A modified effective capacitance method for solidification modelling using linear tetrahedral finite elements

S. Bounds, K. Davey, S. Hinduja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper a new formulation for modelling solidification is discussed The formulation has similar features to both the apparent and effective beat capacitance methods used for solidification problems where conduction predominates over other heat transfer mechanisms. The main feature of the new method is that a modified form of effective beat capacitance is calculated from the solution of non-linear equations that describe the energy loss for linear tetrahedral finite elements. This approach ensures that the predicted temperature field corresponds exactly with the energy loss and so providing an extremely stable formulation. The method is tested against a range of problems including some with non-linear liquid fractions. The predictions are compared against known analytical solutions and the method is shown to provide reasonable accuracy even for relatively large time-steps. A comparison is made between the method and the well-known temporal and spatial approximations of apparent heat capacitance, and effective capacitance. Accuracy is maintained over a greater variation in time-step and mesh density with comparable computational requirements. In addition, the method lends itself to the use of relatively simple bisection techniques for the solution of the non-linear finite element equations. Also demonstrated is the method's innate ability to predict energy loss to a high degree of accuracy for large time steps.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3195-3215
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 1996


  • Modified effective capacitance
  • Solidification
  • Tetrahedral elements


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