What They Didn’t Teach You in School about Heat Transfer

A huge challenge today for design engineers is the ever increasing product complexity. Manufactured products are evolving into complex systems of mechanical components, electronics, and software, involving multiple engineering disciplines. The increasing number of components, combined with miniaturization, requires an even greater understanding of how these components will interact, while making sure they do not overheat. To add yet another level of complexity, products are often marketed and sold in multiple configurations, and design engineers must understand the performance of each configuration.

Heat and its behavior are complex. Rules of thumb are often used to visualize the heat path for design or physical prototypes; but knowing how heat is traveling, at what speed and where it will go, is difficult. This is why today’s design-centric software for modeling and simulation using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is integral to understanding heat flow and channeling it correctly without having to build and test as many expensive and time-consuming physical prototypes.

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