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General Preprocessing

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General Preprocessing

Chapter Overview
In this chapter, using features without the use of the Wizards will be covered Topics:
A. B. C. D. E. F. G. Geometry Contact Workshop 3-1, Contact Control Meshing Named Selections y Coordinate Systems Workshop 3-2, Meshing Control

The capabilities described in this section are generally applicable to the ANSYS DesignSpace Entra licenses and above and are noted in the t e lower-left o e e t hand a d tab tables es

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Introduction
In the previous chapter, the Mechanical GUI was introduced through the use of the Mechanical Wizards In this chapter, navigating through the GUI without the Wizards will be covered

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Introduction
The Outline Tree is the main way of setting up an analysis
The Context Toolbar, Details View, and Graphics Window update, depending on which Outline Tree branch is selected Use of the Outline Tree will be emphasized in this chapter

Use of U f th the O Outline tli Tree T is i the means by which users navigate through the Simulation GUI.

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A. Geometry Branch
The Geometry branch lists the part(s) that make up the model. In Simulation, there are three types of bodies which can be analyzed:
Solid bodies are general 3D or 2D volumes/areas/parts Surface bodies are only areas Line bodies are only curves Each is explained next . . .

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Types of Bodies
Solid bodies are geometrically and spatially 3D or 2D:
3D solids are meshed with higher-order tetrahedral or hexahedral solid elements with quadratic shape functions. 2D solids are meshed with higher order triangle or quadrilateral solid elements with quadratic shape functions
The 2D switch must be set on the Project page prior to import Geometry type cannot be changed from 2D to 3D (or vice versa) after import

Each node has three translational degrees of freedom (DOF) for structural or one temperature DOF for thermal

3D Solids
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2D Solids

Axisymmetric y cross section

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Types of Bodies
Surface bodies are geometrically 2D but spatially 3D:
Surface bodies represent structures which are thin in one dimension (throughthickness). Thickness is not modeled but supplied as an input value. Surface bodies are meshed with linear shell elements having six DOF (UX, (UX UY, UY UZ, ROTX, ROTY, ROTZ).

Line bodies are geometrically 1D but spatially 3D:


Line bodies represent p structures which are thin in two dimensions. The crosssection is not modeled. Line bodies are modeled with linear beam elements having six DOF (UX, UY, UZ, ROTX, ROTY, ROTZ).

Surface Body
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Line Body

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Multibody Parts
In general, bodies and parts are the same. In DesignModeler however, multiple bodies may be grouped into multibody parts. Multibody parts share common boundaries so nodes are shared at that interface.
No contact is needed in these situations.

Example:

Common nodes are shared by adjacent bodies

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Material Properties
To assign material properties to a body highlight it and select from the available properties in the Assignment field :
The only materials appearing in the list will be materials added using the Engineering Data application (see previous chapter). chapter)

For surface bodies a thickness needs to be supplied as well.

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Geometry Worksheet
A summary of bodies and assigned materials is available
Select Geometry branch and then the Worksheet tab

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B. Contact
When multiple parts are present, a means of defining the relationship between parts is needed.
Contact regions define how parts interact with each other.

Without With t contact t t or spot t welds, ld parts t will ill not t interact i t t with ith each h other: th
In structural analyses, contact and spot welds prevent parts from penetrating through each other and provide a means of load transfer between parts. In thermal analyses, y , contact and spot p welds allow for heat transfer across parts. p Multibody parts do not require contact or spot welds.

Load

Surface contact elements can be visualized as a skin covering the regions where contact will occur.
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Solid Body Contact


When an assembly is imported contact surfaces are automatically detected and created:
The p proximity y of surfaces is used to detect contact. Tolerance for contact detection is available in the Connections branch details.

Contact is also used for 2D geometry. g y Contact surfaces are represented by edges. Certain license levels allow surface to edge, edge to edge and mixed solid/surface contact.

Note, automatic contact should always be checked and verified before proceeding with an analysis.
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Solid Body Contact


Contact elements provide the relationship between parts. Each part maintains a separate mesh. This means that one small part will not drive mesh density of the entire assembly and/or the user can make parts of interest have a finer mesh than other parts

Note the non-matching mesh at the interface between parts. p Mix of hexahedral elements contacting tetrahedral elements is possible.

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Solid Body Contact


When a contact region is highlighted in the connections branch, parts are made translucent for easier viewing.
Selecting a contact region makes non participating bodies translucent. y identification. Contact surfaces are color coded for easy

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Solid Body Contact


Go To utilities allow a more detailed investigation of contact definitions:
Corresponding bodies in tree Bodies without contact Contact regions for selected bodies Contacts common to selected bodies

Contacts can be q quickly y renamed to match p part names

RMB
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Solid Body Contact


To manually define a contact pair insert a manual contact region and select and apply contact and target surfaces.

