International journal for numerical methods in engineering vol:36 issue:3 pages:523-536
A method for the direct computation of mean values and variances of the temperature in conduction-heated objects with random variable thermophysical properties is presented. This method is based on a Taylor expansion of the finite element formulation of the heat conduction equation and offers a powerful alternative to the computationally expensive Monte Carlo method. Both steady-state and transient problems are considered. Some example problems are solved and the results discussed. The simulations indicate that the variability of the thermophysical properties may cause a considerable variability of the temperature within the heated object. This may have important consequences on the design of heating operations in food process engineering.