Use of Coupled Field FE Modeling in Study of Resistive Heating in a 6061-T6511 Aluminum Specimen

The effect of electric current on material mechanical properties has been of interest since it can reduce the mechanical energy associated with cutting/machining a material. An ANSYS model is used to evaluate the distribution of temperature resulting from the dissipation of electrical energy in a cylindrical tensile bar of 6061-T6511 aluminum while the specimen is carrying a large DC current. The simulation results are compared to surface infrared temperature measurements in order to (1) refine and verify the FE model, and (2) offer more qualitative insight into the effects of electric field.

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