2D Thermal is an add-on module to PLAXIS 2D. The thermal module is necessary when the effects of heat flow on the hydraulic and the mechanical behaviour of soils and structures need to be taken into account in geotechnical designs with PLAXIS. For full thermal-hydro-mechanical coupling the PlaxFlow module is required as well.
Temperature gradient is one of the main causes for movement of heat and water in soils. Since groundwater flow plays an essential role in the transport of heat in the ground, coupling between thermal and groundwater flow calculations, is necessary. The Thermal module seamlessly integrates this behaviour into your existing PLAXIS models.
Climate change is an important issue, especially in arctic regions. Thawing of permafrost gives rise to a whole new range of engineering problems. PLAXIS is equipped with features to deal changing soil properties due to temperature change, enabling engineers to anticipate and react to potential stability issues of for example foundation in arctic areas.
Artificial ground freezing can be used to temporarily stabilise weak ground. As the temperature in saturated soil decreases due to freeze pipes, an ice wall is formed, making the soil watertight. Dry excavation is then performed to provide permanent stability measures. The complex interplay between the velocity of groundwater flow, temperature of the freezing pipes and their effects on the formation of the ice wall can easily be studied through the various boundary conditions this module offers.
Coupling between thermal loading and mechanical process is required when the temperature change in soils results in thermal stresses. For example deformation of a navigable lock due to sunlight absorption when the lock is empty. Thermal boundary conditions including Climate allow PLAXIS to analyze displacements, or the rotation of stress due to temperature changes.