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Static Structural Analysis

Introduction

A static structural analysis determines the displacements, stresses, strains, and forces in
structures or components caused by loads that do not induce significant inertia and
damping effects. Steady loading and response conditions are assumed; that is, the
loads and the structure's response are assumed to vary slowly with respect to time. A
static structural load can be performed using the ANSYS, Samcef, or ABAQUS solver.
The types of loading that can be applied in a static analysis include:

• Externally applied forces and pressures


• Steady-state inertial forces (such as gravity or rotational velocity)
• Imposed (nonzero) displacements
• Temperatures (for thermal strain)

Point to Remember

A static structural analysis can be either linear or nonlinear. All types of nonlinearities
are allowed - large deformations, plasticity, stress stiffening, contact (gap) elements,
hyperelasticity and so on. This chapter focuses on linear static analyses, with brief
references to nonlinearities. Details of how to handle nonlinearities are described
in Nonlinear Controls.

Note that available nonlinearities can differ from one solver to another.

Preparing the Analysis

Create Analysis System

Basic general information about this topic

... for this analysis type:

From the Toolbox, drag a Static Structural, Static Structural (Samcef), or Static
Structural (ABAQUS) template to the Project Schematic.

Define Engineering Data

Basic general information about this topic

... for this analysis type:


Material properties can be linear or nonlinear, isotropic or orthotropic, and constant or
temperature-dependent. You must define stiffness in some form (for example, Young's
modulus, hyperelastic coefficients, and so on). For inertial loads (such as Standard
Earth Gravity), you must define the data required for mass calculations, such as
density.

Attach Geometry

Basic general information about this topic

... for this analysis type:

When 2D geometry is used, Generalized Plane Strain is not supported for the Samcef or
ABAQUS solver.

Define Part Behavior

Basic general information about this topic

... for this analysis type:

You can define a Point Mass for this analysis type.

A “rigid” part is essentially a point mass connected to the rest of the structure via joints.
Hence in a static structural analysis the only applicable loads on a rigid part are
acceleration and rotational velocity loads. You can also apply loads to a rigid part via
joint loads. The output from a rigid part is the overall motion of the part plus any force
transferred via that part to the rest of the structure. Rigid behavior cannot be used with
the Samcef or ABAQUS solver.

If your model includes nonlinearities such as large deflection or hyperelasticity, the


solution time can be significant due to the iterative solution procedure. Hence you may
want to simplify your model if possible. For example you may be able to represent your
3D structure as a 2-D plane stress, plane strain, or axisymmetric model or you may be
able to reduce your model size through the use of symmetry or antisymmetry surfaces.
Similarly if you can omit nonlinear behavior in one or more parts of your assembly
without affecting results in critical regions it will be advantageous to do so.

Define Connections

Basic general information about this topic

... for this analysis type:


Contact, joints, springs, beams, mesh connections, and end releases are all valid in a
static structural analysis.

For the Samcef and ABAQUS solvers, only contacts, springs, and beams are supported.
Joints are not supported.

Apply Mesh Controls/Preview Mesh

Basic general information about this topic

... for this analysis type:

Provide an adequate mesh density on contact surfaces to allow contact stresses to be


distributed in a smooth fashion. Likewise, provide a mesh density adequate for
resolving stresses; areas where stresses or strains are of interest require a relatively
fine mesh compared to that needed for displacement or nonlinearity resolution. If you
want to include nonlinearities, the mesh should be able to capture the effects of the
nonlinearities. For example, plasticity requires a reasonable integration point density
(and therefore a fine element mesh) in areas with high plastic deformation gradients.

Establish Analysis Settings

Basic general information about this topic

... for this analysis type:

For simple linear static analyses you typically do not need to change these settings. For
more complex analyses the basic Analysis Settings include:

Large Deflection

Large Deflection is typically needed for slender structures. A rule of


thumb is that you can use large deflection if the transverse displacements
in a slender structure are more than 10% of the thickness.

Small deflection and small strain analyses assume that displacements are
small enough that the resulting stiffness changes are insignificant.
Setting Large Deflectionto On will take into account stiffness changes
resulting from changes in element shape and orientation due to large
deflection, large rotation, and large strain. Therefore the results will be
more accurate. However this effect requires an iterative solution. In
addition it may also need the load to be applied in small increments.
Therefore, the solution may take longer to solve.
You also need to turn on large deflection if you suspect instability
(buckling) in the system. Use of hyperelastic materials also requires large
deflection to be turned on.

Step Controls

Step Controls are used to i) control the time step size and other solution
controls and ii) create multiple steps when needed. Typically analyses that
include nonlinearities such as large deflection or plasticity require control
over time step sizes as outlined in the Automatic Time Stepping section.
Multiple steps are required for activation/deactivation of displacement
loads or pretension bolt loads. This group can be modified on a per step
basis.

Note: Time Stepping is available for any solver.


Output Controls

Output Controls allow you to specify the time points at which results
should be available for postprocessing. In a nonlinear analysis it may be
necessary to perform many solutions at intermediate load values.
However i) you may not be interested in all the intermediate results and
ii) writing all the results can make the results file size unwieldy. This group
can be modified on a per step basis except for Stress and Strain.

Nonlinear Controls

Nonlinear Controls allow you to modify convergence criteria and other


specialized solution controls. Typically you will not need to change the
default values for this control. This group can be modified on a per step
basis. If you are performing a nonlinear Static Structural analysis,
the Newton-Raphson Type property becomes available. This property
only affects nonlinear analyses. Your selections execute the
MAPDL NROPT command. The default option, Program Controlled,
allows the application to select the appropriate NROPT option or you can
make a manual selection and choose Full, Modified, or Unsymmetric.

See the Help section for the NROPT command in the Mechanical APDL
Command Reference for additional information about the operation of
the Newton-Raphson Type property.

Analysis Data M anagem ent

settings enable you to save specific solution files from the Static
Structural analysis for use in other analyses. You can set the Future
Analysis field to Pre-Stressed Analysis if you intend to use the static
structural results in a subsequent Harmonic Response, Modal,
or Eigenvalue Buckling (Eigenvalue Bucklingis applicable to Static
Structural systems only) analysis. If you link a structural system to
another analysis type in advance, the Future Analysis field defaults
to Pre-Stressed Analysis. A typical example is the large tensile stress
induced in a turbine blade under centrifugal load. This causes significant
stiffening of the blade resulting in much higher, realistic natural
frequencies in a modal analysis. More details are available in the
section Define Initial Conditions.

Note: Scratch Solver Files, Save ANSYS db, Solver Units,


and Solver Unit System are applicable to Static
Structural systems only.

Define Initial Conditions

Basic general information about this topic

... for this analysis type:

Initial condition is not applicable for Static Structural analyses.

Apply Loads and Supports

Basic general information about this topic

... for this analysis type:

For a static structural analysis applicable loads are all inertial, structural, imported, and
interaction loads, and applicable supports are all structural supports.

For the Samcef and ABAQUS solvers, the following loads and supports are not available:
Hydrostatic Pressure, Bearing Load, Bolt Pretension, Joint Load, Fluid Solid Interface,
Motion Loads, Compression Only Support, Elastic Support.

Loads and supports vary as a function of time even in a static analysis as explained in
the Role of Time in Tracking. In a static analysis, the load's magnitude could be a
constant value or could vary with time as defined in a table or via a function. Details of
how to apply a tabular or function load are described in Defining Boundary Condition
Magnitude. In addition, see the Apply Loads and Supports section for more information
about time stepping and ramped loads.
Note: A static analysis can be followed by a “pre-stressed” analysis such as modal or
linear (eigenvalue) buckling analysis. In this subsequent analysis the effect of stress on
stiffness of the structure (stress-stiffness effect) is taken into account. If the static
analysis has a pressure or force load applied on faces (3D) or edges (2D) this could
result in an additional stiffness contribution called “pressure load stiffness” effect. This
effect plays a significant role in linear (eigenvalue) buckling analyses. This additional
effect is computed during the Eigenvalue Buckling analysis using the pressure or force
value calculated at the time in the static analysis from which the perturbation occurs.
See the Applying Pre-Stress Effects section for more information on this topic.

When using the Samcef or ABAQUS solver, Direct FE boundary conditions are not
available.

Solve

Basic general information about this topic

... for this analysis type:

When performing a nonlinear analysis you may encounter convergence difficulties due
to a number of reasons. Some examples may be initially open contact surfaces causing
rigid body motion, large load increments causing non-convergence, material
instabilities, or large deformations causing mesh distortion that result in element shape
errors. To identify possible problem areas some tools are available under Solution
Information object Details view.

Solution Output continuously updates any listing output from the solver and provides
valuable information on the behavior of the structure during the analysis. Any
convergence data output in this printout can be graphically displayed as explained in
the Solution Information section.

You can display contour plots of Newton-Raphson Residuals in a nonlinear static


analysis. Such a capability can be useful when you experience convergence difficulties
in the middle of a step, where the model has a large number of contact surfaces and
other nonlinearities. When the solution diverges identifying regions of high Newton-
Raphson residual forces can provide insight into possible problems.

Result Tracker (applicable to Static Structural systems only) is another useful tool
that enables you to monitor displacement and energy results as the solution progresses.
This is especially useful in case of structures that possibly go through convergence
difficulties due to buckling instability. Result Tracker is not available to the Samcef or
ABAQUS solver.

Review Results
Basic general information about this topic

... for this analysis type:

All structural result types except frequencies are available as a result of a static
structural analysis. You can use a Solution Information object to track, monitor, or
diagnose problems that arise during a solution.

Once a solution is available you can contour the results or animate the results to review
the response of the structure.

As a result of a nonlinear static analysis you may have a solution at several time points.
You can use probes to display the variation of a result item as the load increases. An
example might be large deformation analyses that result in buckling of the structure. In
these cases it is also of interest to plot one result quantity (for example, displacement
at a vertex) against another results item (for example, applied load). You can use
the Charts feature to develop such charts.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Nonlinear Controls for Steady-State, Static, and Transient Analyses

This topic examines the Nonlinear Controls as they apply to Steady-State, Static, and
Transient Structural Analyses, which include Electric, Magnetostatic, Static Structural,
Transient Structural, Steady-State Thermal, and Thermal-Electric analyses.

New ton-R aphson Option

For nonlinear Static Structural and Full Transient Structural analysis types,
the Newton-Raphson Option property is available. This property allows you to
specify how often the stiffness matrix is updated during the solution process. Newton-
Raphson Option property options include:

• Program Controlled (default setting)


• Full
• Modified
• Unsymmetric

The Program Controlled option allows the program to select the Newton-Raphson
Option setting based on the nonlinearities present in your model. For more information
about the additional options, see the Newton-Raphson Option section in the Mechanical
APDL Structural Analysis Guide. If you experience convergence difficulties, switching to
an Unsymmetricsolver may aid in Convergence.
Convergence Criterion

When solving nonlinear steady-state, static, or transient analyses, an iterative


procedure (equilibrium iterations) is carried out at each substep. Successful solution is
indicated when the out-of-balance loads are less than the specified convergence
criteria. Criteria appropriate for the analysis type and physics are displayed in this
grouping. Convergence controls are “step aware”. This means that the setting can be
different for each step.

The following convergence criteria properties are available:

• Electric analysis: Voltage Convergence and Current Convergence.


• Magnetostatic analysis: CSG Convergence and AMP Convergence.
• Static Structural analysis and Transient Structural analysis: Force
Convergence, Moment Convergence, Displacement Convergence,
and Rotation Convergence.
• Steady-State Thermal analysis: Heat Convergence and Temperature
Convergence.
• Thermal-Electric analysis: Heat Convergence, Temperature
Convergence, Voltage Convergence, and Current Convergence.

The following convergence controls are available for each of these properties:

• Program Controlled (default setting): The application sets the


convergence criteria.
• On: You specify that a convergence criterion is activated. Once activated,
additional properties become available and include:
o Value: This is the reference value that the solver uses to
establish convergence. The recommended and program
controlled setting, Calculated by solver, automatically
calculates the value based on external forces, including reactions,
or you can input a constant value.

When Temperature Convergence is set to On, the Value field


provides a drop-down menu with the options Calculated by
solver or User Input. Selecting User Input displays an Input
Value field you use to enter a value.

When any other convergence property is set to On, selecting


the Calculated by solver field allows you to manually enter a
value.

o When any other convergence is set to On, simply clicking on


the Calculated by solver field allows you to add a value that
replaces the Calculated by solver display.
o Tolerance times Value determines the convergence criterion
o Minimum Reference: This is useful for analyses where the
external forces tend to zero. This can happen, for example, with
free thermal expansion where rigid body motion is prevented. In
these cases the larger of Value or Minimum Reference will be
used as the reference value.

Note: If you do not want any convergence options to be turned on, then you may try
setting the solution controls to off, using a Commands Objects object.

Line Search

Line search can be useful for enhancing convergence, but it can be expensive
(especially with plasticity). You might consider setting Line Search on in the following
cases:

• When your structure is force-loaded (as opposed to displacement-


controlled).
• If you are analyzing a "flimsy" structure which exhibits increasing stiffness
(such as a fishing pole).
• If you notice (from the program output messages) oscillatory convergence
patterns.

Note: The Line Search control is “step aware” and can be different for each step.

Stabilization

Convergence difficulty due to an unstable problem is usually the result of a large


displacement for small load increments. Nonlinear stabilization technique can help
achieve convergence. Nonlinear stabilization can be thought of as adding artificial
dampers to all of the nodes in the system. Any degree of freedom that tends to be
unstable has a large displacement causing a large damping/stabilization force. This
force reduces displacements at the degree of freedom so stabilization can be achieved.

There are three Keys for controlling nonlinear stabilization:

• Off - Deactivate stabilization (default setting).


• Constant - Activate stabilization. The energy dissipation ratio or damping
factor remains constant during the load step.
• Reduce - Activate stabilization. The energy dissipation ratio or damping
factor is reduced linearly to zero at the end of the load step from the
specified or calculated value.

There are two options for the Method property for stabilization control:
• Energy - Use the energy dissipation ratio as the control (default setting).
• Damping - Use the damping factor as the control.

When Energy is specified, an Energy Dissipation Ratio needs to be entered. The


energy dissipation ratio is the ratio of work done by stabilization forces to element
potential energy. This value is usually a number between 0 and 1. The default value is
1.0e-4.

When Damping is specified, a Damping Factor value needs to be entered. The


damping factor is the value that the ANSYS solver uses to calculate stabilization forces
for all subsequent substeps. This value is greater than 0.

Note: The Damping Factor value is dependent on the active unit system and may
influence the results if unit systems are changed. You may wish to use an initial trial
value from a previous run for this entry (such as a run with the Energy Dissipation Ratio
as input). See the Controlling the Stabilization Force section of the Mechanical APDL
Structural Analysis Guide for additional information.

There are three options for Activation For First Substep control:

• No - Stabilization is not activated for the first substep even when it does not
converge after the minimal allowed time increment is reached (default
setting).
• On Nonconvergence - Stabilization is activated for the first substep if it
still does not converge after the minimal allowed time increment is reached.
Use this option for the first load step only.
• Yes - Stabilization is activated for the first substep. Use this option if
stabilization was active for the previous load step Key = Constant.

For Stabilization Force Limit, a number between 0 and 1 should be specified. The
default value is 0.2. To omit a stabilization force check, set this value to 0.

Refer to Unstable Structures in the Mechanical APDL Structural Analysis Guide for
assistance with using the stabilization options listed above.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Define Engineering Data

A part’s response is determined by the material properties assigned to the part.

• Depending on the application, material properties can be linear or nonlinear,


as well as temperature-dependent.
• Linear material properties can be constant or temperature-dependent, and
isotropic or orthotropic.
• Nonlinear material properties are usually tabular data, such as plasticity data
(stress-strain curves for different hardening laws), hyperelastic material
data.
• To define temperature-dependent material properties, you must input data
to define a property-versus-temperature graph.
• Although you can define material properties separately for each analysis, you
have the option of adding your materials to a material library by using
the Engineering Data tab. This enables quick access to and re-use of
material data in multiple analyses.
• For all orthotropic material properties, by default, the Global Coordinate
System is used when you apply properties to a part in the Mechanical
application. If desired, you can also apply a local coordinate system to the
part.

To manage materials, right-click on the Engineering Data cell in the analysis system
schematic and choose Edit.

See Basics of Engineering Data for more information.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Global Coordinate System

Represents the default coordinate system. The origin is defined as 0,0,0 in the model
coordinate system. This location serves as the reference location for any
local Coordinate Systemobjects inserted under the Global Coordinate
System object.
Tree Dependencies:

• Valid Parent Tree


Object: Coordinate Systems
• Valid Child Tree
Objects: Comment, Figure, Im
age

Insertion Options: Automatically inserted in


the tree.

