If subjected to a temperature of 30-40 degrees for a long time, the plastic will expand slightly. Is there a way to test this expansion for a certain plastic, to see how to try to decrease it as much as possible?
Are you refering to creep deformation or just the thermal expansion during a heat exposure of 30->40 degrees?
Both, I want to study it in an overall way. Everything that could happen to it if exposed to this temperature for a certain period of time. So both creep deformation, thermal expansion, and any other effect I may not be aware of.
The latter is easy to do. Just set a ambient temperature at zero strain, a correct thermal expansion coefficient then add an temperature load (for the full model not just surfaces).
A creep analysis is more complicated so I suggest you read more about the subject and what results you wish to obtain from it.
I will reed more about creep deformation.
As for the thermal expansion, I do a normal static analysis but add a thermal load and run the study? I want to see how does it expand with time but doing this just gives me the displacement and stresses at this applied temperature. I cannot know after how much time it starts expanding? Can you tell me the exact steps to follow while setting the system up?
It will start to expand linearly (and immediately) with the temperature increase of the material.
You need to specify in detail about your case and what results you wish to obtain. The hardest part with thermal analysis is the set up a proper thermal load to reflect reality and what you wish to study. You are to unspecified at the moment so I can't help you.
My case is a certain plastic block with a permanent place being somewhere exposed to the sun, in a temperature ranging between 30 and 40 degrees per say. I want to know when will this block be highly affected and deform significantly, whether it is due to thermal creep, thermal expansion or any other temperature related deformation.
I really do not know them all, but this is the purpose of my study. Is it possible you know how should I simulate it on Solidworks?
It sounds like you wish to study a thermal-mechanical fatigue (TMF) behaviour which can get complicated.
Depending on your knowledge of such studies I suggest you start with a simplified linear static study and try to draw conclusions from that. If that's really not enough I suggest you study TMF and non-linear studies before trying such study.
I tried to set up a static study with a temperature load of 30 degrees and got a displacement as a result. But is this the maximum displacement? So if the plastic stays under 30 degrees for 30 years per say, will it still have this as a displacement? I guess not, this is what I am considering. I will read into it more but I wanted to know how could I simulate it using solidworks.
As I said - It sounds like you're asking for a fatigue analysis which will get more complicated. It can of course be studied but you'd have to know what you're doing to get useful results from it.
I'd reflect on the purpose if you really need to figure out how many years it takes until it fails. Sometimes a simpler method is a better one.
I tried to setup a static study with the temperature load of 30 degrees, and then link it to a fatigue study with an S-N curve obtained from a source. After running, I am getting a certain cycles to fail, but I do not know the actual time to fail (what is a cycle) my static study has a constant temperature load of 30 degrees. Am I approaching it correctly in your opinion?
To answer your question - No, I think you should try to approach this study differently based on your knowledge.
With that said - To evaluate the mechanical fatigue based on thermal induced stress is a good start if you want to continue on that road. I've never used SW tools for fatigue so I can't comment on that but I suggest you to pick up a Solid Mechanics book and do hand calculations instead.
Majd Al Mohtar - Go to....
Linear Thermal Expansion
I will check it thank you!
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