I can move on to my own research. I am interested in the damage/ heat and not the field effect or likely strike location.

Does anyone have any experience in EMH/ lightning modelling or electrical/ joule heating that relates to Ansys or know of any tutorials in this area?



RE: How to model lightning strike heat / impact in ansys

I hope you can find someone who has done this and can help you with your model.
I haven't done this myself but I have some questions that may be relevant:

Is this intended for an aircraft product or structure? If so, then you should make yourself familiar with the DO-160 tests for lightning strike direct effects. One reason is that the test conditions in DO-160 may be useful boundary conditions for your model. Another reason is that the FAA, EASA, and most other civilian and military certification agencies do not permit aircraft components that alter or impede lightning strike current pathways without substantiating that the alteration does not degrade the safety of the aircraft. In my experience this is done by test.

How will you validate your model? This is another case where a test may be useful. If you fabricate a representative sample of your component or structure, and have it tested, then a model that reproduces the results in ANSYS could be used to study variations of the part, optimize the design, and show that vulnerability to lightning damage is not increased.


RE: How to model lightning strike heat / impact in ansys

It is based on a wind turbine (but only a composite stack/plate so very generalised) but I would like to use the best practises of the aerospace industry.

I was hoping to validate the model by recreating one from another study (which had a physical and simulation model). If I can get similar results this may give me confidence with my model. Once the model is validated I would indeed like to start changing the physical design to see if improvements could be made. I am just not sure how to input the relevant standards into a program to do this.

RE: How to model lightning strike heat / impact in ansys


Suggest web search for DoD, FAA, SAE, AIAA, SAMPE, etc for research/testing/real-world-experience of composite structures for lighting-strike threats [testing, etc]. This would include composite primary structure and propellers.

Aircraft in-flight have relatively predictable Lightning-Strike-Zones. I suspect that wind turbines have similar area-specific vulnerabilities.

What kind of static potential is built-up on large wind turbine blades? Static-build-up leading to 'static-electricity trailers' is a serious factor in attracting lightning to actually make a pathway. Obviously, static dissipation within a wind-turbine is a good way to minimize potential for a lightning strike.

Several organizations/companies... not to mention the major aerospace companies... have extensive lightning experience with structures/composites.

The following may be helpful...

FAA ‘DOT/ FAA/CT-89/22 Aircraft Lightning Protection Handbook’

Wichita State University NIAR ‘Lightning Direct Effects Handbook’

Lightning Technologies INC ‘Lightning Protection of Aircraft’

SAE ARP5414 Aircraft Lightning Zone
SAE ARP5412 Aircraft Lightning Environment and Related Test Waveforms
SAE ARP5416 Aircraft Lightning Test Methods
SAE ARP5577 Aircraft Lightning Direct Effects Certification

Regards, Wil Taylor

o Trust - But Verify!
o We believe to be true what we prefer to be true. [Unknown]
o For those who believe, no proof is required; for those who cannot believe, no proof is possible. [variation,Stuart Chase]
o Unfortunately, in science what You 'believe' is irrelevant. ["Orion", Homebuiltairplanes.com forum]

RE: How to model lightning strike heat / impact in ansys

Best practice is to run tests. Dont know of anyone who tries to predict lightning strike damage analytically.

Where are you going to get material properties as function of the high heat, current flow and shock impulse loading to input into a simulation?

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close