Thermal Analysis, using finite element techniques, is carried out as a steady-state or transient analysis. Conductive heat transfer is handled directly by finite element techniques; conduction occurs in a solid due to temperature differences. However, radiation heat transfer analysis may require additional particle-tracking or ray-tracing techniques to approximate the radiant energy arriving at a given surface.

Convective heat transfer occurs due to the swirling motion of a fluid at a non-uniform temperature, owing to its variation in density and the action of gravity. A common way to handle convection is through convective heat transfer coefficients. Advanced simulation codes may couple fluid, thermal, and structural analysis in order to study the multi-physics effect on the design of equipment and structures.

LS-DYNA couples thermal and structural analysis through coupled constitutive models; the user may select thermal elastic and viscoelastic materials for such an analysis. LS-DYNA additionally provides compressible and incompressible fluid dynamics analysis capabilities.