RMB

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Advanced Solid Body Contact


For ANSYS Professional licenses and above, advanced contact options are available:
Auto detection dimension and slider A Asymmetric t i contact t t Contact results tool More contact formulations available Pinball control

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Advanced Solid Body Contact


The Pinball region represents a contact detection zone:
Contact calculation/detection occurs when contact gap is within the pinball radius. The p pinball radius dimension may y be entered to ensure that bonded contact is established for a large clearance or gap. Pinball radius is displayed as a sphere in the graphics window. Status: near field, far field, closed/sliding, closed/sticking.

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Surface Body Contact


Shell contact includes edge-to-face or edge-toedge contact:
Shell contact is not turned on by y default. User can turn on detection of face-to-edge or edge-to-edge contact. Priority can be set to prevent multiple contact regions from being formed in a given region by setting priority.

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Spot Weld
Spot welds provide a means of connecting assemblies at discrete points:
Spot weld is defined in the CAD software. Currently, only DesignModeler and Unigraphics define spot welds supported by Mechanical.

Spot weld pairs

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Contact Worksheet
The Worksheet tab of the Connections branch provides a summary of various contact and spot weld definitions:

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C. Workshop 3.1 Contact Control


Workshop 3.1 Contact Control Goal:
Investigate several types of contact behavior.

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D. Meshing
The nodes and elements representing the geometry model make up the mesh:
A default mesh is automatically generated during initiation of the solution. The Th user can generate t the th mesh h prior i to t solving l i to t verify if mesh h control t l settings. A finer mesh produces more precise answers but also increases CPU time and memory requirements.

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Global Meshing Controls


Physics Based Meshing allows the user to specify the mesh based on the physics to be solved. Choosing the physics type will set controls such as:
Solid S lid element l t mid-side id id nodes d Element shape checking Transitioning

Physics preferences can be:


Mechanical Electromagnetics CFD Explicit

Setting the physics preference pre-configures the Advanced meshing defaults discussed on subsequent pages. Note: only Mechanical meshing preferences are discussed in this course.
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Global Meshing Controls


Basic meshing controls are available under the Defaults group in the Mesh branch
The user has control with a single slider bar
Relevance setting g between 100 and +100

- Relevance = coarse mesh

+ Relevance = fine mesh

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Global Meshing Controls


Advanced global controls:
Relevance Center: sets the mid point of the Relevance slider control control. Element Size: defines element size used for the entire model. Shape p Checking: g
Standard Mechanical linear stress, modal and thermal analyses. Aggressive Mechanical large deformations and material nonlinearities.

Solid Element Midside Nodes:


Program Controlled (default), Dropped or Kept. Element A Element B

Kept
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Dropped

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Global Meshing Controls


Straight Sided Elements :
Displayed when solids are present in the model or enclosures from DesignModeler are present. Must be used for Electromagnetic simulations. i l ti

Initial Size seed:


Controls the initial seeding of the mesh size part. (Explained ( p in more detail on for each p next slide)

Smoothing :
Attempts to improve element quality by moving nodes. Number of smoothing iterations can be controlled (Low, Medium, High).

Transition :
Controls the rate at which adjacent elements will grow (Smooth, Fast)

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Global Meshing Controls


Initial Size Seed:
Active Assembly (default) :
Initial mesh sizing will be determined by the active set (unsuppressed) of parts.

Full Assembly:
Initial I iti l mesh h will ill not t be b affected ff t d by b the th suppressed/unsuppressed d/ d state t t of f parts. t

Part:
Initial seeding based on each parts size independently. Mesh will not change due to part suppression. Generally gives finer mesh. Mesh may not be uniform through out the assembly.

Part-Based Mesh Seeding Nodes: 44,013 (Mesh seeding is based on parts, so less uniform parts) ) between p

Assembly-Based Mesh Seeding Nodes: 15,670 (Mesh seeding is more uniform between parts)

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Local Meshing Controls


Local Mesh Controls can be applied to either a Geometry Selection or a Named Selection. These are available only when the mesh branch is highlighted. Available controls include :
Method Control Sizing Control Contact Sizing Control Refinement Control Mapped Face Meshing (EMAG and cyclic, not covered) Inflation Control Pinch Control Gap Tool (EMAG only, not covered)

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Local Meshing Controls : Method (continued) Method Control : Provides the user with options as to how solid bodies are meshed: (Valid only for bodies). Automatic (default):
Body will be swept if possible. Otherwise, the Patch Conforming mesher under Tetrahedrons is used.

Continued . . .

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Local Meshing Controls : Method (continued) Tetrahedrons:


An all Tetrahedron mesh is generated.

Patch Conforming: g
Expansion Factor controls the internal growth rate of the tetrahedrons.

