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Finite element analysis of thermoplastic probes

under tensile load using LS-DYNA compared to


ANSYS WB 14 in correlation to experimental
investigations
Schmailzl Anton, Amann Thomas, Glockner Markus, Fadanelli Martin,
Prof. Dr.- Ing. Marcus Wagner: Head of FEM- Laboratory
Prof. Dr. Ing. Stefan Hierl: Head of LMP- Laboratory
UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES Regensburg
Regensburg, Germany

Summary
Joining thermoplastic requisitions is a popular technique to build sophisticated plastic applications.
Therefore the laser-transmission welding process is used to join thermoplastic polymers in visible
regions. The clamping force in this case plays a decisive role when it comes to the weld quality.
Simulating the clamping pressure with finite element techniques is therefore highly attractive to
understand the principal of the process. Thermoplastic polymers under tensile load often show a brittle
behavior coupled with softening. Simulating such materials is quite difficult for fem programs. In this
case a finite element study of the tensile test in LS- DYNA and ANSYS Wb 14 with respect to the
material models was analysed. The experimental data get validated in comparison with the FEM
solution for a tensile test. The material models and the problems in simulating softening behavior for
thermoplastic polymers were discussed.

Keywords
thermoplastics, plastics, nonlinear material, material modeling, LS-Dyna, ANSYS, ABS, softening,
NLISO, MAT 24, laser transmission welding

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30th CADFEM Users Meeting 2012
October 24-26 , 2012 Kongress Palais Kassel

Motivation
In nearly every kind of technical requisition thermoplastic polymers are involved. To leave out the
requirements for traditional manufacturing techniques for polymers, joning processes for thermoplastic
parts are attractive. Welding techniques for polymers are well known, but if the requirements of welds
are higher ordered such as non visible or serried welds nearly all welding methods reach there border.
A welding method which connects thermoplastic material by laser was developed ten years ago. The
process is shown in fig. 1. Small joining zones and a good performance for visible welding zones
makes the process interesting for several industrial applications. The Laser penetrates a transparent
polymer and is fusing an absorbing polymer. The heated absorbing polymer heats the transparent
polymer by heat conduction. When it comes to the quality of the welds the clamping pressure between
the joining partner plays a decisive role.

Fig. 1. Principle of laser transmission welding (ltw)


To deal with these circumstances, FEM- methods to determine the clamping pressure between the
joining partners are prospect benefit for the technical use of the process. The material behavior during
the welding process is essential for the fem analysis. Therefore, a benchmark for nonlinear fem
simulation with ANSYS Wb 14 and LS- DYNA was realized. A tensile test of a ABS (Acryl- ButadieneStyrene) polymer was analysed to provide material parameters for the simulation with respect to the
deformation speed.
1.

Mechanical behavior of ABS

The test specim for the tensile test distiniguish between brittle, duktile with and without a yield stress
point. [2,5] Generally the mechanical behavior of ABS can be characterized as brittle. [7] First plastic
strain occurs at the yield stress of 30MPa. At the Stress of 38 MPa strong sliding of the sliding planes
leads to a decrease in stress. The stress strain behavior analysed in the tensile test at a deformation
speed of 1mm/min is shown in fig.2 .
tensile test (deformation speed: 1mm/min)
40
35

Stress [MPa]

30
25
20
15
10
5
0
0

4
Strain [%]

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Fig. 2. Tensile test of ABS specimen with deformation speed 1mm/min

The irreversible poisson deflection at break is not visible in a macroscopic analyse. According to the
test specimen DIN 527 [2] the material properties for Test 13 are shown in Tab.1.
Tab1.Material properties of ABS
yield stress
tensile modulus
possions ratio

30 MPa
2200 MPa
0,3 (assumption)

nominal strain at break


stress at break

6,5 %
34 MPa

The necking effect of this ABS specimen is slightly distinct. The elastic region before reaching the
yield stress shows a good correlation between the six tensile tests. At a deformation speed of 500
mm/min break occurs earlier and the material behavior is more brittle without plastic flow. Elastic
material models seem to be adequate to describe the mechanical behavior if focus is on the elastic
region.

tensile test (deformation speed: 500mm/min)

Stress [MPa]

40
30
20
10
0
0

0.5

1.5
Strain [%]

2.5

Fig.3. Material behavior at a deformation speed of 500 mm/min


For FEM analysis with plastic strain the stress strain values have to be implemented in true stress and
true strain. Therefore the experimental data is transformed into Hencky- Strain,
(

and cauchy- stress.


