Incorporate calculations based on the VDI heat atlas into ANSYS

Together with CADFEM we have developed the ANSYS Workbench extension “VDI-Wärmeatlas inside ANSYS”.

Include proven calculations in your simulation

The VDI heat atlas has been an indispensable tool for any engineer dealing with heat transfer issues for 60 years. The standard work, recognized in industry and engineering, enables the design of technical equipment and equipment, e.g. in process and energy technology. For this purpose, data are provided, calculation methods for heat transport in solids and fluids are explained in detail and constructions of heat exchangers are presented.

  • Comprehensive reference book for technical problems in the design and construction of heat exchangers
  • Calculation methods for heat transfer and pressure loss
  • Extensive collection of physical properties and methods for technical and industrial application in the process industry and thermal energy technology .
  • Written by industry and science specialists within the VDI.

Since the 5th edition (1988), the individual chapters have been implemented under license as a calculation program of Lauterbach VT and have always been adapted to the current requirements until the current 11th edition.

The ATLAS modular system made the practical application of the chapters and their combinations into processes much easier. Each chapter corresponds to a module. These modules can be integrated into the individual problem and extended with their own calculation equations.


Why should you lavishly simulate phenomena for which there are proven analytical approaches?

Save time and money by replacing parts of your simulation with calculations based on the VDI Heat Atlas.

Why should you rely on estimates when there are accurate calculations? Each simulation is only as good as the boundary conditions you define for it. Place them on a solid footing: The VDI Heat Atlas.

The “VDI Heat Atlas inside ANSYS” tool connects the software of Lauterbach Verfahrenstechnik GmbH, which is based on the VDI Heat Atlas, to the ANSYS Workbench.

Free webinars 2019

In 60 minutes webinars, the integration of the VDI Heat Atlas into ANSYS Workbench is shown in examples.

  • Convection boundary conditions for a cooling channel as well as an electric battery pack
  • Tank with impact flow
  • Thermal tensions at a nozzle
  • Quick cooling of beverage packs
  • Loads of a reactor tank

Heat transfer

Solving problems of convective heat transfer numerically is a complex undertaking:
The requirements for the fineness of networking are many times higher than with other CFD models, and the interpretation of the results requires a great deal of experience. If phase transitions also play a role, the complexity increases.

If in a simulation the mechanism of heat transfer itself is not the subject of the investigation, it makes sense to outsource it to a separate calculation in order to make the simulation faster and simpler.

The VDI Heat Atlas offers analytical calculation methods for a large number of applications:

  • Convective heat transfer
    Flow in pipes and ducts, around pipe bundles, along walls
  • Free convection (buoyancy through a warm or cold wall)
  • Heat conduction in solids
  • Heat losses to the environment, even in windy conditions
  • Condensation and evaporation
  • Radiation

Fluid dynamics

Especially in process technology, the calculation of pressure losses plays a major role. For many standard elements, the VDI Heat Atlas offers the possibility to analytically determine the pressure loss and to incorporate the result back into the simulation.

Possible examples include the flow of

  • Pipes
  • Ducts and Channels
  • Annuli
  • Raising and structured packs
  • Tube bundles (even finned)
  • fittings

Gas-liquid currents can also be calculated.

Physical properties

In addition to the physical properties present in ANSYS CFD, Lauterbach Verfahrenstechnik offers physical properties of some technically common fluids:

  • Flue gas (selection of fuel or free entry of composition)
  • Thermal oils (over 100 different oils)
  • Hydraulic, transmission and machine oils, heavy fuel oil, diesel
  • Natural gas, biogas
  • Refrigerants

In addition, there is the possibility to define material values for mixtures of up to ten components (including phase balance weight calculation) on the basis of the Dortmund database.

Other application areas

Separators (e.g. cyclones), pressure loss calculations, condensation, evaporation, heat radiation, combustion, thermodynamics.

Your advantages

Reduce the complexity of the model

Your simulation is complex, but is it partly made up of simple cases of heat transfer and flow theory? For individual components, is it not of interest to dissolve the results locally? Then it would be a waste to simulate these elaborately and in detail, rather than performing a simpler analytical calculation.

Putting boundary conditions on a solid base

You perform a thermal simulation, but the heat losses to the environment you estimate for gut feeling? You simulate a high-temperature system, but the physical properties can only be found on Wikipedia at 20°C?

This allows you to create a source of error from the outset, because a simulation cannot be more accurate than the specifications it is fed with.


The LV software is modular, with the user interface of each module serving at the same time as the value input, result output and documentation.

The interface can link parameters of the ANSYS simulation to values of the LV program in both directions: Transfer from ANSYS to LV and from LV to ANSYS. The creation of such a link is very easy by drag and drop.

Our development partner introduces himself:

CADFEM – because simulation is more than software

Founded in 1985, CADFEM is one of the pioneers of the application of Numerical Simulation in Product Development. With 10 locations, 220 employees and 130 simulation experts in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, CADFEM is one of the largest European providers of simulation solutions. The CADFEM Group employs 350 people worldwide with its international investments. CADFEM helps simulation users make the most of the potential of simulation. As ANSYS Elite Channel Partner, the specialist relies primarily on the technologically leading software of ANSYS, Inc. However, because software alone does not guarantee simulation success, CADFEM offers products, service and knowledge from a single source: Software and IT solutions. Consulting, support, engineering. Transfer of know-how.

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