Patch Independent Meshing:


Faces and their boundaries may or may not be respected during meshing operations. The exception is when a boundary condition is applied to a surface, its boundaries are respected. See S next t page for f Patch P t h Independent I d d t options. ti

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Local Meshing Controls : Method (continued) Patch Independent Options:


Maximum Element Size: size of the initial element subdivision Approx Number of Elements: desired number of elements in model (can be overridden by other mesh controls). Define defeaturing Tolerance Filters out edges based on size and angle. If set to Yes, a Defeaturing Tolerance field appears where a numerical value is to be entered. entered
Note: defeaturing can cause a mesh to ignore, and therefore mesh over, small features. The Simulation documentation contains a full description and examples.

Continued . . .

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Local Meshing Controls : Method (continued)


Curvature and Proximity Refinement = Yes:
Define by: maximum element size or approximate number of elements. Defeaturing Tolerance (yes): adds tolerance controls to defeature edges. y automatically y refines mesh based on curvature and p proximity y of Curvature and Proximity: features. Num Cells across Gap Specifies the number of cells desired in narrow gaps. Refinement is limited by the Min Size Limit. Span Angle Mesh will subdivide in curved regions till the individual elements span the specified angle. Limited by Min Size Limit.

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Local Meshing Controls : Method (continued)


Hex Dominant : Creates a free hex dominant mesh. Useful for meshing bodies that cannot be swept Recommended for meshing bodies with swept. large interior volumes. (only available with ANSYS Structural licenses and above) The hex-dominant meshing algorithm creates a quad-dominant surface mesh first, then pyramid and tetrahedral elements are filled in as needed.
Control Messages will appear to warn user if volume may not be suitable for hex-dominant meshing

Solid Model with Hex dominant mesh : Tetrahedrons 443 (9%) Hexahedron 2801(62%) ( ) Wedge 124 (2%) Pyramid 1107 (24%)
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Local Meshing Controls : Method (continued)


Sweep :
Sweep-mesh (hex and possible wedge) elements, otherwise tetrahedra. RMB on mesh branch to Show Sweepable Bodies. Type : Number of Divisions or Element Size in the sweep direction. Sweep Bias Type : Bias spacing in sweep direction. Src/Trg Selection :
Automatic, manual source or manual source and target. Automatic Thin Model One hex or wedge through the thickness. thickness Can choose between Solid Shell (SOLSH190) element and a Solid element (Solid185) Manual Thin Model Allows user to pick a source face.

The solid body in the middle is swept-meshed whereas other volumes are meshed with tetrahedral elements.

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Local Meshing Controls


Sizing:
Element Size specifies average element edge length or number of divisions (choices depend on geometry selection). selection) Soft control may be overridden by other mesh controls. Hard may not. Mesh biasing is available. Available options above depend on which entities are scoped:

Sphere of Influence sizing, see next page.

Entity Bodies Faces Edges Vertices

Element Size x x x

# of Elem. Division

Sphere of Influence x x x x

Face Sizing Applied to a part.


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Local Mesh Controls


Sphere of Influence:
Center is located using local coordinate system. All scoped entities within the sphere are affected by size settings.
Sphere of Influence (shown in red) has been defined Elements lying in defined. that sphere for that scoped entity will have a given average element size.

Scoped to single vertex

Scoped p to 2 surfaces

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Local Mesh Controls


Contact Sizing: generates similar-sized elements on contact faces for face/face or face/edge contact region.
Element Size or Relevance can be specified. Choose Ch C Contact t t Si Sizing i f from th the M Mesh hC Control t l menu and d specify the contact region. Or drag and drop a Contact Region object onto the Mesh object.

In this example, the contact region between the two parts h a Contact has C t t Si Sizing i Type T Relevance is specified. Note that the mesh is now consistent at the contact region.

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Local Mesh Controls


Element refinement divides existing mesh
An initial mesh is created with global and local size controls first, then element refinement fi t is i performed f d at t the th specified ifi d location(s). l ti ( ) Refinement range is 1 to 3 (minimum to maximum). Refinement splits the edges of the elements in the initial mesh in half. Refinement level controls the number of iterations this is performed.

For example shown, the left side has refinement level of 2 whereas the right side is left untouched with default mesh settings.

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Local Mesh Controls


Mapped Face Meshing: generates structured meshes on surfaces:
In example below, mapped face meshing on the outer face provides a more uniform mesh pattern pattern.

If surface cannot be mapped mesh for any reason, meshing will continue and this will be shown in Outline O Tree with icon:

Mapped quad or tri mesh also available for surface bodies

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Local Mesh Controls


Inflation Control: useful for adding layers of elements along specific boundarys.