Additional Related Information:

• Coordinate Systems
• Creating Coordinate Systems

The following right mouse button context menu options are available for this object.

• Create Section Plane


• Create Construction Surface

Object Properties
The Details view properties for this object include the following.

The following are all read-only status indications of the global coordinate system:

Category Properties
Type
Definition Mechanical APDL System Number - assigns the coordinate system
reference number (the first argument of the Mechanical APDL LOCAL
command).

Origin X
Origin Origin Y
Origin Z

X Axis Data
Directional
Y Axis Data
Vectors
Z Axis Data
Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Coordinate System

Represents a local coordinate system that you can add under a Coordinate
Systems object.

Tree Dependencies:

• Valid Parent Tree


Object: Coordinate Systems
• Valid Child Tree
Objects: Comment, Figure, Ima
ge

Insertion Options: Use any of the following


methods after highlighting Coordinate
Systems object, or Global Coordinate
System object, or another Coordinate
System object:

• Choose Create Coordinate


System button on Coordinate
Systemscontext toolbar.
• Right-click the mouse button on
the Coordinate Systems object,
or the Global Coordinate
System object, or
another Coordinate
System object, or in
the Geometry window and then
select Insert> Coordinate
System.

Additional Related Information:

• Setting Up Coordinate Systems


• Creating Coordinate Systems

The following right mouse button context menu options are available for this object.

• Create Section Plane


• Create Construction Surface
Object Properties

The Details view properties for this object include the following.

Category Properties
Type

Cartesian or Cylindrical.

Coordinate System

Program Controlled or Manual.

These options assign the coordinate system reference number


automatically or manually. If you specify Manual,
Definition the Coordinate System ID property displays. Enter a value
greater than or equal to 12. Coordinate systems must have an
unique ID.

Suppressed

Yes or No (default). Suppressing a coordinate system removes


the object from further treatment, and writes no data to the
input deck, and causes any objects scoped to the coordinate
system to become underdefined (therefore invalidating
solutions).
Define By

Geometry Selection, Named Selection or Global


Coordinates.

• Geometry Selection - Default setting, indicating


that the coordinate system is applied to a
geometry or geometries, which are chosen using a
graphical selection tools.
Origin
When the Define By is set to Geometry
Selection, the Geometry property displays. This
property displays the type of geometry (Body,
Face, etc.) and the number of geometric entities
(for example: 1 Body, 2 Edges) to which the
boundary has been applied using the selection
tools.
• Named Selection: when this property is selected,
the geometry selection is defined by a Named
Selection.

When the Define By is set to Named Selection,


another Named Selection property displays. This
field provides a drop-down list of available user-
defined Named Selections.

• Global Coordinates

This selection allows you to specify the


coordinate system origin using
the Location property in tandem with the Hit
Point Coordinate feature on the Graphics
Toolbar or by entering Origin X, Origin Y,
and Origin Zcoordinate values directly to define
the origin of the coordinate system.

Origin X

X location on the coordinate axis from the (0, 0, 0) location.

Origin Y

Y location on the coordinate axis from the (0, 0, 0) location.

Origin Z

Z location on the coordinate axis from the (0, 0, 0) location.

Location

This property is visible when the Define By is set to Global


Coordinates. It enables you to change the location of the
coordinate system based on a geometry selection (vertex,
edge, or face).
Axis: X, Y, or Z

Define the Principal Axis vector with respect to one of these


Principal Axis
planes.

Define By
Property options include:

Geometry Selection
Fixed Vector
Global X Axis
Global Y Axis
Global Z Axis
Hit Point Normal
Axis

Based on the Principal Axis, define the Orientation About


Principal Axis vector with respect to the X, Y, or Z plane.

Define By

Orientation Property options include:


About Principal
Axis Default
Geometry Selection
Global X
Global Y
Global Z
Fixed Vector
X Axis Data

A read-only mathematical representation, in matrix form,


showing of the X vector orientation in space.

Y Axis Data
Directional
Vectors A read-only mathematical representation, in matrix form,
showing of the Y vector orientation in space.

Z Axis Data

A read-only mathematical representation, in matrix form,


showing of the Z vector orientation in space.
Transformations Base Configuration
Read-only property - Absolute.

Transformation Features

The following properties can be added to the active coordinate


system object from the Coordinate System Context Toolbar.
They enable you to change the location and rotation of the
original definition of the coordinate system. These properties
are order-dependent and that order may be modified using
the Move Up and Move Down features of the Coordinate
System Context Toolbar.

Offset X
Offset Y
Offset Z
Rotate X
Rotate Y
Rotate Z
Flip X
Flip Y
Flip Z
Transformation Configuration

Read-only property that displays the transformed coordinate


point locations from the origin.

Model

Defines the geometry for the particular branch of the tree. The sub-levels provide
additional information about the Model object, including loads, supports and results,
but do not replace the geometry. Graphic settings applied to the Model object apply to
lower level objects in the tree. The Model object groups geometry, material
assignments, connections, and mesh settings.
The Geometry, Connections and Mesh objects are not created until geometry is
successfully attached.
Tree Dependencies:

• Valid Parent Tree Object: Project


• Valid Child Tree
Objects: Chart, Comment, Connections,
Coordinate
Systems, environments, Figure, Geometry,
Image, Mesh, Mesh Edit, Named
Selection, Solution
Combination, Symmetry, Virtual
Topology

Insertion Options: Appears by default for attached


geometry.

Additional Related Information:

• Attaching Geometry
• Model Context Toolbar

The following right mouse button context menu options are available for this object.

• Solve
• Disable Filter/Auto Filter
• Clear Generated Data

Object Properties
The Details view properties for this object include the following.

Category Fields
Model Assembly Alignment
Filter Options Control
Ambient Light

Diffuse Light
Lighting
Specular Light

Light Color

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.


Chart

Represents a chart that you can create for loads and/or results against time, or result
quantities against a load or another result quantity.

Tree Dependencies:

• Valid Parent Tree


Object: Model
• Valid Child Tree
Objects: Comment, Image

Insertion Method: Click the Chart and


Table button on the standard toolbar.

Additional Related Information:

• Chart and Table


• Standard Toolbar

Object Properties
For more information on this object's properties, see the Chart and Table section.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Chart and Table

Selecting the Chart and Table icon button allows you to create charts of loads and/or
results against time. In addition you can also chart result quantities against a load or
another results quantity. You can also chart loads or results from across different
analyses; for example, to compare the displacement response from two different
transient runs with different damping characteristics.

Use the Chart and Table feature to:

• Chart load(s) and result(s) vs time.


• Chart multiple harmonic response plots vs. frequency.
• Change x-axis to plot a result against a load or another result.
• Compare results across analyses.
• Visualize and compress data into an easy-to-understand report.

Select Loads and Results from Tree


Press the Ctrl or Shift key to select multiple objects of interest. In doing so, note that:

• You can choose objects in the tree that belong to different analyses of a
model. However all objects must belong to the same Model.
• Only loads, probes and results that can be contoured are added to the chart.
• For result items the variation of minimum and maximum values is plotted as
a function of time

Select Chart icon from Standard Toolbar


This adds a new chart object to the tree structure. You can add as many charts as
needed.

Determining Data Points


You can choose a mixture of loads and results that may even span different analyses.
In these cases there can be a mismatch between the time points at which the loads are
defined and the time points at which results are available. For example in case of a
nonlinear transient stress analysis under constant load, the load has a single value but
there can be many time points where results are available. The below interpolation
scheme is used to create charts when such mismatch occurs.

• Loads are interpolated or extrapolated to the time points at which result


values or other load values.
• Results are not interpolated or extrapolated

Details View Content


The main categories are:

• Definition:
o Outline Selection: Lists how many objects are used in the
chart. Clicking on the number of objects highlights the objects in
the tree allowing you to modify the selection if needed.
• Chart Controls:
o X-Axis: By default the data of the selected objects are plotted
against time. You may choose a different load or result quantity
for the x-axis. For example you can plot a Force – Deflection
curve by choosing the deflection to be the X-axis.
o Plot Style: display as Lines, Points, or Both (default).
o Scale:
o Linear (default) - plot as linear graph.
o Semi-Log (X) - X-Axis is plotted logarithmically. If
negative axis values or a zero value exists, this option
is not supported and the graph plots linearly.
o Semi-Log (Y) - Y-Axis is plotted logarithmically. If
negative axis values or a zero value exists, this option
is not supported and the graph plots linearly.
o Log-Log - X-Axis and Y-Axis are plotted
logarithmically. If negative axis values or a zero value
exists, this option is not supported and the graph plots
linearly.
o Gridlines: Show gridlines for plotting 2D X-Y curves.
o Both - The gridlines for both the X-axis and Y-axis are
shown.
o X Axis - The gridline for the X-axis is shown.
o Y Axis - The gridline for the Y-axis is shown.
o None - No gridlines are shown.
• Axis Labels:
o X-Axis and Y-Axis: You can enter appropriate labels for the X
and Y axes. In doing so, note that:
o The X and Y axes always show the units of the item(s)
being charted. These units are appended to any label
that you enter.
o When multiple items are plotted on the Y-axis the
units are determined as follows: If all the items plotted
on the Y-axis have the same units then the unit is
displayed. For example, if all items are of type
deformation and the active unit system is British Inch
unit system then the unit is displayed as Inch. If the
items plotted on the Y-axis are of different types for
example, stress and strain then Normalized is
displayed for unit.
o When determining pairs of points to plot on the chart
when X-axis is not time be aware that time is still used
to determine the pairs of points to plot when an item
other than time is used for the x-axis. Both the X-axis
quantity and the Y-axis quantity must share a common
time point to be considered a valid pair.
• Report:
o Content: By default both the chart as well as the data listing of
the objects gets added to reports. Instead you may choose to
only add the chart or only add the data listing or exclude the
chart from report. Note that only tabular data or chart data with
two or more points is displayed in the report.
o Caption: You may enter a caption for the chart. The caption will
be included in the report.
• Input Quantities:
o Input Quantities: Any valid load object added to the chart gets
displayed under Input Quantities. If a load has multiple
components then each component will get a line in this details
group.
o Output Quantities: Any valid result object added to the chart
gets displayed under Output Quantities. If a result has multiple
components then each component will get a line in this details
group.

In using Input and Output Quantities, note that:

o Naming and legend: Each object added to a chart is assigned a


name and a legend label. The name is simply the object name in
the tree if there are no components associated with the object.
An example would be a Y displacement probe. For objects that
have multiple components the component direction or name will
get added to the object name. For example adding ‘Equivalent
Stress’ result item to a chart will result in two items getting added
– ‘Equivalent Stress (min)’ and ‘Equivalent Stress (max)’.
o Each name is preceded by a one letter label such as [A] or [B].
This label is also displayed on the corresponding curve in the
chart and is used to associate the object name with the curve.
o The default setting is to display the item in the chart and data
grid. You can exclude an item by setting this field to Omit.
Omitting an item removes the corresponding data from both data
grid and chart. Be aware that an item chosen for X-axis cannot be
omitted and this field will be reset to Display for that item.

Chart Display
• Legend: You can use Show Legend /Hide Legend option via the right
mouse button context menu to display or hide legends in the charts, the
following limitations withstanding.
o A maximum of 10 items will get displayed due to space
limitations.
o If more than 10 items are displayed in a chart then the curves will
show all the prefixes even though the legend is limited to 10
items. You can refer to the details of the chart for the description
of the items that corresponds to a prefix.
• Normalization: Scaling of Y-axis is determined as follows.
o Single item on Y-axis : Scaling is based on the minimum and
maximum values of the item plotted
o Multiple items on Y-axis that have same unit type: Scaling
is based on the minimum and maximum values of the items
plotted. For example, plot applied pressure load and a stress
result against time.
o Multiple items on Y-axis that have different unit types: In
this case each curve is normalized to lie between 0 and 1, that is
the minimum value is treated as zero and the maximum value as
one. The label of the Y-axis reflects this by appending Normalized
to any user specified label. Note that the data grid displays the
actual values always.

Datagrid Display
It is read-only.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Environment (Group)

An environment object holds all analysis related objects in a given Model object. The
default name of the environment object is the same as the name of the analysis type.
All result objects of an analysis are grouped under the Solution object.

Note: The application creates reference files that contain analysis information that is
read back into the application during solution processing. Certain textual characters can
create issues during this reading process. Avoid the use of the following characters
when renaming your environment:
• Quote character (“)
• Ampersand (&)
• Apostrophe (‘)
• Greater than and less than characters (< >)
Tree Dependencies:

• Valid Parent Tree Object: Model


• Valid Child Tree Objects: Analysis
Settings, Comment, Figure, Image,
Initial Condition (for some analysis
types), all load and support
objects, Solution

Insertion Options: Appears by default based on


the analysis type chosen in the Project
Schematic.

Additional Related Information:

• Analysis Types
• Environment Context Toolbar
• Types of Loads
• Types of Supports

The following right mouse button context menu options are available for this object.

• Solve
• Open Solver Files Directory - available for Windows OS only.
• Clear Generated Data

Object Properties
The Details view properties for this object include the following.

Category Properties

Definition - Physics Type


read-only Analysis Type
indications.
Solver Target

Environment Temperature - the temperature of the body unless this


temperature is specified by a particular load such as a thermal condition
or an imported temperature. This will also be the material reference
Options temperature unless overridden by the Body (see Reference
Temperature under Define Part Behavior for more
information). Environment Temperature is not valid for any type of
thermal analysis.
Generate Input Only

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Establish Analysis Settings

Each analysis type includes a group of analysis settings that allow you to define various
solution options customized to the specific analysis type, such as large deflection for a
stress analysis. Refer to the specific analysis types section for the customized options
presented under “Preparing the Analysis”. Default values are included for all settings.
You can accept these default values or change them as applicable.

Some procedures below include animated presentations. Please view online if you are
reading the PDF version of the help. Interface names and other components shown in
the demos may differ from those in the released product.

To verify/change analysis settings in the Mechanical application:

1. Highlight the Analysis Settings object in the tree. This object was inserted
automatically when you established a new analysis in the Create Analysis
System overall step.
2. Verify or change settings in the Details view of the Analysis
Settings object. These settings include default values that are specific to
the analysis type. You can accept or change these defaults. If your analysis
involves the use of steps, refer to the procedures presented below.

To create multiple steps (applies to structural static, transient structural, rigid


dynamics, steady-state thermal, transient thermal, magnetostatic, and electric
analyses):

You can create multiple steps using any one of the following methods:

1. Highlight the Analysis Settings object in the tree. Modify the Number of
Steps field in the Details view. Each additional Step has a default Step End
Time that is one second more than the previous step. These step end times
can be modified as needed in the Details view. You can also add more steps
simply by adding additional step End Timevalues in the Tabular
Data window.

The following demonstration illustrates adding steps by modifying


the Number of Steps field in the Details view.
Or

2. Highlight the Analysis Settings object in the tree. Begin adding each step's
end time values for the various steps to the Tabular Data window. You can
enter the data in any order but the step end time points will be sorted into
ascending order. The time span between the consecutive step end times will
form a step. You can also select a row(s) corresponding to a step end time,
click the right mouse button and choose Delete Rows from the context
menu to delete the corresponding steps.

The following demonstration illustrates adding steps directly in the Tabular


Data window.

Or

3. Highlight the Analysis Settings object in the tree. Choose a time point in
the Graph window. This will make the corresponding step active. Click the
right mouse button and choose Insert Step from the context menu to split
the existing step into two steps, or choose Delete Step to delete the step.
The following demonstration illustrates inserting a step in
the Graph window, changing the End Time in the Tabular Data window,
deleting a step in the Graph window, and deleting a step in the Tabular
Data window.

Specifying Analysis Settings for Multiple Steps

1. Create multiple steps following the procedure ”To create multiple steps”
above.
2. Most Step Controls, Nonlinear Controls, and Output Controls fields in
the Details view of Analysis Settings are “step aware”, that is, these
settings can be different for each step. Refer to the table in Analysis Settings
for Most Analysis Types to determine which specific controls are step aware
(designated as footnote 2 in the table). Activate a particular step by
selecting a time value in the Graph window or the Step bar displayed below
the chart in the Graph window. The Step Controls grouping in the Details
view indicates the active Step ID and corresponding Step End Time.

The following demonstration illustrates turning on the legend in


the Graph window, entering analysis settings for a step, and entering
different analysis settings for another step.
If you want to specify the same analysis setting(s) to several steps, you can
select all the steps of interest as follows and change the analysis settings
details.

