A very useful yet not well-publicized enhancement in Workbench Mechanical 12.1 is the addition of surface-to-surface radiation, which internally uses the Radiosity Solution Method.

I wrote a small tip on how to enable surface-to-surface radiation in Workbench Mechanical (Simulation) a while ago. This tip is now obsolete, as the user can define the radiating surfaces and enclosures, along with Hemicube resolution and Radiosity solver settings, all in the Workbench Mechanical 12.1 GUI.

  • Defining radiating surfaces per enclosure is done through the “Radiation” loading. Change “Correlation” from “To Ambient” to “Surface to Surface”. Remember that each ‘independent’ group of surfaces that radiate to each other (and to space) is designated an enclosure number for efficiency reasons. You can group surfaces into different “Radiation” loads for the same enclosure to allow specification of different emissivity values, although be sure to define the same ‘ambient’ temperature if it is an open enclosure.
  • Radiosity and viewfactor settings are specified under the “Analysis Settings” branch, under the section entitled “Radiosity Controls” in the Details view. You may wish to tighten the “Solver Tolerance” and increase the “Hemicube Resolution” for greater accuracy.
  • Symmetry is automatically handled if a “Symmetry” branch with a “Symmetry Region” is present. (Radiosity elements will automatically be created for the “full” model for correct viewfactor calculations.)