(

[3,6]

2.

Simulation with ANSYS Wb 14

2.1

Material models for elastic- plastic behavior

There are several material models in ANSYS Wb 14 which describe elasto-plastic material behavior.
To simulate the damage of the material beyond the yield stress there are difficulties to deal with for
example the decreasing stresses which cause converging problems. The Material Models BLISO,
MLISO as well as BLKIN and MLKIN can not handle the damage of the material. To simulate the
elastic- plastic region in front of the yield stress point these models are adequate. For high strain rates
the mechanical behavior of ABS the decreasing stresses are dissapeared and the material acts more
brittle so that a elastic material model is often adequate (compare to Fig.3). To simulate the elasticplastic region for low strain rates the material model MLISO was choosen. This model uses an
isotropic hardening rule with a multilinear elastic-plastic model.

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The data for plastic analysis in ANSYS have to be implemented in plastic strain and cauchy stress. In
this case the total strain has to be substracted from the elastic strain. [1]

The material model MLISO therefore needs the Youngs Modulus and the possions ratio for the elastic
model and the plastic strain and the cauchy stress for the plastic behavior. The first calculated plastic
strain should be set to zero so that the calculation keeps running. [4]
2.2

Material models for the softening behavior

ANSYS provides a material model that uses a non-linear-isotropic-hardening (NLISO) rule.


It is possible to describe the hardening behavior in an exponential equation.
(

Softening can be simulated if the Rinfi parameter is negative. The visco-plastic formulations of
Perzyna have to be implemented for a converging solution.
(

It is possible to use the material model NLISO in an invariant way. A fitting of parameters is possible to
simulate softening behavior but studies for implementation are necessary.
Material Properties for NLISO
40
38
35

True Stress [MPa]

30
25
20
15
10
5
0
0

0.01

0.02

0.03
True Strain [mm/mm]

0.04

0.05

0.06

Fig. 10. Curve fitting for NLISO

2.3

Load Settings

In this case the static- mechanic analyse settings are used for the simulation. The geometry is
modelled and pictured in Fig.5

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Fig. 5. Geometry and loads of the tensile probes


To simulate the induced stresses a displacement of 5 mm and a restriction of a fixed bearing was
implemented. Due to the fact that there are many nodes where the stress is at the same level necking
can occur several times. To create one necking zone in the simulation the measuring zone was
created with a concave radius of R=20000 mm, which is still in the tolerance of DIN 527 [3]. In this
case, the stresses increase when passing the yield stress. This is because of the last hardening
parameter of MLISO.
2.4

Mesh Settings

To get a homogenous mesh the sweep setting was used to create a mesh with an element size of 1
mm. The used element type is SOLID 186.
2.5

Solution

The deflection of ABS induced by the Poisson effect is at a low-level, the force reaction induced from
the displacement can be used to calculate the stress in the tensile area. Since there is less Poisson
deflection at break, this approximation is probably appropriate. The maximum stress in the detected
zone can be analysed with the normal stress tool. The displacement of the measuring zone has to be
identified to get the strain of the probe. Therefore the displacement of the lines D and E in the global
coordinate system are recorded. The induced geometric nonlinearity can be considered with a tick at
the option large deflection for analysis with large deflections. When simulating thermoplastic
material, elastic material modeling is even at two percent strain not appropriate compareable
according to Fig.7.
Simulated stress- strain curves (large deflections on/off)
50

stress [MPa] / fault [%]

40
38
30

20

linear material - large deflections off


linear material - large deflections on
fault linear material - large deflections off
fault linear material - large deflections on
experimental data

10

0
-2
-5
-10
0

0.5

1.5

strain [%]

Fig.7. Results of simulation with ANSYS Wb 14


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2.5

As shown in Fig.7., the linear material formulation in correlation to the nonlinear material behavior
goes up to 10% deviation.
Simulated stress strain curves (Large deflection on/off)

stress [MPa] / fault [%]