• To change analysis settings for a subset of all of the steps:


o From the Tabular Data window:
o Highlight the Analysis Settings object.
o Highlight steps in the Tabular
Data window using either of the following
standard windowing techniques:
 Ctrl key to highlight individual
steps.
 Shift key to highlight a
continuous group of steps.
o Click the right mouse button in the window
and choose Select All Highlighted
Steps from the context menu.
o Specify the analysis settings as needed.
These settings will apply to all selected
steps.
o From the Graph window:
o Highlight the Analysis Settings object.
o Highlight steps in the Graph window using
either of the following standard windowing
techniques:
 Ctrl key to highlight individual
steps.
 Shift key to highlight a
continuous group of steps.
o Specify the analysis settings as needed.
These settings will apply to all selected
steps.
• To specify analysis settings for all the steps:
1. Click the right mouse button in either window and choose Select All Steps.
2. Specify the analysis settings as needed. These settings will apply to all selected
steps.

The following demonstration illustrates multiple step selection using the bar
in the Graph window, entering analysis settings for all selected steps,
selecting only highlighted steps in the Tabular Data window, and selecting
all steps.
This image cannot currently be displayed.

The Worksheet for the Analysis Settings object provides a single display
of pertinent settings in the Details view for all steps.

Details of various analysis settings are discussed in Configuring Analysis Settings.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Steps and Step Controls for Static and Transient Analyses

The following topics are covered in this section:

• Role of Time in Tracking


• Steps, Substeps, and Equilibrium Iterations
• Automatic Time Stepping
• Guidelines for Integration Step Size

Role of Time in Tracking

Time is used as a tracking parameter in all static and transient analyses, whether or not
the analysis is truly time-dependent. The advantage of this is that you can use one
consistent "counter" or "tracker" in all cases, eliminating the need for analysis-
dependent terminology. Moreover, time always increases monotonically, and most
things in nature happen over a period of time, however brief the period may be.

Obviously, in a transient analysis time represents actual, chronological time in seconds,


minutes, or hours. In a static analysis, however, time simply becomes a counter that
identifies steps and substeps. By default, the program automatically assigns time = 1.0
at the end of step 1, time = 2.0 at the end of step 2, and so on. Any substeps within a
step will be assigned the appropriate, linearly interpolated time value. By assigning your
own time values in such analyses, you can establish your own tracking parameter. For
example, if a load of 100 units is to be applied incrementally over one step, you can
specify time at the end of that step to be 100, so that the load and time values are
synchronous.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Steps, Substeps, and Equilibrium Iterations

What is a step?
A step corresponds to a set of loads for which you want to obtain a solution and review
results. In this way every static or transient dynamic analysis has at least one step.
However there are several scenarios where you may want to consider using multiple
steps within a single analysis, that is, multiple solutions and result sets within a single
analysis.

A static or transient analysis starts at time = 0 and proceeds until a step end time that
you specify. This time span can be further subdivided into multiple steps where each
step spans a different time range.

As mentioned in the Role of Time in Tracking section, each step spans a ‘time’ even in a
static analysis.
When do you need Steps?
Steps are required if you want to change the analysis settings for a specific time period.
For example in an impact analysis you may want to manually change the allowable
minimum and maximum time step sizes during impact. In this case you can introduce a
step that spans a time period shortly before and shortly after impact and change the
analysis settings for that step.

Steps are also useful generally to delineate different portions of an analysis. For
example, in a linear static structural analysis you can apply a wind load in the first step,
a gravity load in the second step, both loads and a different support condition in the
third step, and so on. As another example, a transient analysis of an engine might
include load conditions corresponding to gravity, idle speed, maximum power, back to
idle speed. The analysis may require repetition of these conditions over various time
spans. It is convenient to track these conditions as separate steps within the time
history.

In addition steps are also required for deleting loads or adding new loads such as
specified displacements or to set up a pretension bolt load sequence. Steps are also
useful in setting up initial conditions for a transient analysis.

How do you define steps?


See the procedure, ”Specifying Analysis Settings for Multiple Steps” located in
the Establish Analysis Settings section.

What are substeps and equilibrium iterations?


Solving an analysis with nonlinearities requires convergence of an iterative solution
procedure. Convergence of this solution procedure requires the load to be applied
gradually with solutions carried out at intermediate load values. These intermediate
solution points within a step are referred to as substeps. Essentially a substep is an
increment of load within a step at which a solution is carried out. The iterations carried
out at each substep to arrive at a converged solution are referred to as equilibrium
iterations.

Automatic Time Stepping

Auto time stepping, also known as time step optimization, aims to reduce the solution
time especially for nonlinear and/or transient dynamic problems by adjusting the
amount of load increment. If nonlinearities are present, automatic time stepping gives
the added advantage of incrementing the loads appropriately and retreating to the
previous converged solution (bisection) if convergence is not obtained. The amount of
load increment is based on several criteria including the response frequency of the
structure and the degree of nonlinearities in the analysis.

The load increment within a step is controlled by the auto time stepping procedure
within limits set by you. You have the option to specify the maximum, minimum and
initial load increments. The solution will start with the “initial” increment but then the
automatic procedure can vary further increments within the range prescribed by the
minimum and maximum values.

You can specify these limits on load increment by specifying the initial, minimum, and
maximum number of substeps that are allowed. Alternatively, since a step always has a
time span (start time and end time), you can also equivalently specify the initial,
minimum and maximum time step sizes.

Although it seems like a good idea to activate automatic time stepping for all analyses,
there are some cases where it may not be beneficial (and may even be harmful):

• Problems that have only localized dynamic behavior (for example, turbine
blade and hub assemblies), where the low-frequency energy content of part
of the system may dominate the high-frequency areas.
• Problems that are constantly excited (for example, seismic loading), where
the time step tends to change continually as different frequencies are
excited.
• Kinematics (rigid-body motion) problems, where the rigid-body contribution
to the response frequency term may dominate.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Guidelines for Integration Step Size

The accuracy of the transient dynamic solution depends on the integration time step:
the smaller the time step, the higher the accuracy. A time step that is too large
introduces an error that affects the response of the higher modes (and hence the
overall response). On the other hand too small a time step size wastes computer
resources.

An optimum time step size can depend on several factors:

1. Response frequency: The time step should be small enough to resolve the
motion (response) of the structure. Since the dynamic response of a
structure can be thought of as a combination of modes, the time step should
be able to resolve the highest mode that contributes to the response. The
solver calculates an aggregate response frequency at every time point. A
general rule of thumb it to use approximately twenty points per cycle at the
response frequency. That is, if f is the frequency (in cycles/time), the
integration time step (ITS) is given by:

ITS = 1/(20f)

Smaller ITS values will be required if accurate velocity or acceleration results


are needed.

The following figure shows the effect of ITS on the period elongation of a
single-DOF spring-mass system. Notice that 20 or more points per cycle
result in a period elongation of less than 1 percent.

2. Resolve the applied load-versus-time curve(s). The time step should be small
enough to “follow” the loading function. For example, stepped loads require
a small ITS at the time of the step change so that the step change can be
closely followed. ITS values as small as 1/180f may be needed to follow
stepped loads.

3. Resolve the contact frequency. In problems involving contact (impact), the


time step should be small enough to capture the momentum transfer
between the two contacting faces. Otherwise, an apparent energy loss will
occur and the impact will not be perfectly elastic. The integration time step
can be determined from the contact frequency (fc) as:

where k is the gap stiffness, m is the effective mass acting at the gap, and N
is the number of points per cycle. To minimize the energy loss, at least thirty
points per cycle of (N = 30) are needed. Larger values of N may be required
if velocity or acceleration results are needed. See the description of
the Predict for Impact option within the Time Step
Controls contact Advanced settings for more information.

You can use fewer than thirty points per cycle during impact if the contact
period and contact mass are much less than the overall transient time and
system mass, because the effect of any energy loss on the total response
would be small.

4. Resolve the nonlinearities. For most nonlinear problems, a time step that
satisfies the preceding guidelines is sufficient to resolve the nonlinearities.
There are a few exceptions, however: if the structure tends to stiffen under
the loading (for example, large deflection problems that change from
bending to membrane load-carrying behavior), the higher frequency modes
that are excited will have to be resolved.

After calculating the time step sizes using the above guidelines, you need to use the
minimum value for your analysis. However using this minimum time step size
throughout a transient analysis can be very inefficient. For example in an impact
problem you may need small time step sizes calculated as above only during and for a
short duration after the impact. At other parts of the time history you may be able to
get accurate results with larger time steps sizes. Use of the Automatic Time
Stepping procedure lets the solver decide when to increase or decrease the time step
during the solution.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Fixed Supports

This boundary condition prevents one or more:

• Flat or curved faces from moving or deforming


• Straight or curved edges from moving or deforming.
• Vertices from moving.

Analysis Types

A Fixed Support is available for the following analysis types:

• Explicit Dynamics
• Harmonic Response
• Modal
• Static Structural
• Transient Structural
Common Characteristics

This section describes the characteristics of the boundary condition, including the
application requirements, support limitations, and loading definitions and values.

Dimensional Types

• 3D Simulation: Supported. Fixes one or more faces, edges, or vertices.


• 2D Simulation: Supported. Fixes one or more edges or vertices.

Geometry Types: Geometry types supported for the Fixed Support boundary
condition include:

• Solid: Supported.
• Surface/Shell: Supported.
• Wire Body/Line Body/Beam: Supported.

Topology: The following topology selection options are supported for Fixed Support.

• Body: Supported for rigid bodies in an Explicit Analysis.


• Face: Supported.
• Edge: Supported. A fixed edge is not realistic and leads to singular stresses
(that is, stresses that approach infinity near the fixed edge). You should
disregard stress and elastic strain values in the vicinity of the fixed edge.
• Vertex: Supported.
o A fixed vertex fixes both translations and rotations on faces or
line bodies.
o A fixed vertex is not realistic and leads to singular stresses (that
is, stresses that approach infinity near the fixed vertex). You
should disregard stress and elastic strain values in the vicinity of
the fixed vertex.
o This boundary condition cannot be applied to a vertex scoped to
an end release.
• Nodes: Not Supported.

Note: If you are using a surface body model, see the Simply Supported boundary
condition section.

Scoping Types: The boundary condition does not require a scoping type because no
loading data is required.

Loading Data Definition: Fixed supports do not have loading data.


Boundary Condition Application

To apply a Fixed Support:

1. On the Environment context toolbar: click Supports>Fixed Support. Or,


right-click the Environment tree object or the Geometry window and
select Insert>Fixed Support.
2. Define the Scoping Method.

Details View Properties

The selections available in the Details view are described below.

Category Fields/Options/Description

Scoping Method: Options include:

• Geometry Selection: Default setting, indicating that the boundary


condition is applied to a geometry or geometries, which are chosen
using a graphical selection tools.
o Geometry: Visible when the Scoping Method is set
to Geometry Selection. Displays the type of geometry
Scope (Body, Face, etc.) and the number of geometric entities (for
example: 1 Body, 2 Edges) to which the boundary has been
applied using the selection tools.
• Named Selection: Indicates that the geometry selection is defined
by a Named Selection.
o Named Selection: Visible when the Scoping Method is set
to Named Selection. This field provides a drop-down list of
available user-defined Named Selections.

Type: Read-only field that describes the object - Fixed Support.


Definition
Suppressed: Include (No - default) or exclude (Yes) the boundary condition.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Force

Force is specified based on the following topologies:


• Face: Distributes a force vector across one or more flat or curved faces,
resulting in uniform traction across the face.
• Edge: Distributes a force vector along one or more straight or curved edges,
resulting in uniform line load along the edge.
• Vertex: Applies a force vector to one or more vertices.

Analysis Types

Force is available for the following analysis types:

• Explicit Dynamics
• Harmonic Response
• Static Structural
• Transient Structural

Common Characteristics

This section describes the characteristics of the boundary condition, including the
application requirements, support limitations, and loading definitions and values.

Dimensional Types

• 3D Simulation: Supported.
• 2D Simulation: Supported. Force loads are not supported for 2D
axisymmetric Explicit Dynamics analyses.

Geometry Types: Geometry types supported for the Force boundary condition
include:

• Solid: Supported.
• Surface/Shell: Supported.
• Wire Body/Line Body/Beam: Supported

Topology: The following topology selection options are supported for Force.

• Body: Not Supported.


• Face: Supported.
o The force is applied by converting it to a pressure, based on the
total area of all the selected faces.
o If a face enlarges due to a change in CAD parameters, the total
load magnitude applied to the face remains constant.
o If you try to apply a force to a multiple face selections that span
multiple parts, the face selections are ignored. The geometry
property for the load object displays 'No Selection' if the load was
just created, or it maintains its previous geometry selection if
there was one.
• Edge: Supported.
o If you select multiple edges when defining the force, the
magnitude of the force is distributed evenly across all selected
edges.
o If an edge enlarges due to a change in CAD parameters, the total
load magnitude applied to the edge remains constant.
o If you try to apply a force to a multiple edges that span multiple
parts, the edge selections are ignored. The geometry property for
the load object displays 'No Selection' if the load was just created,
or it maintains its previous geometry selection if there was one.
• Vertex: Supported.
o If you select multiple vertices when defining the force, the
magnitude of the force is distributed evenly across all selected
vertices.
o A force applied to a vertex is not realistic and leads to singular
stresses (that is, stresses that approach infinity near the loaded
vertex). You should disregard stress and elastic strain values in
the vicinity of the loaded vertex.
o If you try to apply a force to a multiple vertex selection that
spans multiple parts, the vertex selection is ignored. The
geometry property for the load object displays 'No Selection' if
the load was just created, or it maintains its previous geometry
selection if there was one.
• Nodes: Supported.

Loading Types: The boundary condition’s loading is defined using one of the following
options.

• Vector : Supported. While loads are associative with geometry changes,


load directions are not. This applies to any load that requires a vector input,
such as a force.

The vector load definition displays in the Annotation legend with the label
Components. The Magnitude and Direction entries, in any combination or
sequence, define these displayed values. These are the values sent to the
solver.

• Vector: Real - Imaginary: Supported for Harmonic Response analysis


only. Define direct loading without Phase Angle.
• Components: Supported.
• Components: Real - Imaginary: Supported for Harmonic Response
analysis only. Define direct loading without Phase Angle.

Loading Data Definition: Enter loading data using one of the following options.

• Constant: Supported.
• Tabular (Time Varying): Not supported for Harmonic Response Analysis.
• Tabular (Frequency Varying): Supported for Harmonic Response Analysis
only.

By default, at least two frequency entries are required when defining a


frequency dependent tabular load. The Force boundary condition in a
Harmonic Response (Full, linked MSUP, or standalone) can be defined in
such a way that it is fully frequency dependent. That is, the magnitude of
the load as well as the Phase Angle of the load can be dependent upon the
frequency definitions.

• Tabular (Spatially Varying): Not Supported.


• Function (Time Varying): Not supported for Explicit Dynamics Analysis and
Harmonic Response Analysis.
• Function (Spatially Varying): Not Supported.

Boundary Condition Application

To apply a Force:

1. On the Environment context toolbar: click Loads>Force. Or, right-click


the Environment tree object or the Geometry window and
select Insert>Force.
2. Define the Scoping Method.
3. Select the method used to define the force: Vector (default), Vector: Real
- Imaginary, Components, or Components: Real - Imaginary.
4. Define the Magnitude, Coordinate System directional loading,
and/or Direction of the load based on the above selections.
5. For Harmonic analyses, specify a Phase Angle as needed.

Details View Properties

The selections available in the Details view are described below.


Category Fields/Options/Description

Scoping Method, options include:

• Geometry Selection: Default setting, indicating that the boundary


condition is applied to a geometry or geometries, which are chosen
using a graphical selection tools.
o Geometry: Visible when the Scoping Method is set
to Geometry Selection. Displays the type of geometry
Scope (Body, Face, etc.) and the number of geometric entities (for
example: 1 Body, 2 Edges) to which the boundary has been
applied using the selection tools.
• Named Selection: Indicates that the geometry selection is defined
by a Named Selection.
o Named Selection: Visible when the Scoping Method is set
to Named Selection. This field provides a drop-down list of
available user-defined Named Selections.

Type: Read-only field that describes the object - Force.

Define By, options include:

• Vector: A magnitude and direction (based on selected geometry).


Requires the specification of the following inputs:
o Magnitude
o Direction
o Phase Angle (Harmonic Analysis only)
• Vector: Real - Imaginary (Harmonic Analysis only): Real and
imaginary magnitude and direction (based on selected geometry).
Requires the specification of the following inputs:
o Magnitude - Real
Definition o Magnitude - Img
o Direction
• Components: Option to define the loading type as Components (in
the world coordinate system or local coordinate system, if applied).
Requires the specification of at least one of the following inputs:
o Coordinate System: Drop-down list of available coordinate
systems. Global Coordinate System is the default.
o X Component: Defines magnitude in the X direction.
o Y Component: Defines magnitude in the Y direction.
o Z Component: Defines magnitude in the Z direction.
o X Phase Angle (Harmonic Analysis only)
o Y Phase Angle (Harmonic Analysis only)
o Z Phase Angle (Harmonic Analysis only)
Category Fields/Options/Description

Note: Selection of a Coordinate System rotated out of the global


Cartesian X-Y plane is not supported in a 2D analysis.

