A Revolution in Heat Conduction Software

Period of Performance: 01/18/2001 - 12/12/2001


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Continuum Dynamics, Inc.
34 Lexington Avenue Array
Ewing, NJ 08618
Principal Investigator


This research will revolutionize commercial software for heat conduction by using non-Fourier conduction to predict transient temperatures in solids. Here "non-Fourier" refers to applications where the standard model of Fourier's law fails to provide accurate predictions. Using non-Fourier conduction is revolutionary because commercial software currently uses Fourier's law despite the growing number of applications that can be correctly simulated only with non-Fourier conduction. Incorporating non-Fourier conduction into these simulations can improve the accuracy of predictions that rely on temperature, including thermal stress, solid-phase reactions, and phase changes. Also, the effects of non-Fourier conduction can be exploited to devise new materials and processes not obvious with Fourier conduction. The key objectives for Phase I are to: (i) Provide an analytical expression for determining the relative importance of non-Fourier and Fourier conduction, (ii) Demonstrate a technique for numerically solving non-Fourier problems as a precursor to software development in Phase II, (iii) Determine the conditions for which non-Fourier conduction is important to help identify experiments needed in Phase II to validate non-Fourier software.The non-Fourier software resulting from this research will have an impact across an enormous range of applications, such as improving the performance of rocket nozzles and heat shields constructed of composite materials, optimizing the ignition of granular propellants in rocket motors, advancing the laser-fabrication and repair of micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and microchips, designing better clothing to protect against thermal burns, and guiding laser surgery.