40
38
35
30
25
20

large deflection off


large deflection on
fault large deflection off
fault large deflection on
experimental data

15
10
5
0
-2
-5
-10
0

0.5

1.5

2.5

strain [%]

Fig. 8. Elastic- plastic behavior before yield stress


The elastic- plastic behavior in front of the yield stress is tested with a second load step. In the second
load step the displacement was set to zero as shown in Fig. 9.
Large Displacement On/Off
40

35

30

Stress [MPa]

25

20

15

10

Large Displacement off


Large Displacement on
Experimental
0

0.5

1.5

2.5

Strain [%]

Fig. 9. Elastic- plastic hysterese behavior


The elastic- plastic behavior of the strains are appropriate when analysing the irreversible deformation
induced by loads.
2.6

Results

The elastic- plastic behavior models for ANSYS Wb 14 are proven and adequate for analyses with
brittle thermoplastic material. When using an elastic- material model the fault can reach up to 10%
because of nonlinear material behavior. For high strain rates elastic material models are appropriate.
For the elastic- plastic material model MLISO the deviation is less than five percent.

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3.

Simulation in LS-DYNA

LS-Dyna provides more than 200 material models. For the simulation of the tensile test a nonlinear
material model is needed. There are several models which occur in connection to the simulation of
thermoplastics. For example, Mat_003, Mat_019, Mat_024, Mat_076, Mat_081, Mat_082, Mat_089,
Mat_112, Mat_123, Mat_141 and Mat_187.
Two material models were selected for the simulation. First Mat_024 because it is very common in use
with the simulation of steel components. The second one is Mat_187. Mat_187 is one of the latest
material models and is especially developed for thermoplastics.
3.1

Characteristics of Mat_024 and Mat_187

Mat_024 is an isotrop, strain rate dependent elasto-plastic material model that uses a user-defined
stress versus strain curve. A failure criterion is implemented by using plastic strain or a minimum time
step size.
Mat_187 is an isotrop, strain-rate dependent elasto-plastic material model. The yield point of typical
thermoplastics is lower for pulling than for pushing. Therefore, material models that are based on
uniaxial loading tests, as Mat_024 is, deliver to small values. For a better representation of
thermoplastics Mat_187 uses separate stress-strain curves for pressure, shear, bi-axial strain and
uniaxial strain at different strain rates. Therefore, a lot of experimental investigations are necessary.
The yield surface is a quadratic function defined by the four load curves as shown in Fig. 11.

Fig.11. Yield surface [15]


3.2

Computation with Mat_024 and Mat_187

Hexaedron elements are used for meshing the geometry by sweep method. The element size is 1
mm. Solid elements with constant stress are used for the simulation. Explicit dynamic is used for short
time phenomenas. For the tensile test referring to DIN 527-1 a displacement velocity of 1 mm/min is
recommended. To hold computation time slow the displacement velocity is increased to 100mm/s.
This results in oscillations, especially at fracture of the probe. Therefore, fracture is prohibited by not
inserting a fracture criterion i.e. plastic strain at fracture.

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PRESCRIBED_MOTION_SET
DOF=1 VAD=0

BOUNDARY
X=1
ROTX=1
Y=1
ROTY=1
Z=1
ROTZ=1

BOUNDARY
X=0
ROTX=1
Y=1
ROTY=1
Z=1
ROTZ=1

Fig.12. Boundary conditions of the tensile test


3.3

Analysation and results

For the analysis and comparison of simulation and experimental data with MATLAB some values are
necessary. The cross section area of the tensile probe as well as the force in pulling direction can be
written down by using plots. According to DIN 527-1 the change of length in a tensile test with
thermoplastics is related to a measuring length of 50 mm. Node history of two nodes (with 50 mm
distance in pulling direction) shows the displacement of each node. The difference between both
displacements is the resulting change of length of the tensile probe.