• Components: Real - Imaginary (Harmonic Analysis only): Option


to define the loading type as real and imaginary components (in the
world coordinate system or local coordinate system, if applied).
Requires the specification of at least one of the following inputs:
o Coordinate System: Drop-down list of available coordinate
systems. Global Coordinate System is the default.
o X Component - Real: Defines magnitude (Real) in the X
direction.
o X Component - Imaginary: Defines magnitude (Imaginary)
in the X direction.
o Y Component - Real: Defines magnitude (Real) in the Y
direction.
o Y Component - Imaginary: Defines magnitude (Imaginary)
in the Y direction.
o Z Component - Real: Defines magnitude (Real) in the Z
direction.
o Z Component - Imaginary: Defines (Imaginary) magnitude
in the Z direction.

Suppressed: Include (No - default) or exclude (Yes) the boundary condition.

MAPDL References and Notes

The following MAPDL commands, element types, and considerations are applicable for
this boundary condition.

• Force is applied using the SFE,,PRES command.


• Based on the selected topology, element types include:
o SURF154 - 3D structural analyses for face selection.
o SURF156 - 3D structural analyses for edge selection.
o SURF153 - 2D structural analyses for edge selection.
o FOLLW201 - 2D and 3D for vertex selection.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.


Nodal Force

Using a Nodal Force, you can apply a force to an individual node or a set of nodes.
You must create a node-based Named Selection before you can apply a Nodal Force.
The Nodal Force that you apply in Mechanical is represented as an F Command in the
Mechanical APDL application.

Note: A Nodal Force object may be added during Solution Restart without losing the
restart points.

Analysis Types

Nodal Force is available for the following analysis types:

• Eigenvalue Buckling (for Nonlinear-based Eigenvalue Buckling Analysis only)


• Explicit Dynamics
• Harmonic Response
• Static Structural
• Transient Structural

Common Characteristics

The following section outlines the common boundary condition characteristics that
include application requirements of the boundary condition, support limitations, as well
as loading definitions and values.

Dimensional Types

• 3D Simulation: Supported.
• 2D Simulation: Supported.

Geometry Types: Geometry types supported for the Nodal Force boundary condition
include:

• Solid: Supported.
• Surface/Shell: Supported.
• Wire Body/Line Body/Beam: Supported.

Topology: The Nodal Force boundary condition is scoped via node-based Named
Selections only. See the Specifying Named Selections by Direct Node Selection Help
section for more information.
Note: The Nodal Force boundary condition supports spatially varying loading on the
scoped nodes for Static and Transient analyses only. For Harmonic Response and
Eigenvalue Buckling analyses, only constant loading conditions are supported.

Boundary Condition Application

To apply a Nodal Force:

1. On the Environment toolbar, click Direct FE > Nodal Force. Or, right-
click the Environment tree object or the Geometry window and
select Insert>Nodal Force.
2. Click the Named Selection drop-down list and then select the node-based
Named Section to prescribe the scope of the Nodal Force.
3. Enter a magnitude for the X, Y, and Z component to define the load.

Tip: Define a Nodal Orientation for the Named Selection to control the Nodal
Coordinate System.

Details View Properties

The Details View selections are described below.

Category Fields/Options/Description

Scoping Method: a read-only field that displays scoping method - Named


Scope Selection.

Named Selection: a drop-down list of available node-based Named Selection.


Type: a read-only field that describes the node-based object - Force.

Coordinate System: a read-only field that displays the coordinate system


- Nodal Coordinate System. The Nodal Coordinate System can be modified by
applying Nodal Orientation objects.

Definition X Component: defines force in the X direction

Y Component: defines force in the Y direction

Z Component: defines force in the Z direction

Divide Load by Nodes: options include:


Category Fields/Options/Description

• Yes: (default) the load value is normalized: it is divided by number


of scoped nodes before application.
• No: the load value applied directly to every scoped node.

Suppressed: includes or excludes the boundary condition in the analysis.


Note:

• When Divide Load by Nodes is set to Yes, the forces are evenly
distributed across the nodes and do not result in a constant traction.
• Two Nodal Force objects that have same scoping do not produce a
cumulative loading effect. The Nodal Force that was specified last takes
priority and is applied, and as a result, the other Nodal Force is ignored. For
Explicit Dynamics analyses, a resultant effect is always calculated if multiple
loads are applied to a node (either by geometric entity or as a nodal force).
• A load applied to a geometric entity and a Nodal Force produce a resultant
effect.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Nodal Pressure

Using Nodal Pressure, you can apply pressure on element faces. You must create a
node based named selection before you can apply a Nodal Pressure. It is applicable
for solid and surface bodies only. Specifically, an elemental face pressure is created only
if all of the nodes of a given element face (including midside) are included. If all nodes
defining a face are shared by an adjacent face of another selected element, the face is
not free and will not have a load applied.

Warning: For application to surface bodies, the MAPDL solver logic for this load is
such that if all of the nodes of a shell element are specified, then the load is applied
to the whole element face. However, if only some nodes are specified on an element
and those nodes constitute a complete external edge, then an edge pressure is
created. Therefore, it is critical that you make sure that you have not selected nodes
that constitute only a free shell edge. This is because shell edge pressures are input
on a per-unit-length basis, and Mechanical treats this load always as a per-unit-area
quantity. See the SHELL181 Element Description for more information.
Nodal Pressures applied to shell bodies act in the opposite direction of geometry-
based pressures.
Note: A Nodal Pressure may be added during Solution Restart without losing the
restart points.
Analysis Types

Nodal Pressure is available for the following analysis types:

• Eigenvalue Buckling (for Nonlinear-based Eigenvalue Buckling Analysis only)


• Harmonic Response (Full) Analysis Using Pre-Stressed Structural System
• Static Structural
• Transient Structural

Common Characteristics

The following section outlines the common boundary condition characteristics that
include application requirements of the boundary condition, support limitations, as well
as loading definitions and values.

Dimensional Types

• 3D Simulation: Supported.
• 2D Simulation: Supported.

Geometry Types: Geometry types supported for the Nodal Pressure boundary
condition include:

• Solid: Supported.
• Surface/Shell: Supported.
• Wire Body/Line Body/Beam: Not Supported.

Topology: The Nodal Pressure boundary condition is scoped via node-based Named
Selections only. See the Specifying Named Selections by Direct Node Selection Help
section for more information.

Note: The Nodal Pressure boundary condition supports spatially varying loading on
the scoped nodes for Static and Transient analyses only. For Eigenvalue Buckling and
Harmonic Response analyses, only constant loading conditions are supported.

Boundary Condition Application

To apply a Nodal Pressure:

1. On the Environment toolbar, click Direct FE > Nodal Pressure. Or, right-
click the Environment tree object or the Geometry window and
select Insert>Nodal Pressure.
2. Click the Named Selection drop-down list, and then select the node-based
Named Selection to prescribe the scope of the Nodal Pressure.
3. Enter a magnitude for the load.

Details View Properties

The Details View selections are described below.

Category Fields/Options/Description

Scoping Method: read-only field that displays scoping method - Named


Scope Selection.

Named Selection: drop-down list of available node-based Named Selections.


Type: read-only field that displays boundary condition type - Pressure.

Define By: read-only field that displays that the boundary condition is
acting Normal To the surface to which it is attached.

Magnitude: input field to define the magnitude of the boundary condition. This
Definition value can be defined as a Constant, in Tabularform, or as a Function.

Note: Spatially varying loading (Tabular/Function) is supported for Static


and Transient analyses only. For Eigenvalue Buckling and Harmonic Response
analyses, only constant loading conditions are supported.

Suppressed: includes or excludes the boundary condition in the analysis.


Note:

• To apply a node-based pressure, the named selections that you create must
include nodes such that they define an element face.
• Two Nodal Pressure objects that have same scoping do not produce a
cumulative loading effect. The Nodal Pressure object that was specified
last takes priority and is applied, and as a result, the other Nodal
Pressure object is ignored.
• A load applied to a geometric entity and a Nodal Pressure produce a
resultant effect.
• You can apply a spatially varying Nodal Pressure to scoped nodes.

MAPDL References and Notes

For more information on the solver representation of this load, reference


the SF command in the Mechanical APDL Command Reference.
Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Standard Earth Gravity

This boundary condition simulates gravitational effects on a body in the form of an


external force.

Gravity is a specific example of acceleration with an opposite sign convention and a


fixed magnitude. Gravity loads cause a body to move in the direction of gravity.
Acceleration loads cause a body to move in the direction opposite of the acceleration.
Refer to the example shown under Acceleration for details.

Analysis Types

Standard Earth Gravity is available for the following analysis types:

• Explicit Dynamics
• Rigid Dynamics
• Static Structural
• Transient Structural

Common Characteristics

This section describes the characteristics of the boundary condition, including the
application requirements, support limitations, and loading definitions and values.

Dimensional Types

• 3D Simulation: Supported.
• 2D Simulation: Supported.

Geometry Types and Topology: By virtue of Standard Earth Gravity’s physical


characteristics, this boundary condition is always applied to all bodies of a model.

Loading Types: This boundary condition’s loading is defined using a Coordinate


System as the loading quantity.

Loading Data Definition: Standard Earth Gravity is constant, only the direction may
be modified.
Boundary Condition Application

To apply Standard Earth Gravity:

1. On the Environment context toolbar: click Inertial>Standard Earth


Gravity.

Or, right–click the Environment object in the tree or


the Geometry window and select Insert>Standard Earth Gravity.

2. Define the Coordinate System and/or Direction of the Standard Earth


Gravity.

Details View Properties

The selections available in the Details view are described below.

Category Fields/Options/Description

Scope Geometry: Read-only field indicating All Bodies.

Coordinate System: Drop-down list of available coordinate systems. Global


Coordinate System is the default. When using cyclic symmetry the referenced
coordinate system must be the same coordinate system specified on the Cyclic
Region. For a 2D axisymmetric model the referenced coordinate system must
be the Global Coordinate System. The referenced coordinate system must be
Cartesian.

X Component: Read-only field with values for components based upon


the Direction specification.
Definition
Y Component: Read-only field with values for components based upon
the Direction specification.

Z Component: Read-only field with values for components based upon


the Direction specification.

Suppressed: Include (No - default) or exclude (Yes) the boundary condition.

Direction: Define the vector in terms of any of the following directions: +x, -x,
+y, -y, +z, -z.
MAPDL References and Notes

Standard Earth Gravity is applied using the ACEL command.

Note: Should both an Acceleration and a Standard Earth Gravity boundary condition
be specified, a composite vector addition of the two is delivered to the solver.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Environment Context Toolbar

The Environment Context toolbar enables you to apply loads to your model. The toolbar
display varies depending on the type of simulation you choose. For example, the toolbar
for aStatic Structural analysis is shown above.

Variable Data Toolbar

The Variable Data toolbar enables you to view contours or the isoline representation
of variable data for imported boundary conditions and imported thicknesses as well
as spatial varying loads and displacements. Drop-down menu options include: Smooth
Contours, Contour Bands, and Isolines. The MIN and MAX buttons on the toolbar
generate annotations on the model for the corresponding locations and the line
thickness drop-down menu gives you three thickness display options for Isolines.

Note:

• The Isolines option is drawn based on nodal values. When drawing isolines
for imported loads that store element values (Imported Body Force
Density, Imported Convection, Imported Heat
Generation, Imported Heat Flux, Imported Pressure, and Imported
Surface Force Density), the program automatically calculates nodal values
by averaging values of the elements to which a node is attached.
• This toolbar is not available for Imported Loads that are scoped to nodal-
based Named Selections.
Solution Context Toolbar

The Solution toolbar applies to Solution level objects that either:

• Never display contoured results (such as the Solution object), or


• Have not yet been solved (no contours to display).

The options displayed on this toolbar are based on the type of analysis that is selected.
The example shown above displays the solution options for a static structural analysis.

Objects created via the Solution toolbar are automatically selected in the Outline. Prior
to a solution this toolbar always remains in place (no contours to display).

A table in the Applying Results Based on Geometry section indicates which bodies can
be represented by the various choices available in the drop-down menus of the Solution
toolbar.

Solution Information Toolbar

Selecting the Solution Information object displays a corresponding toolbar.

Options include the Result Tracker drop-down menu and the Retrieve button.
The Retrieve feature enables you to track background solutions.

Result Context Toolbar

The Result toolbar applies to Solution level objects that display contour or vector
results. The following subsections describe the options available on this toolbar.

• Scaling Deformed Shape


• Relative Scaling
• Geometry
• Contours Options
• Edges Options
• Vector Display Context Toolbar
• Max, Min, and Probe Annotations
• Display
Scaling Deformed Shape
For results with an associated deformed shape, the Scaling combo box provides control
over the on-screen scaling:

Scale factors precede the descriptions in parentheses in the list. The scale factors
shown above apply to a particular model's deformation and are intended only as an
example. Scale factors vary depending on the amount of deformation in the model.

You can choose a preset option from the list or you can type a customized scale factor
relative to the scale factors in the list. For example, based on the preset list shown
above, typing a customized scale factor of 0.6 would equate to approximately 3 times
the Auto Scale factor.

• Undeformed does not change the shape of the part or assembly.


• True Scale is the actual scale.
• Auto Scale scales the deformation so that it's visible but not distorting.
• The remaining options provide a wide range of scaling.

The system maintains the selected option as a global setting like other options in the
Result toolbar.

As with other presentation settings, figures override the selection.

For results that are not scaled, the combo box has no effect.

Note: Most of the time, a scale factor will be program chosen to create a deformed
shape that will show a visible deflection to allow you to better observe the nature of the
results. However, under certain conditions, the True Scale displaced shape (scale
factor = 1) is more appropriate and is therefore the default if any of the following
conditions are true:
• Rigid bodies exist.
• A user-defined spring exists in the model.
• Large deflection is on.
This applies to all analyses except for Modal and Eigenvalue Buckling analyses (in which
case True Scale has no meaning).
Currently, if you are performing a Modal or Eigenvalue Buckling analysis that includes
rigid body parts, the application is experiencing a limitation while scaling and/or
animating results.

The motion of rigid parts is subject to changes in the position of the center of mass
(linear displacement) and changes in rotation (angular displacements). Because linear
displacement and angular displacement are different concepts, a scaling (other
than True) that satisfies both (and one which is calculated quickly) has not yet been
implemented. Therefore, True scale is the best setting when animating rigid parts. For
the Auto Scale setting only, the application displays the centroid of rigid parts as a
white asterisk.

For the best scaling results when working on a Modal analysis (where displacements are
not true), use the Auto Scale option.

However, when you have multiple scaling options selected, such as a body whose
optimal scaling is True and another body whose optimal scaling is Auto Scale, then the
graphical display of the motion of the bodies does not appear cleanly.

For the following analyses and configuration conditions, Mechanical sets the scale factor
to zero so that the image of the finite element model does not deform.

• Random Vibration (PSD).


• Response Spectrum.
• Amplitude results for Harmonic Response analyses.

Relative Scaling
The combo list provides five "relative" scaling options. These options scale deformation
automatically relative to preset criteria:

• Undeformed
• True Scale
• 0.5x Auto
• Auto Scale
• 2x Auto
• 5x Auto

Geometry
You can observe different views from the Geometry drop-down menu.
• Exterior

This view displays the exterior results of the selected geometry.

• IsoSurfaces

For contour results, displays a collection of surfaces of equal value of the


chosen result, between its minimum and a maximum as defined by the
legend settings. The application displays the interior of the model only.

• Capped IsoSurfaces

The Capped IsoSurfaces display represents mainly a set of all points that
equal a specified result value within the range of values for the result with
additional features. This option provides three display selections. A display
based on all points of a specified result, all points equal to and less than the
specified result, and all points equal to and greater than the specified result
value. Refer to Capped Isosurfaces for a description of the controls included
in the toolbar. This view displays contours on the interior and exterior.

• Section Planes

This view displays planes cutting through the result geometry; only
previously drawn Section Planes are visible.

The model image changes to a wireframe representation.

Contours Options
To change the way you view your results, click any of the options on this toolbar.
• Smooth Contours

This view displays gradual distinction of colors.

• Contour Bands

This view displays the distinct differentiation of colors.

• Isolines

This view displays a line at the transition between values.

• Solid Fill

This view displays the model only with no contour markings.

Edges Options
You can switch to wireframe mode to see gaps in surface body models. Red lines
indicate shared edges.

In addition, you can choose to view wireframe edges, include the deformed model
against the undeformed model, or view elements.

Showing a subdued view of the undeformed model along with the deformed view is
especially useful if you want to view results on the interior of a body yet still want to
view the rest of the body's shape as a reference. An example is shown here.
The Show Undeformed Model option is useful when viewing any of the options in
the Geometry drop-down menu.

