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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

Find me on:

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?

material properties. A rigid body constraint is applied to it. This

allows the inertial properties to be calculated automatically.

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

https://info.simuleon.com/blog/how-to-use-cel-to-model-air-pressure 2/9

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

output, a pressure of zero will correspond to this ambient

pressure.

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.

https://info.simuleon.com/blog/how-to-use-cel-to-model-air-pressure 3/9

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

of the material.

All parts are instanced into the assembly in their appropriate

position.

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

https://info.simuleon.com/blog/how-to-use-cel-to-model-air-pressure 4/9

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

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.

https://info.simuleon.com/blog/how-to-use-cel-to-model-air-pressure 5/9

11/02/2018 How to use Abaqus CEL to model air 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.

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.

https://info.simuleon.com/blog/how-to-use-cel-to-model-air-pressure 6/9

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

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