Modeling Capabilities

ACT engineers work closely with our customers to assure a high performing, cost effective thermal solution is the outcome of every design effort. As discussed below, we utilize a variety of commercial and custom mechanical and thermal design packages to develop highly accurate simulations.

Electronics Chassis

Computer Aided Design (CAD) Tools

ACT uses SolidWorks and Pro-E as its CAD software. ACT is well-versed in creating simple and complex geometric models and detailed drawings for manufacturing. ACT can input or output various file types to assure seamless transition from customers’ software.

Finite Element Analysis (FEA)

Stress analysis of LHP evaporator section.
ACT uses Solidworks Simulation as our primary FEA tool. This is used for mechanical analysis as well as some basic thermal studies. Analysis includes:

  • Stress Analysis
  • Fatigue Analysis
  • Conduction Simulations
  • Thermal Expansion Analysis
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

ACT uses the Autodesk Simulation and Thermal Desktop as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) package. ACT leverages its knowledge and experience to determine which package is most appropriate for a given task. ACT has found that both packages, if used correctly, yield accurate results when compared to test data.

Autodesk Simulation

Airflow Simulation of Electronics Cabinet
Autodesk Simulation is ACT’s primary CFD package used for various conduction, air flow and liquid flow models. ACT has years of experience with this program and has validated all types of models with recorded test data. ACT engineering inputs along with the programs accuracy creates high confidence in the results. ACT uses this package for many models and applications:

  • Thermal Models:
    • Conduction
    • Natural Convection (Air)
    • Forced Convection (Air)
    • Pumped Liquid
    • Radiation
    • Transient Response
  • Air/Liquid Flow Profiles

Thermal Desktop

Transient Response of Solid-to-Liquid Phase Change Material (PCM)
Thermal Desktop is a powerful tool used extensively in the aerospace industry. Its capabilities in two-phase transient and steady state modeling are also useful in many commercial applications. ACT uses this tool for various applications and analysis:

  • Spacecraft Thermal Control
    • Aluminum Ammonia Constant Conductance Heat Pipe (CCHP Design)
    • Loop Heat Pipe (LHP) Design
  • Thermal Storage (Phase Change Material) Module Design


In addition to commercial software tools, ACT has developed in-house models to determine performance on numerous applications. With over a decade of advanced thermal design, ACT’s modeling portfolio is extensive:

Advanced Modeling Research

In addition to thermal simulation modeling, ACT’s Advanced Modeling Research focuses on developing a fundamental understanding of physical and chemical processes at the micron and sub-micron scale. These bottom-up multi-scale simulation approaches have the potential to link the atomistic length-scale to the product-level, offering highly accurate prediction tools. Advanced modeling work at ACT includes:



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