• No Wireframe

This view displays a basic picture of the body.

• Show Undeformed Wireframe

This view shows the body outline before deformation occurred.

If the Creating Section Planes feature is active, choosing Show


Undeformed WireFrame actually displays the wireframe with the
deformations added to the nodes. This is intended to help you interpret the
image when you drag the section plane anchor across smaller portions of the
model.

• Show Undeformed Model


This view shows the deformed body with contours, with the undeformed
body in translucent form.

• Show Elements

This view displays element outlines.

Vector Display Context Toolbar


Using the Graphics button, you can display results as vectors with various options for
controlling the display.

• Click the Graphics button on the Result context toolbar to convert the
result display from contours (default) to vectors.
• When in vector display, a Vector Display toolbar appears with controls as
described below.

Displays vector length proportional to the magnitude of the result.

Displays a uniform vector length, useful for identifying vector paths.

Controls the relative length of the vectors in incremental steps from


1 to 10 (default = 5), as displayed in the tool tip when you drag the
mouse cursor on the slider handle.

Displays all vectors, aligned with each element.

Displays vectors, aligned on an approximate grid.

Controls the relative size of the grid, which determines the quantity
(density) of the vectors. The control is in uniform steps from 0
[coarse] to 100 [fine] (default = 20), as displayed in the tool tip
when you drag the mouse cursor on the slider handle.
Note: This slider control is active only when the adjacent
button is chosen for displaying vectors that are aligned with a
grid.

Displays vector arrows in line form.

Displays vector arrows in solid form.

• When in vector display, click the Graphics button on the Result context
toolbar to change the result display back to contours. The Vector
Display toolbar is removed.

Presented below are examples of vector result displays.

Uniform vector lengths identify paths using vector arrows in line form.
Course grid size with vector arrows in solid form. Same using wireframe edge option.
Uniform vector lengths , grid display on section plane with vector arrows in solid form.
Zoomed-in uniform vector lengths , grid display with arrow scaling and vector arrows in solid form.

Max, Min, and Probe Annotations

Toolbar buttons allow for toggling Max and Min annotations and for creating probe
annotations.

See also Viewing Annotations.

Display

The Display feature on the Result Context Toolbar enables you to view:
• All Bodies - Regions of the model not being drawn as a contour are plotted
as translucent even for unscoped bodies as long as the bodies
are visible (not hidden).

• Scoped Bodies - (default setting) Regions of the model not being drawn as
a contour are plotted as translucent for scoped bodies only. Unscoped bodies
are not drawn.
• Results Only - Only the resultant contour or vector is displayed.
Limitations

The following limitations apply to this feature:

• The Scoped Bodies and Results Only options support geometry-based


scoping (Geometry Selection property = Geometry) and Named
Selections that are based on geometry selections or worksheet criteria.
• The Scoped Bodies and Results Only options do not support Construction
Geometry features Path and Surface.
• The Results Only option does not support the Explicit Dynamics Solver
(AUTODYN).
• For the Scoped Bodies option for results that are scoped across multiple
entities (vertices, edges, faces, or volumes), all of these entities may not
display because there are times when only the nodes of one of the shared
entities are used in the calculation.

Print Preview Context Toolbar


The Print Preview toolbar enables you to print the currently-displayed image, or send it
to an e-mail recipient or to a Microsoft Word or PowerPoint file.

Report Preview Context Toolbar

The Report Preview toolbar enables you to send the report to an e-mail recipient or to a
Microsoft Word or PowerPoint file, print the report, save it to a file, or adjust the font
size.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Geometry

Represents attached geometry in the form of an assembly or multibody part from a


CAD system or from DesignModeler. Assembly parameters, if available, are viewable
under the Geometry object.

Tree Dependencies:

• Valid Parent Tree Object: Model


• Valid Child Tree
Objects: Comment, Figure, Image,
Layered Section, Part, Point
Mass, Thickness

Insertion Options: Appears by default with


a Model object.

Additional Related Information:

• Specifying Geometry in the


Mechanical Application
• Attach Geometry

The following right mouse button context menu options are available for this object.

• Search Faces with Multiple Thicknesses


• Update Geometry from Source
• Reset Body Colors
• Show Missing Tessellations
• Insert > Virtual Body

Note: Virtual Body and Fluid Surface objects are fluids concepts, and as such they
are not supported by Mechanical solvers.

Object Properties

The Details view properties for this object include the following.

Category Properties
Source: read-only indication of the path and file name
associated with the geometry.
Type: read-only indication of how the original geometry
was created (CAD product name or DesignModeler).
Length Unit: read-only indication of the length unit
originally assigned to the geometry. Exceptions are when
importing geometry from CATIA V5 or ACIS, where
length units must be specified from a drop down menu.
Element Control: Allows manual control of the
underlying Mechanical APDL element options
(KEYOPTS) for individual Part or Body objects beneath
the Geometry object. To manually set Mechanical APDL
element options, set Element Control to Manual, then
select the Part or Body object. Any element options that
are available for you to manually set appear in the Details
Definition view of the Part or Body object. For example, the Brick
Integration Scheme setting for a Part or Body object
becomes available only when Element Control is set
to Manual. When Element Control is set to Program
Controlled, all element options are automatically
controlled and no settings are displayed. The Mechanical
APDL application equivalent to this setting is the inclusion
of the ETCON,SET command in the input file, which
automatically resets options for current-technology
elements to optimal settings. Refer to the Mechanical
APDL Element Reference in the Mechanical APDL Help
for more information about Mechanical APDL elements
and element options.
Display Style: The default is Body Color which assigns
unique colors to individual bodies in a part. Other choices
include Part Color, Assembly Color (Model assembly
only), Shell Thickness (surface bodies
Category Properties
only), Material, Nonlinear Material Effects,
and Stiffness Behavior.
2D Behavior: Appears only for a designated 2D
simulation.

Length X
Bounding Box Length Y
Length Z

Volume: Read-only property.


Mass: Read-only property. Appears only in the
Mechanical application.
Note:
• The Volume and Mass properties
display with "N/A" (Not Applicable) in
their field when thickness objects
(Thickness, Layered
Thickness, Imported Layered
Thickness) are present. In addition, if
displayed as NA and the properties are
parameterized, the parameter value is set
to zero. This includes parameter values
defined in Workbench.
• 2D surface bodies are dependent upon
Properties the 2D Behavior setting of
the Geometry object. Any setting other
than the Plane Stress setting causes the
above properties to display with the
content "N/A" in their field. However,
when the 2D Behavior property is set
to By Body, you can change the setting
of the Behavior property for each
surface body object individually. These
individual settings affect what is
displayed in the fields of
the Volume and Massproperties.
• If the material density is temperature
dependent, the Mass will be computed
at the body temperature, or at 22° C
(default temperature for an
environment).
Category Properties
• Any suppressed Part or Body objects
are not included in
the Volume and Mass property values
that are displayed.

Surface Area (approx.): Read-only property. Displays the


approximate surface area of the geometry. This value
changes when parts or bodies are suppressed.
Scale Factor Value: The value applied to imported
geometry for the purpose of modifying the size of the
model. The scale factor value of newly imported geometry
is 1.0. You can modify this value. Values changes are
expected to be preserved on updated models. Due to
tolerances, models that are scaled (especially larger)
sometimes have problems meshing. The scale factor limit
is from 1e-3 to 1e3. Factors entered beyond that range are
ignored.
Note:
• Beam sections and shell thicknesses are
not affected by the Scale Factor Value.
• Geometry scale factors should not be
applied after virtual cells have been
added to the model. Doing so may result
in mesh failure.

Statistics: - Read-only
indication of the entities that Bodies
comprise the Active Bodies
geometry. Active Bodies are
Nodes
those that
are unsuppressed compared Elements
to the total number Mesh Metric
of Bodies.
Solid Bodies
Surface Bodies
Line Bodies
Basic Geometry Options Parameters
Parameter Key
Attributes
Named Selections
Category Properties
Material Properties

Use Associativity
Coordinate Systems
Reader Mode Saves Updated File
Use Instances
Smart CAD Update
Advanced Geometry Compare Parts on Update
Options Attach File Via Temp File
Temporary Directory
Analysis Type
Mixed Import Resolution
Decompose Disjoint Geometry
Enclosure and Symmetry Processing

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Mesh

Manages all meshing functions and tools for a model; includes global controls that
govern the entire mesh.

Tree Dependencies:

• Valid Parent Tree


Object: Model
• Valid Child Tree
Objects: all mesh control tool
objects, Comment, Figure, Ima
ge

Insertion Options: Appears by default


when geometry is attached.

Additional Related Information:

• Meshing Capabilities in
Workbench
• Mesh Context Toolbar

The following right mouse button context menu options are available for this object.

• Insert > Mesh Connection Group


• Insert > Manual Mesh Connection
• Insert > Node Merge Group
• Insert > Node Merge
• Insert > Node Move
• Update
• Generate Mesh
• Preview> Surface Mesh
• Preview> Inflation
• Show> Removable Loops
• Show> Sweepable Bodies
• Show> Mappable Faces
• Show> Geometry in Overlapping Named Selections
• Show> Program Controlled Inflation Surfaces
• Create Pinch Controls
• Clear Generated Data
• Start Recording

Object Properties

The Details view properties for this object include the following.

Category Fields
Display Style: This property enables you to change the display of the
mesh in the graphical display window based on different criteria.
The Display Style options include the following:

• Body Color (application default colors)


• Mesh Metric information, which includes:

Display Shell Thickness (visible for surface/shell bodies only)


Element Quality
Aspect Ratio, based on either Triangle elements
or Quadrilateral elements
Jacobian Ratio
Warping Factor
Category Fields
Parallel Deviation
Maximum Corner Angle
Skewness
Orthogonal Quality

Physics Preference
Solver Preference (appears if Physics Preference is CFD)
Relevance
Defaults Note: Solver Preference also appears in the Mechanical application if
the Physics Preference is Mechanical in aTransient
Structural or Rigid Dynamics system during the initial geometry attach.
See Solver Preference for more information.

Use Advanced Size Function


Relevance Center
Element Size
Initial Size Seed
Smoothing
Transition
Span Angle Center
Curvature Normal Angle
Sizing Num Cells Across Gap
Proximity Size Function Sources
Min Size
Proximity Min Size
Use Fixed Size Function for Sheets
Max Face Size
Max Size
Growth Rate
Minimum Edge Length

Inflation Use Automatic Inflation


Category Fields
Inflation Option
Transition Ratio
Maximum Layers
Growth Rate
Number of Layers
Maximum Thickness
First Layer Height
First Aspect Ratio
Aspect Ratio (Base/Height)
Inflation Algorithm
View Advanced Options
Collision Avoidance
Fix First Layer
Maximum Height over Base
Gap Factor
Growth Rate Type
Maximum Angle
Fillet Ratio
Use Post Smoothing
Smoothing Iterations

Method
Assembly Feature Capture
Meshing Tessellation Refinement
Keep Solid Mesh
Patch
Conforming Triangle Surface Mesher
Options
Patch
Independent Topology Checking
Options
Advanced Shape Checking
Category Fields
Element Midside Nodes
Straight Sided Element - appears if the model includes
an enclosure from DesignModeler.
Number of Retries
Extra Retries For Assembly
Rigid Body Behavior
Mesh Morphing

Use Sheet Thickness for Pinch


Pinch Tolerance
Generate Pinch on Refresh
Defeaturing
Sheet Loop Removal
Loop Removal Tolerance
Defeaturing Tolerance

Nodes - Read-only indication


Statistics Elements - Read-only indication
Mesh Metric
Model Read Only: Yes (default) or No. This category and property are only
Assembly visible when you are External Models and Mechanical Models.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Mesh Control Tools (Group)

Objects available for fine tuning the mesh.

Applies to the follow ing objects: Method, Mesh Grouping, Sizing, Contact
Sizing, Refinement, Face Meshing, Match Control, Pinch, Inflation, Sharp
Angle, Gap Sizing, Gap Tool
Tree Dependencies:

• Valid Parent Tree Object:


o For Gap Sizing: Gap
Tool
o For all other
objects: Mesh
• Valid Child Tree
Objects: Comment, Figure, Im
age

Insertion Options:

• For Gap Sizing, automatic


insertion under the Gap
Tool based on detection of gap
face pairs.
• For all other objects, use any of
the following methods after
highlighting Mesh object:
o Choose Mesh Control>
{Mesh control tool
name} on Mesh context
toolbar.
o Click right mouse button
on Mesh object, any mesh
control tool object, or in
the Geometry window>
Insert> {Mesh control
tool name}.

Additional Related Information:

• Meshing Capabilities in
Workbench
• Mesh Context Toolbar
• Gap Tool Context Toolbar -
applicable to Gap
Sizing and Gap Tool
• Convergence - applicable
to Refinement
• Error (Structural) - applicable
to Refinement
The following right mouse button context menu options are available. Availability is
dependent on the selected object.

• Inflate This Method - available only for Method control where Method is
set to anything other than Hex Dominant, MultiZone Quad/Tri,
or Sweep (unless a source has been specified).
• Update
• Generate Mesh
• Preview> Surface Mesh
• Preview> Source and Target Mesh
• Preview> Inflation
• Show> Sweepable Bodies
• Show> Mappable Faces
• Suppress/Unsuppress
• Create Gap Sizes - available only for Gap Tool
• Rename Based on Definition
• Start Recording

Object Properties
The Details view properties for this object include the following.

Except where noted, the following applies to all objects other than Gap Tool :

Category Fields
Scoping Method - specify either Geometry Selection or Named Selection.
Not applicable to Contact Sizing, Gap Sizing, Pinch, or Match Control.
Geometry - appears if Scoping Method is set to Geometry Selection. In this
case, use selection filters to pick geometry, click in the Geometry field, then
Scope click Apply. Not applicable to Contact Sizing, Gap Sizing, Pinch, or Match
Control.
Named Selection - appears if Scoping Method is set to Named Selection.
Not applicable to Contact Sizing, Gap Sizing, Pinch, or Match Control.
Contact Region - applicable only to Contact Sizing.
Suppressed

Definition Note: Additional Definition settings may be available, depending on the


specific mesh control tool.

The following applies only to the Gap Tool:


Category Fields
Define By
Minimum
Maximum
Definition
Gap Aspect Ratio
Gap Density
Generate on Update

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Method Control

The Method control is valid only for a body. The default value selects meshing
methods that provide a successful automated mesh. By default, the application
attempts to use auto sweeping for solid models and quadrilateral element generation
for surface body models. If a model is not sweepable, the Patch Conforming mesher
under Tetrahedrons is used.

To set the values for the Method control, click Mesh on the Tree Outline, right-click to
view the menu, and select Insert> Method. You can also click Mesh on the Tree
Outline, select the Mesh Control button on the Context Toolbar, and select Method.

Note:
• Refer to Conformal Meshing Between Parts for information about
mesh method interoperability.
• The Method control is not supported for assembly meshing
algorithms.

In the Details View for the scoped local method, you can set Method based on
whether you want to apply the method to a solid body or a surface body. For more
information, refer to:

• Method Controls and Element Midside Nodes Settings


• Setting the Method Control for Solid Bodies
• Setting the Method Control for Surface Bodies

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Method Controls and Element Midside Nodes Settings


When setting the Method control to a scoped body, you can control whether meshes
are to be created on the scoped body with midside nodes or without midside nodes by
using the Element Midside Nodes setting under Definition in the Details View.
When setting the Element Midside Nodes option for a scoped body, choices
include Use Global Setting, Dropped, and Kept.

If you select Use Global Setting, Element Midside Nodes will be handled as
dictated by the global Element Midside Nodes option. The remaining choices—
Dropped and Kept—have the same descriptions as their counterparts under
the global Element Midside Nodes option. Setting Element Midside
Nodes to Dropped or Kept for a scoped body will override the setting of the
global Element Midside Nodes option.

Mixed Order Meshing


Mixed order meshing is supported across bodies for the following mesh methods:

• For solid meshing:


• Patch Conforming Tetrahedron
• Patch Independent Tetrahedron
• MultiZone
• General Sweep
• Thin Sweep
• Hex Dominant
• For surface meshing:
• Quad Dominant
• All Triangles
• MultiZone Quad/Tri

This means that when scoping one of these mesh methods to bodies in a multibody
part, you can set the Element Midside Nodes option to Kept (resulting in higher
order elements) for some bodies and to Dropped (resulting in lower order elements)
for others. In such cases, all of the elements in a lower order body that are adjacent to
a higher order body will be higher order elements, thereby creating one layer of
quadratic elements at the interface face. These elements will be higher order at the
interface face but with dropped midside nodes where adjacent to the linear elements in
the mesh.

