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FEA software selections

FEA software selections

FEA software selections

Hi there,

I'm wondering what is the FEA software you guys think are the best for heat transfer analysis? I'm currently using Abaqus now but I found it is difficult to use compared with COMSOL which I used for one and a half years. Among three major FEA packages, Abaqus, COMSOL, Ansys, which one do you think is the best for heat transfer analysis?

Danny Xu

RE: FEA software selections

I have only ever used Ansys/Fluent so I can't speak to the other two. After using it off and on for the last 9 years I would describe Ansys/Fluent as time consuming but extremely capable so it depends how you define "best".

RE: FEA software selections

Actually, heat transfer problems, which often involve a fluid are best handled using a CFD program like FLUENT or ICEPAK. These programs use the finite difference method (FDM) rather than the FEA method and are better suited for fluid problems. Some FEA programs require the user to provide convection coefficients for problems including convection. That number is often chosen or calculated in some course way. Hence the solutions are strongly influenced by that "guestimate" and also turn out to be "guestimates".

The CFD codes don't require one since they solve the fluid's fundamental governing equations (Navier Stokes Equations). In fact I doubt if they even calculate convection coefficients since the convection coefficient is just a mathematical convenience. Any CFD or FEA PhD gurus want to jump into this? I only speak as someone who took graduate thermofluids courses including a CFD course.


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