Mat_024 and Mat_187 show almost the same characteristics until reaching the yield stress. There is a
maximum deviation of 3% between experimental data and simulation in the linear elastic region.
Tension rapidly decreases due to first stress localisation (9% maximum deviation). Energy gets
nascent through sliding of the sliding planes. This leads to resultant accelerations and therefore to
oscillations as seen in fig. 13. These oscillations can be reduced with a lower displacement velocity.
Stress is decreasing in the plastic area with Mat_024 because of further stress localisation at higher
strains. Mat_187 shows a growing plastic zone instead of further stress localisation at higher strains.
Therefore, Mat_187 is reflecting the true mechanical behavior of the experimental tests better than
Mat_24 does.
The deviation of Mat_187 is below 3% in the plastic area, compared to Mat_24 with a maximum
deviation of 10.2%.
Stress-Strain (Using The Experimental Curve)
40

Stress [MPa] / Fault [%]

30

Mat024
Mat187
Fault Mat024
Fault Mat187
Experimental

Mat_187

Mat_187

20

Mat_24

10

-10

-20
0

Strain [%]

Fig.13. Experimental and simulated stress-strain curve


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The results show that simulation below the yield point, as needed for the simulation of the clamping
pressure in the welding process, is possible with both material models but Mat_187 is the better
choice if plastic area is needed. Both materials are not able to simulate the softening of the
experimental data correctly.
ABS shows a very untypical mechanical behaviour at low strain rates as DIN 527-1 recommends. The
negative gradient usually disappears by transforming the engineering stress vs engineering strain in
true values because the stress is related to the remaining instead of the original cross section area.
ABS shows no increasing stress related to the remaining cross section area, which means that there
is still a slope. This slope leads to numerical problems. There are two possible solutions to fix this
problem if needed:

Fix the experimental data by removing the decrease in stress strain relation (positive
gradient). This leads to a hardening. If necking is desired it is necessary to insert a slope in
the modified true stress vs true strain curve.
Introduce artificial visco-plasticity.

To test the solution by fixing experimental data all experimental values behind the yield stress in the
stress strain curve are deleted and one last curve point (stress) is added at maximum strain. This
stress has to be higher than the yield stress to reach a positive gradient. The three curves in fig. 14
show the difference in the resulting stress-strain curve when using a stress value of 39 MPa, 40MPa
and 42 MPa. The yield stress is 38.8 MPa.

Artificial Hardening
45

42 MPa
38.7 MPa

40

40 MPa
39 MPa

True Stress [MPa]

35

30

25
Set Point: 39MPa
20
Set Point: 40MPa
Set Point: 42MPa

15

Simulation-39MPa
10

Simulation-40MPa
Simulation-42MPa

Same Simulation Results For Mat024 And Mat187

Referenz

True Strain [%]

Fig. 14. Modifying the experimental curve to a positive gradient


Modifying the stress-strain curve seems to be very sensitive to the gradient and is therefore not
recommended in this case.

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October 24-26 , 2012 Kongress Palais Kassel

[1]

A. Arriaga et. al. Finite- element analysis of quasi-static characterisation tests in thermoplastic
materials: Experimental and numerical analysis results correlation with ANSYS. Polymer
Testing 2007(26):284305.

[2]

Deutsches Institut fr Normung. DIN 527 Bestimmung der Zugeigenschaften Teil 2


Prfbedingungen fr Form- und Extrusionsmassen;83.080.00(527-2). Berlin: Beuth Verlag;
1996

[3]

Ehrenstein GW. Polymer-Werkstoffe: Struktur - Eigenschaften - Anwendung. 3rd ed. Mnchen:


Hanser, Carl; 2010.

[4]

Gebhardt C. Praxisbuch FEM mit ANSYS Workbench: Einfhrung in die lineare und nichtlineare
Mechanik. Mnchen: Hanser; 2011.

[5]

Peter Eyerer et. al (ed.). VDI- Buch: Prfung von Kunststoffen und Bauteilen. Berlin, Heidelberg:
Springer Berlin Heidelberg; 2008.

[6]

Stommel M, Korte W, Stojek M. FEM zur Berechnung von Kunststoff- und Elastomerbauteilen.
Mnchen: Hanser; 2011.

[7]

w.-s. Lee, H.-C Shen. Comparisons of deformation and fracture behaviour of PC/ABS blend and
ABS copolymer under dynamic shear loading. Maney for the Institute of Materials, Minerals and
Nining 2004.

ANSYS Conference &


30th CADFEM Users Meeting 2012
October 24-26 , 2012 Kongress Palais Kassel