Note:

• Mixed order meshing is not supported if you are performing Selective


Meshing. To use mixed order meshing, all of the bodies in the part must be
meshed at the same time.
• To use mixed order meshing with the Patch Independent
Tetrahedron, MultiZone, or MultiZone Quad/Tri mesh methods, all of the
bodies in the part must be meshed with the same mesh method (that is,
either all Patch Independent Tetrahedron, all MultiZone, or all MultiZone
Quad/Tri).

The figures below illustrate an example of mixed order meshing. To obtain the mesh
shown in Figure 76: Mixed Order Meshing of a Multibody Part, the global Element
Midside Nodesoption was set to Kept, resulting in a mesh of quadratic tet elements
for the topmost body. The sweep method was applied to the remaining bodies, with
the Element Midside Nodesoption set to Dropped on the Sweep Method control.
This resulted in a mesh of primarily linear hex/wedge elements for the swept bodies,
with the hex/wedge elements that are attached to the common interface being mixed
order (see Figure 77: Mixed Order Elements).

Figure 76: Mixed Order Meshing of a Multibody Part

Figure 77: Mixed Order Elements shows the mixed order hex/wedge elements that are
attached to quadratic pyramid elements at the interface. On the Mesh Metrics bar
graph, mixed order elements are displayed as quadratic element types.

Figure 77: Mixed Order Elements


Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Automatic Method Control

By default, the application uses the Automatic Method control , which attempts to
use sweeping for solid models and quadrilateral element generation for surface body
models. If solid bodies can't be swept, the body is meshed with the Patch
Conforming Tetrahedron mesher.

You can preview the bodies that can be swept meshed by right-clicking Mesh on the
Tree Outline and choosing Show>Sweepable Bodies from the context menu.

Scoping a mesh method control (Sweep or MultiZone) is a way to force a body to be


meshed with Sweep or MultiZone. To use the MultiZone mesh method in place
of Sweep, turn on Tools>Options>Meshing>Meshing: Use MultiZone for
Sweepable Bodies. When using MultiZone in place of Sweep, Sweepable
bodies are meshed with MultiZone.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.


Tetrahedrons Method Control

If you select the Tetrahedrons method, an all tetrahedral mesh is created.


An Algorithm setting is displayed allowing you to choose how the tetrahedral mesh is
created based on your choice of one of the following options:

• Patch Conforming Algorithm for Tetrahedrons Method Control


• Patch Independent Algorithm for Tetrahedrons Method Control

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Patch Conforming Algorithm for Tetrahedrons Method Control

The Patch Conforming Tetra mesh method is a Delaunay tetra mesher with an
advancing-front point insertion technique used for mesh refinement. The Patch
Conforming Tetra mesh method provides:

• Support for 3D inflation


• Built-in pyramid layer for conformal quad-tet transition
• Built-in growth and smoothness control. The mesher will try to create a
smooth size variation based on the specified growth factor.

Remember the following information when using the Patch Conforming Tetra mesh
method:

• For problematic geometry given by the Patch Conforming Tetra mesher or


regions that self intersect, you can possibly remedy the problem by adding
an extremely large face sizing control in the region of the self intersection.
However, best practice would be to remove the problematic geometry in the
DesignModeler application or your CAD system.
• When Patch Conforming Tetra meshing (with Physics Preference of CFD)
fails due to lack of available memory, an error message will be issued.
However, this error message will not identify insufficient memory as the
cause. Because meshing will stop before the memory limit is reached, you
may not notice any unusual behavior.
• For information about the Element Midside Nodes option, refer to Method
Controls and Element Midside Nodes Settings.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.


Patch Independent Algorithm for Tetrahedrons Method Control

The Patch Independent mesh method for tetrahedrons is based on the following spatial
subdivision algorithm: This algorithm ensures refinement of the mesh where necessary,
but maintains larger elements where possible, allowing for faster computation. Once the
"root" tetrahedron, which encloses the entire geometry, has been initialized, the Patch
Independent mesher subdivides the root tetrahedron until all element size requirements
(that is, the prescribed local mesh sizes) are met.

At each subdivision step, the edge length of the tetrahedron (=size) is divided by 2.
This means that the prescribed sizes should all differ by factors that are an integer
power of 2. The size of the root tetra is set to the smallest given size multiplied by 2n.
All other prescribed sizes are approximated by subdividing the root tetra. Refer to the
series of figures below, which illustrate the process that is followed by the Patch
Independent tetra mesher.

Figure 78: Geometry Input to Patch Independent Tetra Mesher

At this point, the Patch Independent tetra mesher balances the mesh so that elements
sharing an edge or face do not differ in size by more than a factor of 2.

Figure 79: Full Tetrahedron Enclosing the Geometry


Figure 80: Full Tetrahedron Enclosing the Geometry in Wire Frame Mode
Figure 81: Cross-Section of the Tetrahedron

After this is done, the Patch Independent tetra mesher makes the mesh conformal; that
is, it guarantees that each pair of adjacent elements will share an entire face. The mesh
does not yet match the given geometry, so the mesher next rounds the nodes of the
mesh to the prescribed points, prescribed curves, or model surfaces. The Patch
Independent tetra mesher then "cuts away" all of the mesh, which cannot be reached
by a user-defined material point without intersection of a surface.

Figure 82: Mesh After Capture of Surfaces and Separation of Useful Volume
Figure 83: Final Mesh Before Smoothing
Finally, the mesh is smoothed by moving nodes, merging nodes, swapping edges and in
some cases, deleting bad elements.

Figure 84: Final Mesh After Smoothing

The Patch Independent mesh method includes the following settings:

• Element Midside Nodes - Refer to Method Controls and Element Midside


Nodes Settings.
• Defined By - Choices are Max Element Size and Approx Number of
Elements.
• Max Element Size - The size of the initial element subdivision. The default
value depends on whether Use Advanced Size Function is on or off:
• If Advanced Size Function is on, the default value of Max
Element Size is inherited from the global Max Size value.
• If Advanced Size Function is off, the default value of Max
Element Size is inherited from the global Element Size value.

In either case, you can change the value if you want to apply a specific value
locally. In such cases, the maximum size comes from the larger value of the
global controls (that is, Max Size or Element Size, as described
above) OR, the largest scoped body size or face size that Patch Independent
is also scoped to. A scoped edge size is not respected if it is larger than
either the global size or the size on an attached face.
With the Patch Independent mesh method, scoped body sizing is supported
as follows:

• If a local body size is defined and it is smaller than the global


maximum size, the scoped body size will be assigned inside the
volume.
• If the global maximum size is smaller than any scoped body, face
or edge sizing, the global maximum size (Element Size when
Advanced Size Function is off; Max Size when Advanced Size
Function is on) will be changed to be the same as the largest
sizing within the mesher. For example, if Patch Independent is
defined on two bodies, and the setup is as follows:
• Global Max Size = 4
• Local body size scoped to Body1 = 8
• No local body size is scoped to Body2

The Patch Independent maximum size will be 8, and the global


Max Size of 4 will be used for the sizing of Body2.

Note: The maximum element size inside the volume of Body2


could grow to 8. Because setting local sizings affects the largest
element size in the model, you should avoid setting local sizes
that are larger than the global maximum size.

• Approx Number of Elements - Prescribes an approximate number of


elements for the mesh. The default is 5.0E+05. Specifying a prescribed
number of elements for the Patch Independent method is applicable only if
the method is being applied to a single part.
• Feature Angle - Specifies the minimum angle at which geometry features
will be captured. If the angle between two faces is less than the
specified Feature Angle, the edge between the faces will be ignored, and
the nodes will be placed without respect to that edge. If the angle between
two faces is greater than the Feature Angle, the edge should be retained
and mesh aligned and associated with it (note the edge could be ignored
due to defeaturing, and so on). You can specify a value from 0 (capture
most edges) to 90 (ignore most edges) degrees or accept the default of 30
degrees.
• Mesh Based Defeaturing - Ignores edges based on size. Off by default. If
set to On, a Defeaturing Tolerance field appears where you may enter a
numerical value greater than 0.0. By default, the value of this
local Defeaturing Tolerance field is the same as the global Defeaturing
Tolerance. If you specify a different value here, it will override the global
value. Specifying a value of 0.0 here resets the tolerance to its default. If
multiple Patch Independent tetra mesh method controls are defined with
different tolerances, the smallest tolerance is respected.

There are several basic cases, including the following:

• A small hole with a diameter smaller than the tolerance as shown


below.

No edges are dropped. You should defeature manually in this


case.

• Two approximately parallel spaced edges (fillet or chamfer), as


shown below.

To determine whether a face is a fillet/chamfer, the Patch


Independent mesher evaluates the face's geometric features. To
be considered a fillet/chamfer:
• A face must be at least twice as long as it is wide.
• A fillet/chamfer has either three or four sides (that is,
two long sides and one or two short sides), all with
angles <= 135 degrees.

In the case of a fillet, which is a curved or rounded face, the


angle between the fillet and a face attached to one of its long
sides is 0 degrees (not 180 degrees). In contrast, a chamfer is a
planar face and the angle between the chamfer and a face
attached to one of its long sides is larger than 0 degrees.

For defeaturing of fillets/chamfers, the mesher considers the


fillet/chamfer face as well as the faces adjacent to it (i.e., the
faces attached to its long sides). The dihedral angles between
these faces are evaluated to determine whether the attached
edges of adjacent faces will be respected (that is, whether nodes
will be placed with respect to the edges at the long sides of the
fillet/chamfer).

There are three dihedral angles occurring at a fillet/chamfer:

• One dihedral angle occurs between the two faces


“touching,” or adjacent to, the fillet/chamfer face.
When this angle is compared with the Feature Angle,
the angle is measured between the face normals at
the imaginary edge where the two faces (virtually)
meet.
• Two dihedral angles occur between the fillet/chamfer
face and the respective faces “touching,” or adjacent
to, the two long sides of the fillet/chamfer. The angles
are evaluated as the angles between the face normals
at the common edge of the fillet/chamfer and the
attached face.

Defeaturing occurs as follows:

• If the angle between the two faces adjacent to the


fillet/chamfer face is greater than the Feature Angle,
and the angles between the fillet/chamfer face and the
faces attached to its long sides are less than
the Feature Angle, and the minimum fillet/chamfer
width is greater than the Defeaturing Tolerance,
both long sides/edges are respected.
• If the angle between the two faces adjacent to the
fillet/chamfer face is greater than the Feature Angle,
and the angles between the fillet/chamfer face and the
faces attached to its long sides are less than
the Feature Angle, and the minimum fillet/chamfer
width is less than the Defeaturing Tolerance, only
one long side/edge is respected.
• If only one angle between the fillet/chamfer face and
the faces attached to its long sides is greater than
the Feature Angle, only one long side/edge is
respected.
• If none of the angles are greater than the Feature
Angle, none of the long sides/edges are respected.

The following series of figures illustrates fillet/chamfer detection.


In this example, a cross-section is revolved. The top and bottom
of the section are identical, except the bottom has
fillets/chamfers at each corner and the top does not. Because the
definition of a fillet/chamfer is somewhat general, two cases are
presented, each with a different angle of revolution. The angle of
revolution is 5 degrees in the first case, as shown below. In this
case, only the small faces fit the criteria of fillets/chamfers.
In the second case, the angle of revolution is 180 degrees, as
shown below. In this case, all faces fit the criteria of
fillets/chamfers, except for the front/back faces of the extrusion.

The figure below shows the angles that are considered for
fillet/chamfer detection, and the small faces that are found to be
fillets/chamfers.
As described earlier, the angles that are considered for a given
fillet/chamfer are 1) the angle between adjacent fillet/chamfer
faces and 2) the two angles attached to the fillet/chamfer. Notice
the angles in the figure below.

Notice the settings shown below, with Feature Angle set to 30


and Mesh Based Defeaturing turned off.

In the figure below, the highlighted edges are the edges that are
ignored with the settings shown above. All edges are captured
except for locations where the angle between faces or adjacent
fillet/chamfer faces (two bottom edges) is 20 degrees. Changing
the Feature Angle to a value below 20 will result in the mesher
capturing those edges, while increasing the angle will result in
more edges being ignored.
In the settings shown below, Feature Angle is changed to 80
but the other settings used before are retained.

In the figure below, the highlighted edges are the edges that are
ignored with the settings shown above. All edges are ignored
except for those at angles of 90 degrees, both with or without
fillets/chamfers.
Now consider the settings shown below. Here the Feature
Angle is set back to 30, but Mesh Based Defeaturing is turned
on. Both the Defeaturing Toleranceand the Min Size
Limit are set to 2.5 mm, which is larger than the bottom
fillets/chamfers.

In the figure below, the highlighted edges are the edges that are
ignored with the settings shown above. The same edges as
before are ignored due to the feature angle, but in addition every
other edge along the bottom fillets/chamfers is ignored.
The last part of this example involves the case in which the angle
of revolution is 180 degrees. Once again the Feature Angle is
set to 80 but Mesh Based Defeaturing is turned off.

In the figure below, the highlighted edges are the edges that are
ignored. With the settings shown above and the longer extrusion,
more faces are found to be fillets/chamfers when compared to
the case of the shorter extrusion. In comparison, the bottom
section is identical as all faces are found to be fillets/chamfers (so
the meshing behavior does not change). However, with the
inclusion of all faces on top being considered chamfers, the
meshing behavior does change.
The following series of figures shows examples of the Patch Independent
Tetrahedron mesher with various settings. Figure (a) shows the base
geometry.

Figure 85: Example (a) Showing Base Geometry


Figures (b) through (f) below show examples of the Patch Independent
Tetrahedron mesher under the conditions noted.

Figure 86: Example (b) Min Size Limit (Described Below) Set to 1

Figure 87: Example (c) Min Size Limit (Described Below) Set to 0.5
Figure 88: Example (d) Defeaturing Tolerance Set to 1
Figure 89: Example (e) Defeaturing Tolerance Set to 1 and Midside Nodes
Dropped
Figure 90: Example (f) Defeaturing Tolerance Set to 1 and Min Size Limit Set
to 0.5
• Refinement and Min Size Limit - When Refinement is set to Proximity
and Curvature, Curvature, or Proximity, the mesh is automatically
refined based on geometry curvature and/or proximity. This will result in
larger elements on flat planar faces and smaller elements in areas of high
curvature or within small gaps. In addition, a Min Size Limit field is
displayed, in which you enter a numerical value. (The default
of Refinement is Proximity and Curvature, unless Physics
Preference is set to Explicit, in which case the default is No.)

Curvature or proximity based refinement will subdivide the elements until


this Min Size Limit is reached. However, projection to geometry and
smoothing may push the size even smaller for some elements. The Min Size
Limit prevents curvature or proximity based refinement from generating
elements that are too small. The default value of Min Size Limit depends
on whether Use Advanced Size Function is on or off:

• If Advanced Size Function is on, the default value of Min Size


Limit is inherited from the global Min Size/Proximity Min
Size control. The mesher will also use the Min Size values defined
locally.
• If Advanced Size Function is off, you must specify a value for Min
Size Limit.

Note: Also see Notes on Element Size Settings for the Patch Independent
Tetra Mesher.

• Num Cells Across Gap - (Displayed only when Refinement is set


to Proximity and Curvature or Curvature.) The number of cells desired
in narrow gaps. This sets the goal for the proximity based refinement. The
mesh will subdivide in tight regions toward this goal, but the refinement is
limited by the Min Size Limit. It will not override this limit. The default
value depends on whether Use Advanced Size Function is on or off:
• If Advanced Size Function is on, the default value of Num Cells
Across Gap is inherited from the global Num Cells Across
Gap value.
• If Advanced Size Function is off, the default value of Num Cells
Across Gap is 3.

In either case, you can change the value if you want to apply a specific value
locally.
• Curvature Normal Angle - (Displayed only when Refinement is set
to Proximity and Curvature or Proximity.) Sets the goal for the
curvature based refinement. The mesh will subdivide in curved regions until
the individual elements span this angle. This refinement is also limited by
the Min Size Limit. You can specify a value from 0 to 180. The default
value depends on whether Use Advanced Size Function is on or off:
• If Advanced Size Function is on, the default value of Curvature
Normal Angle is inherited from the global Curvature Normal
Angle value.
• If Advanced Size Function is off, the default value of Curvature
Normal Angle will be computed based on the values of
the Relevance and Span Angle Center global options.

In either case, you can change the value to define specific values locally, but
please be aware that with PI Tet, only one value for curvature normal angle
(num cells in gap) is used by the mesher. The smallest curvature normal
angle (largest num cells in gap) will be applied globally. A warning message
will indicate this for you.
Figure 91: Example (a) Showing Base Geometry
Figure 92: Example (b) Default Patch Independent Tetrahedron Mesher
Figure 93: Example (c) Patch Independent Tetrahedron Mesher with Min
Size Limit Set to Capture Curvature
• Smooth Transition - Determines whether the Octree volume mesh
generated from the Patch Independent mesh method should be kept or
whether it should be replaced with a Delaunay volume mesh starting from
the Patch Independent surface mesh. Options are On or Off (default). If set
to On, the volume mesh will be a Delaunay mesh. If set to Off, the volume
mesh will be an Octree mesh.