Note: Inflation is more often used in CFD and EMAG applications pp but may y be useful for capturing stress concentrations etc. in structural applications.
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Local Mesh Controls


Pinch: allows the removal of small features by pinching out small edges and vertices (only).
Master: geometry that retains the original geometry profile. Slave: Sl geometry t that th t changes h to t move toward t d the th master. t Can be automatic (Mesh level) or local (add Pinch branch).

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Meshing Failures
If the mesher is not able to generate well-shaped elements, an error message will be returned:

The problematic geometry will be highlighted on the screen, and a named selection group Problematic Geometry will be created, so the user may review the model.

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Meshing Failures
Meshing failures can be caused by a number of things:
Inconsistent sizing controls specified on surfaces, which would result in the creation of poorly-shaped elements Difficult CAD geometry, such as small slivers or twisted surfaces Stricter shape checking (Aggressive setting in Mesh branch)

Some ways to avoid meshing failures:


Specify more reasonable sizing controls on geometry Specify smaller sizing controls to allow the mesher to create bettershaped elements In the CAD system, use hidden line removal plots to see sliver or unwanted geometry and remove them Use virtual cells to combine sliver or very small surfaces
This Thi option ti will ill be b discussed di d next t

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Virtual Topology
Virtual Topology: combines surfaces and edges for meshing control:
Vi Virtual t lT Topology l b branch hi is added dd d to t the th Model M d l branch. A Virtual Cell is a group of adjacent surfaces that acts as a single surface. Interior lines of original surfaces will no longer be honored by meshing process. For other operations such as applying Loads and Supports, a virtual cell can be referenced as a single entity. Virtual cells can be generated automatically via RMB:
The Behavior controls the aggressiveness of the Merge Face Edges? Edges? setting for auto generation generation.

Example . . .

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Virtual Topology Example


Consider the example below:

Virtual Cell

2009 ANSYS, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Virtual Topology Example


Keep in mind that the topology can change!
Example: a chamfer is added to the top surface in this virtual cell. The interior lines are not recognized anymore.

Original mesh

Elements edge is shown as a solid line and the original chamfer and top surface is shown as a dotted blue line. The chamfer representation is no longer present.

Mesh using virtual topology


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E. Named Selections
The Named Selection Toolbar provides functionality for grouping together geometric entities:
Manipulate Show/Hide Supress/Unsuppress

Create

Defined Names

Named Selections allow users to group together vertices, edges, surfaces, or bodies. Named Selections can be used for defining mesh controls, controls applying loads and supports, etc. Provides an easy method to reselect groups that will be referenced often
Defining contact regions Scoping S i results lt Etc.

Note, visibility and suppression are only applicable to body named selections.

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Defining Named Selections


To create Named Selections:
Select the vertices, edges, surfaces, or bodies of interest, then click on the Create Selection Group icon Enter a name in the dialog box The new group will appear in the Named Selection Toolbar as well as in the Outline Tree Note:
Only one type of entity can be in a particular Named Selection. For example, vertices and edges cannot exist in the same Named Selection. Named Selection groups can be imported from some CAD systems (see Chapter 10)

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Using Named Selections


In many detail window fields Named Selections can be referenced directly: Example (pressure load):
In the Details view, change Method f from G Geometry Selection S to Named Selection Select the Named Selection from the pull-down menu
Simulation will filter non-applicable pp types yp of Named Selections.

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Using Named Selections


Named Selections can be used in other situations where geometry must be picked:
Select Geometry from the Details view to enter picking mode Toggle T l the th Named N d Selection S l ti to t select l t from f the th Toolbar T lb Select the applicable choice:
Select Items in Group, Add to Current Selection, Remove from Current Selection

Then, , click on Apply pp y in the Details view

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F. Coordinate Systems
The Coordinate Systems branch is usually not displayed by default, but it can be added from the Model tree

Coordinate systems can be used for mesh controls, point masses, directional loads, and results
Initially the Global Global Coordinate System is added, based on the origin of the CAD model. Local Coordinate Systems can be imported from some CAD systems (see Simulation documentation)

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Coordinate Systems
Coordinate Systems can be defined by selecting Coordinate System icon from the Context toolbar. Can be Cartesian or Cylindrical. Toolbar becomes available after CS is defined.
Delete Translate Move Up/Down

Rotate

Flip

Local coordinate systems are defined either by:


Selecting geometry (Associative Coordinate System). The coordinate system moves with the geometry. Its translation and rotation are geometry dependent. Specifying p y g coordinates (Non-Associative ( Coordinate System). The coordinate system will remain as originally defined ie: it is independent of geometry.

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Coordinate Systems
Coordinate systems can be used from pull-down menus in the Details view in various applications (examples below) :

Directional Results

Point Masses

Sizing w/ Sphere of Influence Option

Directional Loads Directional Displacements

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G. Workshop 3.2 Mesh Control


Workshop 3.2 Mesh Control Goal:
Use the various mesh controls to enhance the mesh for the solenoid model.

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