SOLIDCast UNIT 48: Using Thermocouples
The use of thermocouples in a model to record time/temperature data is supported in SOLIDCast. It requires that you add, as an item in the Material List, a material type called Cooling Channel, controlled by a thermocouple. This is done when a model is being displayed, by selecting Model Materials List and then clicking on the Mold tab. In the lower portion of the screen is a description of some mold material. In the Name field, enter some unique name (such as TC 1). Then, under Type select “Cooling Channel”. Below this, you should see a selection which says Timer. Click on the down arrow and select High Limit. There are then six fields which should be filled in as follows:
HT Coeff when ON
Temperature (Set Point)
For the first three, you can enter any numbers, as long as you do not actually make a cooling channel in the model using this material. The important part is to enter the (X,Y,Z) coordinates of the location of a thermocouple to be placed in the model. After you have entered this data, then click on the button labeled “Add to List”. This will add the material TC 1 to the Materials List, which appears in a window in the upper right-hand corner of the Mold Materials screen. You do not have to create any shapes within the model which are made of material TC 1. As long as this material appears in the “Materials in List” window, the system will record time vs. temperature data for the (X,Y,Z) location. If you wish to record at a second location, then create a second material (say, called TC 2), enter the correct X,Y,Z location for this thermocouple, and then click on Add to List again. After this operation, you will have materials TC 1 and TC 2 on the “Materials in List” window. You can place up to 8 thermocouples in a model with this method.
The following screen shows an example of entering a thermocouple in the Materials List:
The time/temperature data will appear in a file called TCDATA.TMP in the folder where the simulation result files are found for this simulation. This is a text file, a part of which appears as shown in the following example:
Time vs. Temperature Data for 2 Nodes
Thermocouple 1 at X= 54.166 Y= 30.591 Z= 18.803 in Material 4
Thermocouple 2 at X= -4.772 Y= 24.697 Z= 18.803 in Material 4
First number in each line is time in minutes, following are temperatures at each node.
.0871 248.8058 604.8651
.0879 248.9494 603.1430
.0888 249.0902 601.2987
.0896 249.2278 599.3484
.0905 249.3622 597.3069
.0913 249.4931 595.1873
.0922 249.6203 593.0019
The first column shows time, in minutes. The second column is the temperature at Thermocouple 1 and the third column is the temperature at Thermocouple 2.
There isn t a plotting function for this data in SOLIDCast, but the file Tcdata.tmp is a text file that can easily be loaded into other applications such as Microsoft Excel for viewing or plotting. Use the Extract Thermocouple Data utility to create a separate file that can be easily imported into a spreadsheet.
An example of a time/temperature plot imported in Excel and plotted appears as follows:
Plot Produced by Excel