Figure 94: Effect of Smooth Transition Setting illustrates the effect of


setting Smooth Transition to Off (Octree volume mesh on the left)
or On (Delaunay volume mesh on the right).

Figure 94: Effect of Smooth Transition Setting


• Growth Rate - Represents the increase in element edge length with each
succeeding layer of elements. For example, a growth rate of 1.2 results in a
20% increase in element edge length with each succeeding layer of
elements. Specify a value from 1.0 to 5.0 or accept the Default. When set
to Default, the value is the same as the global growth rateif Use Advanced
Size Function is On. If Use Advanced Size Function is Off, the Default is
set differently based on whether Smooth Transition is Off (default is 2.0)
or On(default is 1.2).

Note: If Smooth Transition is set to Off, the growth rate is very


approximate since the volume is filled with an Octree meshing approach
which requires 2-to-1 transitions. Thus in such cases, the growth rate relates
only to when the transitions occur through the mesh.

• Minimum Edge Length - Read-only indication of the smallest edge length


in the part.
• Match Mesh Where Possible - The Match Mesh Where
Possible control is applicable to contact definitions between faces. Options
are Yes and No. The default is Yes. If contact is defined by a single face
that topologically belongs to two different bodies, setting this option
to Yes has no effect. However, if there are independent faces on the two
bodies, setting this option to Yes causes the Patch Independent mesh
method to create nodes on both sides of the contact. The nodes are not
connected but have identical coordinates.
• Write ICEM CFD Files - Sets options for writing ANSYS ICEM CFD files.
Refer to Writing ANSYS ICEM CFD Files for details.

Notes on Element Size Settings for the Patch Independent Tetra Mesher

Remember these notes when using the Patch Independent tetra mesher:

• If you are specifying element sizes with the Patch Independent mesher, you
may notice that some element edge lengths are less than the size that you
have entered. For example, if your element size is 1, the resulting elements
in a uniform tetrahedron mesh will have tetrahedron with edges of length
31/2/2 and edges of length 1. A single tetrahedron in this mesh will have two
edges of length 1 and four edges of length 31/2/2. Two of the three
dimensions of the bounding box of this tetrahedron will have length of 1
while the other dimension will have the length of 0.5. This correlates to an
element size of 1.

Figure 95: Element Edge Lengths Smaller Than Specified Element Size

• If you are using Curvature and Proximity Refinement, you may notice that
your elements are always less than the maximum size specified. Element
growth rates with this mesher are always based on powers of 2. For instance
if your minimum size limit is set to 1 and your maximum element size limit is
set to 5, and you have curvature in your model that warrants curvature
based mesh refinement down to the minimum element size, you will see that
the largest elements are not size 5 but size 4. This happens because in order
to maintain elements at the minimum size limit, the initial tetrahedron must
be some power of 2 larger than the minimum element size, which in this
example case is 1.
• Small features of Named Selections will be checked in comparison to
element size settings prior to meshing. If the minimum element size seems
to be too big to capture the essential features of the geometry, a warning
will be issued if small entities could cause the mesher to fail.

Notes on Scoping for the Patch Independent Mesher

You can use the Patch Independent tetra mesh method in combination with other solid
mesh methods in a multibody part, and the bodies will be meshed with conformal
mesh. Refer to Conformal Meshing Between Parts for information about conformal
meshing and mesh method interoperability.

Notes on Virtual Topologies and the Patch Independent Mesher

Virtual topologies may affect the success of meshing with the Patch Independent tetra
mesh method. Because virtual topologies are often a coarse approximation of the
original faces or edges, the resulting small inaccuracies (gaps and overlaps) may cause
the Patch Independent tetra mesher to miss some parts of the boundary of the virtual
topology. As a result, the mesher may not accurately model the respected topology and
may fail.

Since in general, the Patch Independent tetra mesh method does not require the use of
virtual topologies to clean up the geometry, you can remove some of the problematic
virtual topology and use Named Selections for boundary conditions instead, as
appropriate.

Miscellaneous Notes for the Patch Independent Mesher

The Patch Independent tetra mesh method does not support mesh connections, pinch
controls, match controls, or face meshing controls.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Hex Dominant Method Control

If you select the Hex Dominant method, a free hex dominant mesh is created. If you
are interested in a hex mesh, this option is recommended for bodies that cannot be
swept. To preview any bodies that can be swept, click Mesh on the Tree Outline and
right-click the mouse. Select Show> Sweepable Bodies from the context menu to
display bodies that fulfill the requirements of a sweepable body (other than axis
sweeping).

The Hex Dominant mesh method includes the following settings:

• Element Midside Nodes - Refer to Method Controls and Element Midside


Nodes Settings.
• Free Face Mesh Type - Determines the shape of the elements used to fill
the body. Allows you to choose Quad/Tri or All Quad. The default
is Quad/Tri.

Hex dominant meshing adds the most value under the following conditions:

• Meshing bodies with large amounts of interior volume.


• Meshing bodies that transition from sweepable bodies in a body that has
been decomposed for sweeping. However, it is better to
use Body/Face Sizing to obtain more uniform face meshing, which leads to
more hexes by volume.

Hex dominant meshing adds little value under the following conditions:

• Meshing thin complicated bodies (like a cellular phone case). The number of
elements may actually increase compared to a tetrahedron mesh since the
element size must be much smaller for this class of body when using hex
dominant meshing to create well shaped hexes.
• A body is sweepable or can easily be decomposed to multiple sweepable
bodies. The quality of a swept mesh is usually superior to that of a hex
dominant mesh.
• Models where fast transition of the mesh can result in poor solution accuracy
(such as CFD models). The Hex dominant approach can have very fast
transitions at the core of the volume.

Note:

• Mesh Matching for cyclic symmetry is not supported for hex dominant
meshing.
• Workbench assists you in determining if hex dominant meshing is applicable
to your situation. When you apply the Hex Dominant option on a body or
group of bodies, Workbench calculates the normalized volume to surface
area ratio. If it detects a ratio less than 2, Control Message appears in a
highlighted row under Definition in the Details View. If you click Yes, Click
To Display, a warning message states that a low percentage of hex
elements or poorly shaped hex elements may result. Suggestions are
included for alternative meshing schemes.
The normalized volume to surface area ratio is defined by the following
expression:
(Volume of body/(Surface area of body)3/2)/factor
where factor, the ratio for a unit sphere = (4/3 π)/(4 π)3/2
• Adaptive refinement starting from a hex dominant mesh will result in
remeshing of the structure with tetrahedrons.
• If you apply a local Sizing control to a solid body with a Method control set
to Hex Dominant or Sweep, or to a sheet body with a Method control set
to Quadrilateral Dominant, a near uniform quadrilateral mesh will result
on all affected faces on a body meshed with Hex Dominant, on the source
face meshed with Sweep, and on all affected faces meshed
with Quadrilateral Dominant. To obtain even more of a uniform
quadrilateral mesh, set the Behavior of the Sizing control to Hard.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Sweep Method Control

If you select the Sweep method, a swept mesh is forced on “sweepable”


bodies (including axis-sweepable bodies, which are not displayed when you use
the Show Sweepable Bodiesfeature). The mesher will fail if a swept mesh cannot be
generated on a body with a Sweep Method control.

Use the Sweep option for any of the following situations:

• A swept mesh is required.


• You want a swept mesh on a model that revolves around an axis where the
source and target faces share topology.

When you choose the Sweep option, the Details View expands to include additional
settings, many of which are unique to this option. For basic usage that involves
obtaining a swept mesh, the procedure is to apply a Method Control to one or more
bodies, set Method to Sweep, and accept the default values of the various settings.

For advanced or specialized usage such as meshing thin models or axis sweeping,
adjust the settings as needed. The following is a description of each of these settings.

• Element Midside Nodes - Refer to Method Controls and Element Midside


Nodes Settings.
• Src/Trg Selection - Defines the source and target selection type according
to the following choices:
• Automatic - The program determines the best source and target
for the body.
• Manual Source - You select the source and the program
determines the target. This choice is useful when there are
multiple source target pairs and you want to specify the source in
order to get the correct bias through the sweep direction. Another
application is when your cross section is changing and the mesh
quality would be better when sweeping from one side vs.
another.
• Manual Source and Target - The sweeper will revolve the
mesh around common edges/vertices. This choice is useful when
you want to sweep a body where the source and target faces
share vertices and/or edges.
• Automatic Thin - This choice is for thin models and thin sheet
metal parts, or any application where you want one hex or wedge
through the thickness, in preparation for using the Mechanical
APDL application's SOLSH190 element. (See the description for
this element in the Element Reference within the Mechanical
APDL help.) For this choice, the face with the largest face area is
selected as the master source and the algorithm determines the
rest of the source faces. For multibody parts, only one division
through the thickness is possible. For single body parts, you can
define multiple elements through the thickness using the Sweep
Num Divs control. Biasing is not available. An Element
Option setting is included that instructs the solver to use
the Solid Shell element where possible, or to always use
a Solid element.
• Manual Thin - The same restrictions apply as described above
for Automatic Thin. However, with this choice, you can
do any of the following:
• Pick one source face and allow the program to
determine the rest.
• Pick all of the source faces and allow the program to
do nothing but mesh the source faces and sweep them
to the target.
• Pick multiple source faces and mesh one target face.

Note:

• The Sweep mesh method does not support


the Manual Source, Manual Source and Target,
or Manual Thin settings for Src/Trg
Selection if Sweep is applied to more than one part,
even if you suppress all of the other parts.
• In some cases, the thin model sweeper may want to
swap source and target faces based on meshing
conditions in neighboring bodies. In such cases, a
warning message will be issued to alert you.
For example, if you are mixing a patch independent
mesh method (i.e., Patch Independent
tetra or MultiZone) with the thin model sweeper to
mesh bodies in a multibody part, the thin model
sweeper may need to swap the source and target
faces in order to respect protected topology in the
neighboring bodies. If there is protected topology on
both sides of the body that is scoped for thin sweep,
the side with the largest number of faces is selected as
the source face.
• To make source/target face selection easier,
select Annotation Preferences from the Toolbar and
then deselect Body Scoping Annotations in
the Annotation Preferences option box to toggle
the visibility of annotations in the Geometry window.
For example, after scoping Sweep to a body, the
body will be displayed using a blue solid annotation.
Turn off the body scoping annotations; then select the
source/target faces. For picking internal faces,
the Hide Faces right-click option may help you to see
inside a body. For example, you can select external
faces in the Geometry window and then use
the Hide Faces option to hide the selected faces
(making it easier to select the internal faces).

Refer to Considerations for Selecting Source Faces for the Thin


Model Sweeper for details.

• Free Face Mesh Type - Determines the shape of the elements used to fill
the swept body (pure hex, pure wedge, or a combination of hex/wedge).
Allows you to choose All Tri, Quad/Tri, or All Quad meshing
when Src/Trg Selection is Automatic, Manual Source, or Manual
Source and Target. Allows you to choose Quad/Tri or All Quadmeshing
when Src/Trg Selection is Automatic Thin or Manual Thin. The default
in all cases is Quad/Tri.

Note:

• If the source face is also a side face of another body, the face will
always be quad mapped.
• When Free Face Mesh Type is set to either Quad/Tri or All
Quad and the source face can be mapped meshed, the face will
sometimes be mapped meshed even if it means applied sizing
controls (such as Contact Sizing, Sphere of Influence, etc.)
will be ignored.
• In some cases when Src/Trg Selection is set to Automatic,
the source face that is selected by the software must be quad
mapped in order for the sweep method to be successful. In these
cases, the value that is specified for Free Face Mesh Type may
be ignored.
• Type - Allows you to specify a Number of Divisions or Element
Size through the sweep direction. When sweeping generalized bodies that
share faces, the Element Size is a soft constraint on interval assignment
and the Number of Divisions is a hard constraint. If you have
conflicting Number of Divisions constraints, the sweeper will fail and yield
a message. To obtain a regular mesh in the sweep direction, the guiding
edges must have consistent lengths. You can define virtual split edges to
achieve consistent lengths for these edges (see Creating and Managing
Virtual Split Edges). Also see Sizing Control for more information.
• Sweep Bias Type - Specify bias in the same manner as edge biasing for
the Bias Type setting in a Sizing mesh control. There is no graphical
feedback for biasing on a Method control. Biasing direction is based from
the source to the target.
• The Constrain Boundary setting is available for multibody parts only (both
for general sweeping and thin sweeping). Specify whether you want to allow
the mesher to split the elements at the boundary of a swept mesh region to
aid in meshing. You can choose Yes (constrain boundary; no splitting is
allowed) or No (do not constrain boundary; splitting is allowed).
Choosing Yes prevents tets from entering the swept body. The default
is No.

Note:

• For gasket simulations, set the Stiffness Behavior of the body


to Gasket and proceed with adjusting mesh settings as described in
the Gasket Meshing section located under Gasket Bodies in the Mechanical
application help.
• In models with swept regions, the Advanced Size Function will affect the
mesh gradation in the swept region. You can override this effect by
specifying any Sweep Bias value (including a value of 1), Sweep Element
Size value, or Sweep Num Divs value in the Details View when defining
the sweep method.
• There is a system limitation when using the sweep method with
the Advanced Size Function. The Advanced Size Function may have nodes
slightly off because the spacing is queried. The sweeper then tries to match
that spacing, which may lead to unexpected mesh results.
• If you apply a local Sizing control to a solid body with a Method control set
to Hex Dominant or Sweep, or to a sheet body with a Method control set
to Quadrilateral Dominant, a near uniform quadrilateral mesh will result
on all affected faces on a body meshed with Hex Dominant, on the source
face meshed with Sweep, and on all affected faces meshed
with Quadrilateral Dominant. To obtain even more of a uniform
quadrilateral mesh, set the Behavior of the Sizing control to Hard.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

MultiZone Method Control

The MultiZone mesh method, which is a patch independent meshing technique,


provides automatic decomposition of geometry into mapped (sweepable) regions and
free regions. When the MultiZone mesh method is selected, all regions are meshed
with a pure hexahedral mesh if possible. To handle cases in which a pure hex mesh will
not be possible, you can adjust your settings so that a swept mesh will be generated in
structured regions and a free mesh will be generated in unstructured regions.

For example, using the Sweep mesh method, you would need to slice the part below
into five bodies as shown to obtain a pure hex mesh:

Note: This section describes method control settings. See MultiZone Meshing for
detailed algorithm and usage information.

Figure 96: Sweep Method Would Require Slicing to Obtain Pure Hex Mesh
In contrast, using the MultiZone mesh method requires no
slicing. MultiZone automates the geometry decomposition and generates the pure hex
mesh shown in Figure 97: MultiZone Generates Pure Hex Mesh without Slicing.

Figure 97: MultiZone Generates Pure Hex Mesh without Slicing


When you choose the MultiZone mesh method, the Details View expands to expose
various settings, including several that are unique to MultiZone. For basic usage that
involves obtaining a MultiZone mesh, the procedure is to apply a Method Control to
one or more bodies, set Method to MultiZone, and accept the default values of the
various settings.

For advanced or specialized usage, adjust the settings as needed. The following is a
description of each of these settings.

• Mapped Mesh Type - Determines the shape of the elements used to fill
structured regions according to the following choices (the default is Hexa):
• Hexa - A mesh of all hexahedral elements is generated for the
part the method is scoped to.
• Hexa/Prism - A mesh of hexahedral and prism/wedge elements
is generated for the part the method is scoped to. The main
difference between the Hexa/Prismoption and the other options
is that for swept regions, the surface mesh can allow triangles for
quality and transitioning. The triangles are later extruded to
prisms/wedges.
• Prism - A mesh of all prism elements is generated for the part
the method is scoped to. This option is sometimes useful if the
source face mesh is being shared with a tet mesh, as pyramids
are not required to transition to the tet mesh.
• Surface Mesh Method - Specifying a value for Surface Mesh
Method instructs MultiZone to use the Program Controlled, Uniform,
or Pave method to create the surface mesh.
• Program Controlled - Automatically uses a combination
of Uniform and Pave mesh methods depending on the mesh
sizes set and face properties. This is the default method.
• Uniform - Uses a recursive loop-splitting method which creates a
highly uniform mesh. This option is generally good when all edges
have the same sizing and the faces being meshed do not have a
high degree of curvature. The orthogonality of the mesh from this
method is generally very good.
• Pave - Uses a paving mesh method which creates a good quality
mesh on faces with high curvature, and also when neighboring
edges have a high aspect ratio. This approach is also more
reliable to give an all-quad mesh.

