Powering Up Complexity: Whole-Engine Turbomachinery Performance

In Part 1 of this turbomachinery series, we created a model using the dedicated tools available in Simcenter 3D. Leading the development process within an integrated environment reduces the risk of error and cuts costs while increasing efficiency and collaboration.

In Part 2, we looked at how to define parameterized missions in Simcenter 3D and how to model thermo-mechanical behavior, taking into account heat transfer, structural loads and the interactions between the physics.

We’re now ready to create and combine sub-assemblies and get started with post-processing.

Considering the Whole Engine in Thermo-Mechanical Performance

Assessing thermal-mechanical performance takes more than looking at the individual components separately. You must consider whole engine. How do you go about doing that as efficiently as possible? Hint: one engineer working alone to develop a whole engine model won’t cut it.

A better approach to accelerating performance engineering is to divide the workload into sub-assemblies and combine models in assembly FEMs.



Assembly FEMs are a uniquely efficient feature of Simcenter 3D, and the best tool for dividing the workload.

1. Combine sub-assemblies in assembly FEMs (AFEMs)

  • Select the same Coupled Thermal-Structural analysis type and 2D Solid Option.
  • Select the components (FEMs) that we want to add to the AFEM. Each sub-assembly will appear in the correct position because their geometries come from the same 3D CAD.
  • Add a third FEM to introduce the bolts connecting the HPT to the HPC.

2. Create a sim from the AFEM.

  • Add the previously created loads, constraints and simulation objects of each FEM.
  • Specify what to import; this may include the condition sequences.

3. Get ready to solve.

  • Add simulation objects to connect the sub-assemblies: gluings, a stream junction and void.
  • Adjust the time stepping depending on the desired accuracy.
  • Verify that all necessary simulation entities are present

Efficient Post-Processing Environment

Given the large amount of results generated by thermo-mechanical analysis an efficient post-processing environment is a crucial element for gaining fast insight into turbomachine performance.



Simcenter 3D Post offers many powerful tools and features for a detailed results analysis. Take closer look.

Plot BC Summary

This advanced parameter creates an HTML file containing the summary of the convecting zones, thermal streams, and thermal voids results in a convenient interface. Simply select the loads and properties to inspect, and the results are automatically plotted in an interactive graph, making it easy to analyze results.

Analysis of Results

  • Look at nodal temperatures at a specific time. The temperature distribution makes sense (increasing along the compressor and higher in the combustion case and on the turbine blades).
  • Look at the pressure on walls results due to the air flow. The fluid temperature results are the temperature in the ducts. Part of the ducts are created by the solver when we define thermal streams and voids.
  • For the same ducts, look at the mass flow. Analyze the mass flow vector results. With the arrow display, it is easy to see the flow direction. Going through the results over time shows when the flow reverses (remember that flow reversal conditions were defined).
  • Look at the flow direction with the stream nominal/reversal direction result. A value of -1 indicates a reversed flow. To verify if the solution is valid, investigate the mass flow imbalance result. Sometimes, the imbalance is intentional if leakage was modeled.
  • Access the structural results. The total displacements show a behavior conformal with the applied boundary conditions.
  • Analyze tip clearance by looking at contact separation. Plot the tip clearance at specified locations. The graph window offers many tools to analyze plots. See when the tip clearance is the smallest or simply look at results at specific times. A curve can be exported as a CSV so Excel can be used to analyze results.

Solving Turbomachinery Thermo-Mechanical Performance Challenges with Simcenter 3D

Now is the time to move away from siloed workflows to a platform that provides a complete set of dedicated tools for producing turbomachine simulations. Overcome thermo-mechanical performance challenges and meet the need for fast analysis and efficient workflows.

Simcenter 3D provides distinct benefits for the turbomachinery industry:

  • An integrated environment
  • Am efficient and intuitive workflow
  • Easy to include advanced physics
  • Improved team collaboration
  • Access to results with advanced post-processing tools

If you missed them, Part 1 and Part 2 of this series are here.

Are you ready to explore the benefits of Simcenter 3D?

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