June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.275.1 - 22.275.8
Balancing Theory, Simulation and Physical Experiments in Heat Transfer EducationAbstract: Some big problems for students studying heat transfer are (1) difficulty in visualizingboth basic and complex theoretical concepts, (2) unsure how to design changes effect heat flowor temperature distributions, (3) unclear how to apply theoretical concepts in the development ofcomponents / systems and (4) confusion with how to extend single point experiments to genericapplications. It is impossible for students to solve complex heat transfer problems throughtheoretical hand calculations or execute real experiments when the boundary conditions arecomplicated because of time and laboratory equipment cost constraints. During the laboratoryexperience, students are guided in the use of SolidWorks/Simulation for conducting virtualexperiments and comparing them to theoretical concepts presented in lecture along with simplephysical measurements in the laboratory. Thru the use of virtual experiments in the SolidWorksenvironment, students have full control of the experiment by having the ability to change virtualboundary conditions and running the virtual experiments as many times as needed until theyunderstand the concepts. The applications of virtual experiments which include geometricsensitivity studies help students to visualize the application of concepts in simulated designapplications. From our direct observations in several classes, students gain a betterunderstanding of both the theoretical concepts and application to design refinement by creatingvirtual components in addition to gaining hands-on experience directly applicable to industrialapplications. With the introduction of true 3D CAD and associated simulation software such asSolidWorks/SolidWorks Simulation, the concept of balancing virtual simulations for comparisonto theory and physical experiments are presented in this paper for effectively teaching heattransfer in a mechanical curriculum.
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