Thermal Calculation

The thermal module of PFC allows simulation of transient heat conduction and storage in materials consisting of PFC particles, as well as development of thermally induced strains and forces. The thermal material is represented as a network of heat reservoirs (associated with each mechanical body) and thermal contacts (associated with each mechanical contact). Heat flow occurs via conduction in the active thermal contacts that connect the reservoirs. Radiative and convective heat transfer are not included in the present formulation. Thermally induced strains are produced in the PFC material by modifying the particle size. Mechanical contact models may also account for thermally induced forces.

A thermal contact is associated with each mechanical contact, but only some of these contacts are active. By default, a thermal contact is active if the corresponding mechanical contact is active. However, thermal contacts can be inhibited with custom criteria if more flexibility is desired. Once the thermal micro-properties are specified, subsequent loading or damage (in the form of bond breakages) will modify the number of active pipes, and thereby change the ability of the material to conduct heat. For example, as a bonded material is compressed and new active contacts form, the macroscopic thermal conductivity will be increased, but as bonds break and contacts become inactive, the macroscopic thermal conductivity will be reduced.