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11/02/2018 How to use Abaqus CEL to model air pressure?

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How to use Abaqus CEL to
model air pressure?
Posted by Christine Obbink-Huizer on Jan 10, 2017 9:32:10 AM

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In most simulations, air and the pressure it exerts is not taken


into account. There are situations thinkable, however, in which
air plays an important mechanical role. An air gun is an example
of this: compressed air exerts a force on a projectile, causing it
to be propelled. In this blog, I will show how to model air using
CEL, using a chamber in which air is compressed with a plug
resting on it as an example.

Geometry
For this simulation, 4 parts are created: a part for the air, a part
for the chamber that contains the air, a part for the plunger that
will compress the air and a part for the plug. For simplicity, a thin
slice instead of a full 3D model is used.

The chamber and plunger are modelled with discrete rigid parts.
They are sketched and extruded. The geometry of chamber is
shown in the image. The plunger is simply modeled as a plate
that precisely fits into the chamber.

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11/02/2018 How to use Abaqus CEL to model air pressure?

The plug is modelled as an extruded body, with aluminum


material properties. A rigid body constraint is applied to it. This
allows the inertial properties to be calculated automatically.

An Eulerian part is used to model the air. It is clearly bigger than


the chamber on all sides, especially on the top to show the
popping off of the plug.

Material
The air is modelled with an equation of state of type ‘ideal gas’.
The specific gas constant (287.058e6 mJ/(tonne K)) and

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11/02/2018 How to use Abaqus CEL to model air pressure?

ambient pressure (0.101325 MPa) must be specified. In the


output, a pressure of zero will correspond to this ambient
pressure.

The density of the air (1.225 e-12 tonne/mm^3) and specific


heat (Cv = 7.18 e8 mJ/(tonne K)) are also specified. While this
defines the material properties, it does not define the initial state
of the material. To specify the initial state either the initial
pressure stress or the initial temperature must be defined. Along
with the density (as provided in the material properties) this
defines the initial state. Alternatively, both initial pressure and
initial temperature can be defined. In this case, the user-defined
density is replaced by a density that is calculated based on the
specified pressure and temperature. In the current example, an
initial pressure of 0 (corresponding to the ambient pressure) will
be prescribed throughout the model, as explained in the section
on specifying initial gas pressure.

Section
An Eulerian section is created for the Eulerian part and assigned
to it. This does not create air material yet; by assigning the
section only the possibility of having Eulerian material in the
specified region is defined.

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11/02/2018 How to use Abaqus CEL to model air pressure?

A material assignment will be used later on to define the location


of the material.

Assembly, steps & output


All parts are instanced into the assembly in their appropriate
position.

An explicit step lasting 1.5 ms is created. For the output, it is


important to request volume-averaged values for the Eulerian
part. In this case the volume-averaged stress components and
invariants (SVAVG) are requested, besides displacements.

Material assignment
For the material assignment, two things are done. First, a
discrete field is created to define where the material should be

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11/02/2018 How to use Abaqus CEL to model air pressure?

located, and then the material assignment itself is defined.

The discrete field can easily be made using the Volume Fraction
Tool, available in the Load and Interaction modules, via
Toolsàdiscrete fieldàvolume fraction tool. A meshed Eulerian
instance must first be specified (in this case the ‘air’ part) and
then a reference instance (in this case the plug). It is then
possible to specify whether the material should be inside or
outside the reference instance. In this case, the material is
specified to be outside the reference instance. By selecting ok,
Abaqus calculates a discrete field with volume fractions for the
Eulerian instance. In this case, the air is then everywhere, both
inside and outside the chamber, except for the region where the
plug is located. If the edges of the reference instance pass
through elements of the Eulerian instance, these elements will
be partially filled.

The discrete field created this way can be used in the material
assignment definition. A predefined field of type material
assignment must be created, selecting the air part as the
Eulerian part instance. For the definition ‘Discrete fields’ is
chosen, and the previously created discrete field is selected.

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11/02/2018 How to use Abaqus CEL to model air pressure?

Specifying gas initial pressure


The initial gas pressure, required to specify the initial state of the
gas, is specified by creating a predefined field in the initial step
of category mechanical and type stress. A value of 0 for each
stress component, so initially the gas pressure equals the
ambient pressure.

Loads, boundary conditions &


contact
Displacement is prescribed to the plunger using a smooth step
amplitude, so the plunger will gradually increase speed to
compress the air. The chamber is fixed completely.
Displacement and rotation of the plug is restricted, so it can only
move in the xy-plane. No outflow of air in z-direction is allowed
on the top and bottom planes of the simulated slice using a
velocity boundary condition. A gravity loading is applied to the
model. General contact with default interaction properties is
used.

Results
In the simulation, the pressure inside the chamber increases as
the plunger moves forward causing the plug to pop off as can be
seen in the video below.

Abaqus CEL air pressure

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11/02/2018 How to use Abaqus CEL to model air pressure?

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