Note: The Surface Mesh Method is applicable only to faces that are free
meshed. If a face can be mapped meshed, it will be. See Face Meshing
Control for more information.
Note: Models created in versions of ANSYS older than ANSYS 14.5 that
have a MultiZone mesh method defined on them will be resumed in ANSYS
14.5 with the Surface Mesh Method set to Uniform, so that the mesh is
similar to what it was in previous versions. You might want to set
the Surface Mesh Method to Program Controlled for better results.

• Free Mesh Type - Specifying a value for Free Mesh Type will
instruct MultiZone to allow a free mesh if it is not possible (without slicing)
to generate a pure hex or hex/prism mesh. The value of Free Mesh
Type determines the shape of the elements used to fill unstructured regions
according to the following choices (the default is Not Allowed):
• Not Allowed - Choose this option if you require a mapped mesh.
• Tetra – Regions of the model that cannot be meshed with a
mapped mesh will be filled with a tetrahedral
mesh. Figure 98: Free Mesh Type = Tetra shows
a MultiZone mesh that was generated when Free Mesh
Type was set to Tetra. Notice the lower section that was able to
be mapped meshed, and the upper section that was free meshed
because it could not be map meshed. Refer to Patch Conforming
Algorithm for Tetrahedrons Method Control for more information.
Figure 98: Free Mesh Type = Tetra

• Tetra/Pyramid – Regions of the model that cannot be meshed


with a mapped mesh will be filled with a tetrahedral mesh with
pyramids at the faces. Figure 99: Free Mesh Type =
Tetra/Pyramid shows a MultiZone mesh that was generated
when Free Mesh Type was set to Tetra/Pyramid. Notice the
lower section that was able to be mapped meshed, and the upper
section that was free meshed because it could not be map
meshed. Refer to Patch Conforming Algorithm for Tetrahedrons
Method Control for more information.
Figure 99: Free Mesh Type = Tetra/Pyramid

• Hexa Dominant — Regions of the model that cannot be meshed


with a mapped mesh will be filled with a hex dominant
mesh. Figure 100: Free Mesh Type = Hexa Dominant shows
a MultiZone mesh that was generated when Free Mesh
Type was set to Hexa Dominant. Notice the upper section that
was able to be mapped meshed, and the lower section that was
free meshed because it could not be mapped meshed. Refer
to Hex Dominant Method Control for more information.

Figure 100: Free Mesh Type = Hexa Dominant


• Hexa Core - Regions of the model that cannot be meshed with a
mapped mesh will be filled with a hexa core mesh. Hexa Core
meshes can be generated where the majority of the volume is
filled with a Cartesian array of hexahedral elements essentially
replacing the tetras. This is connected to the remainder of a
prism/tetra hybrid by automatic creation of pyramids. Hexa Core
allows for reduction in number of elements for quicker solver run
time and better convergence. Figure 101: Free Mesh Type =
Hexa Core shows a MultiZone mesh that was generated
when Free Mesh Type was set to Hexa Core. Notice the upper
section that was able to be mapped meshed, and the lower
section that was free meshed because it could not be mapped
meshed.

Figure 101: Free Mesh Type = Hexa Core

• Element Midside Nodes - Refer to Method Controls and Element Midside


Nodes Settings. The default is Use Global Setting.
• Src/Trg Selection - Defines the source and target selection type according
to the following choices (the default is Automatic):
• Automatic - The Automatic option generally works fine for
simple sweep configurations, but if there are multiple levels of
sweeps it is often best to manually define the source faces.
• Manual Source - You select the faces that will be used as
sources (and targets) using the Source Scoping Method you
specify. MultiZone treats all sources/targets as sources, as
imprinting can occur from either side. For additional details, refer
to the description of Source Scoping Method, Source,
and Source Named Selection below.
• Source Scoping Method - Defines the method for choosing a source
face. Geometry Selection enables you to select sources/targets manually
using the Source option. Named Selection enables you to choose one
Named Selection as a source/target using the Source Named
Selection option.
• Source - Select the faces that need to be imprinted for proper geometry
decomposition. This option is available if you select Geometry Selection as
your Source Scoping Method. The faces you select can be either
“sources” or “targets,” but all of them will be treated as sources
by MultiZone, as shown in Figure 102: Source Face Selection for MultiZone.

Note: To make source face selection easier, select Annotation


Preferences from the Toolbar and then deselect Body Scoping
Annotations in the Annotation Preferences option box to toggle the
visibility of annotations in the Geometry window. For example, after
scoping MultiZone to a body, the body will be displayed using a blue solid
annotation. Turn off the body scoping annotations; then select the source
faces. For picking internal faces, the Hide Facesright-click option may help
you to see inside a body. For example, you can select external faces in
the Geometry window and then use the Hide Faces option to hide the
selected faces (making it easier to select the internal faces).

Figure 102: Source Face Selection for MultiZone


• Source Named Selection - Choose an existing Named Selection to select
the faces that need to be imprinted for proper geometry
decomposition. This option is available if you select Named Selection as
your Source Scoping Method.
• Sweep Size Behavior – Enables you to set a Sweep Element Size to
define the mesh spacing (default), or to select Sweep Edges to remove
edges and prevent them from constraining the source faces.
• Sweep Element Size - Enables you to set an element size to define the
mesh spacing along the sweep path from source to target faces. If this
control is set to a non-zero value, sizing controls applied to the selected
bodies as curvature and proximity refinement and/or local sizing are ignored.

The Sweep Element Size setting is ignored if hard size controls are applied
to side edges/faces. If multiple bodies with the same sweep direction have
different sizes set forSweep Element Size, the smallest size is used and
the others are ignored.

Clicking the check box adds this setting to the Workbench parameters,
enabling you to use element size settings as a variable design point when
creating multiple solutions.
• Sweep Edges – This option should be used with an edge sizing control. The
edge sizing control defines the distribution along the sweep path, but that
sizing control can also affect the source face. Use this option to remove the
influence of the edge sizing from the source face mesh. In other words, the
edges selected will only influence the sweep path and not the source faces.
• Preserve Boundaries- Preserves only the protected topologies (See Patch
Independent) or all features in the model. Protected is the default. If set
to All, MultiZone works in a more patch conforming way. If set to All, you
can apply boundary conditions, named selections, etc. after meshing. The
mesh does not go out of date regardless of what is set by the Patch
Independent Topology Checking option.
• Mesh Based Defeaturing - “Filters” edges in/out based on size. Off by
default. If set to On, a Defeaturing Tolerance field appears where you
may enter a numerical value greater than 0.0. By default, the value of this
local Defeaturing Tolerance field is the same as the global Defeaturing
Tolerance. If you specify a different value here, it will override the global
value. Specifying a value of 0.0 here resets the tolerance to its default.
• Minimum Edge Length - Read-only indication of the smallest edge length
in the model.
• Write ICEM CFD Files - Sets options for writing ANSYS ICEM CFD files.
Refer to Writing ANSYS ICEM CFD Files for details.

Note: For detailed information about MultiZone, refer to MultiZone Meshing. For
general information on applying MultiZone in combination with other mesh method
controls, refer to Meshing: Mesh Control Interaction Tables.

Notes on Scoping for the MultiZone Mesh Method

You can use the MultiZone mesh method in combination with other solid mesh
methods in a multibody part, and the bodies will be meshed with conformal mesh.

If a multibody part contains some bodies that are scoped to be meshed


with MultiZone and other bodies that are not scoped with any mesh method, these
other bodies will be meshed with the default mesh method.

Refer to Conformal Meshing Between Parts for information about conformal meshing
and mesh method interoperability.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Mesh Sweeping

This method of meshing complements the free mesher. If a body's topology is


recognized as sweepable, the body can be meshed very efficiently with hexahedral and
wedge elements using this technique. The number of nodes and elements for a swept
body is usually much smaller than ones meshed with the free mesher. In addition, the
time to create these elements is much smaller.

Workbench will automatically check to see if the body fulfills the topological
requirements for sweeping. It will then choose two faces that are topologically on the
opposite sides of the body. These faces are called the source and target faces.
Workbench will mesh the source face with quadrilateral and triangular elements and
then copy that mesh onto the target face. It then generates either hexahedral or wedge
elements connecting the two faces and following the exterior topology of the body.

Note:
• This information applies to general sweeping. For requirements and
usage information specific to thin model sweeping, see Thin Model
Sweeping.
• For descriptions of the sweep option settings, see Sweep Method
Control.
Requirements for General Sweeping
A body cannot be swept if any of these conditions exist:

• There is a completely contained internal void in the body.


• A source and target pair cannot be found. That is, the sweeper cannot find
at least one path from a source surface to a target surface connected by
edges or closed surfaces.
• If a Sizing control is used on a body with hard edge sizing and the source
and target faces contain hard divisions which are not the same for each
respective edge.

When sweeping it is only necessary to apply hard divisions to one leg of the sweep
path. If the path has multiple edges, you should apply your controls to that path.

If the sweep path is shared by another body and that path lies on the body's source or
target face then more hard divisions may be needed to constrain the sweeper.

When using Virtual Topology with sweeping, avoid creating virtual cells that result in a
fully closed surface. Fully closed surfaces cause difficulties for the swept mesher and
may result in poor meshes. When selecting adjacent faces for inclusion in a virtual cell,
it is best to use Virtual Topology to merge some (but not all) of the faces. A good
approach is to use Virtual Topology for the smaller faces, but omit any larger faces from
the virtual cell.

To preview any bodies that can be swept meshed, click Mesh on the Tree Outline and
right-click the mouse. Select Show> Sweepable Bodies from the context menu to
display bodies that fulfill the requirements of a sweepable body. However, even if these
requirements are met, the shape of the body may at times still result in poorly shaped
elements. In these cases, the tetrahedron mesher is used to mesh the body.

The Show Sweepable Bodies feature only displays bodies that can be swept in terms
of topology where the source and target are not adjacent on an axis. It cannot
automatically determine axis-sweepable bodies. However, these bodies can be meshed
if a Sweep mesh method is applied and source and target faces are defined. A
sweepable body may not be Sweep meshed if the body geometry is not suitable.

Show Mappable Faces is a good tool to diagnose side faces. All side faces should be
mappable, but if they are not found to be mappable, it indicates there may be a
problem with the topology. For help in diagnosing problems when using
the Sweep method, refer to the description of the Edge Graphics Options toolbar in
the Mechanical help. This toolbar provides access to features that are intended to
improve your ability to distinguish edge and mesh connectivity.

Other Characteristics of General Sweeping

Other characteristics of sweeping include the following:

• The general sweeper ignores the Num Cells Across Gap setting, which is
used to help define the proximity size function.
• Hard entities are not supported for the general sweeper.
• If the sweep method is applied to a body and a mapped Face
Meshing control is defined for either the body's source or target face, the
sweep mesher will fail if a mapped mesh cannot be obtained for the face.
See Notes on Face Meshing Controls for Mapped Meshing for related
information.
• The source and target faces do not have to be flat or parallel.
• If the topology of the source and target face is the same, the sweeping
operation will often succeed even if the shape of the source face is different
from the shape of the target face. However, drastically different shapes can
cause element shape failures.
• Sweeping does not require your model to have a constant cross section.
However, the best results are obtained for constant or linearly varying cross
sections.
• For swept meshes with inflation and match control, inflation is performed
ahead of the match mesh and sweeping. This can affect the sizings on the
match controls, which can in turn lead to meshing failure. Therefore, when
using both match controls and inflation with sweeping, it might improve
meshing robustness if you assign hard edge sizings to the high and low
edges of the source face for the sweep.
Figure 116: Axis Sweep Representation

Figure 117: Edge Only Sweep Path

Figure 118: Edge Plus Closed Surface Sweep Path

Rules Followed By the General Sweeper

In deciding which area should be designated as the source area for general sweeping,
the program uses the following rules, in the order as listed below. The sweeper will
check all the rules until it finds a rule to use. Once a higher order rule is used, all the
lower rules will not be considered. For example, if none of the first five rules apply, it
will check against rule 6. In this case, if a face is a plane (flat) and the other face is not
a plane (not flat), the flat face will be picked as the source and the test will be
terminated.

1. M anually set control - specify both source and target: The source and
target for sweeping will be exactly as the user specifies. This is the fastest
way of meshing. It will eliminate searching for a possible source and target.
For axis-sweeping, this method must be used. If a face is a source of
another body and is not picked as a source of the current body, the
aforementioned face will be used as a source.
2. M anually set control - specify source: Once the user specifies a source
area, the program will try to find the target suitable to the source. The
source will be exactly as specified.
3. Face M esh control: The program finds the face with a mapped Face
Mesh control applied to it.
4. Num ber of loops: The face with the largest number of loops will be picked
as source face.
5. Num ber of lines: The face with the largest number of lines will be picked
as source face.
6. Flat face: A flat face has higher priority for being a source face.
7. Less sharing: In most cases, a face might be used by one or a maximum of
two bodies. If every one is flat (plane), the one used by the least number of
bodies (that is, used by just one body) will be picked as source face.
8. Larger area: The largest area will be picked as the source.

Topological Requirements of the General Sweeper


The general sweeper must have at least one path between the source face and target
face. The side faces of the sweep do not need to be singular but they must all be
submappable and have single loops. The source face cannot be a closed analytic such
as a full cylinder, torus or sphere. However, partial analytics are acceptable as source
and target faces.

Note: Creo Parametric creates unique topological models that no other CAD system
creates. In all other CAD systems, non-periodic faces can have only one exterior
topological loop. On the other hand, models in Creo Parametric can have non-periodic
faces with multiple exterior loops. This type of topology does not pose a problem for
the free meshers in the Meshing application. However, it does pose a problem for the
general sweeper. As noted above, side faces of the sweep must have single loops. They
cannot have multiple exterior loops because if they do, a single path from the source to
the target cannot be determined.
Importing the model into the DesignModeler application breaks the face with multiple
exterior loops into multiple faces with single loops because the DesignModeler kernel
does not support the Creo Parametric topology. Exporting the model from Creo
Parametric to IGES or STEP format will also resolve this issue.

Figure 119: Example (a) Showing Invalid Closed Cylindrical Face as Source Face
Figure 120: Example (b) Valid Open Cylindrical Face as Source Face

Figure 121: Example (c) Multiple Connected Side Faces


Using General Sweep to Mesh a Narrow Channel Body

The series of images below illustrates the use of general sweep, along with mapped
face meshing and hard edge sizing controls, to mesh a narrow channel
body. Figure 122: Axial Sweep Model shows the source, target, and side areas of the
axial sweep model used in this example.

Figure 122: Axial Sweep Model


Because the source and target areas to be meshed are a narrow channel and you want
them to be meshed with map mesh, it may present difficulties to the mesher.
In Figure 123: Axial Sweep Model: Face Meshing Control, a mapped Face
Meshing control is defined on the source face. Four vertices (two on each side area)
have been selected for the Specified Sidescontrol.

Figure 123: Axial Sweep Model: Face Meshing Control


In cases similar to this example, the key to obtaining a successful mesh is the definition
of a hard edge sizing control to make the two paired parallel edges. As shown
in Figure 124: Axial Sweep Model: Hard Edge Sizing Control, set the Type to Number
of Divisions and enter a value in the Number of Divisions field (in this case, 50).
The Hard option ensures the number of divisions are the same on the pair of edges.

Figure 124: Axial Sweep Model: Hard Edge Sizing Control


Finally, Figure 125: Axial Sweep Model: Meshed shows the mesh obtained using the
settings described above.

Figure 125: Axial Sweep Model: Meshed


Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Thin Model Sweeping

Similar to the behavior of the general sweeper, the thin model sweeper creates a
structured hexahedral/wedge mesh, but for a thin model. It meshes one side of the thin
solid (the source), and then sweeps the mesh to the other side (the target). Unlike the
general sweeper, the thin model sweeper does not require a topological one-to-one
match of source to target; the model may have multiple source and/or target surfaces.
(Refer to Topological Requirements of the Thin Model Sweeper for examples.) In
addition, the thin model sweeper can perform some edge defeaturing and thus can
mesh models that have reasonably small features.

Requirements and usage information specific to the thin model sweeper include the
following:

• The model must be thin—if the model is too thick, the thin model sweeper
algorithm may fail.
• The source(s) and target(s) cannot touch each other.
• The model must have an obvious “side” that is perpendicular to the source
and target; all of the side areas must connect directly from source to target.
• Mesh controls defined on the target may not be respected.
• Multibody parts are supported.
• For multibody parts, only one division through the thickness is possible. For
single body parts, you can define multiple elements through the thickness
using the Sweep Num Divs control in the Details View of the Sweep
Method. (See steps below.)
• The thin model sweeper ignores the Num Cells Across Gap setting, which
is used to help define the proximity size function. Using the proximity size
function in combination with the thin model sweeper may lead to an
unnecessarily long computation time.
• If two bodies intersect to make a “T” connection, the thin model sweeper
does not require that a mapped mesh control be defined at the junction of
the two bodies.
• The Preview Source and Target Mesh and Preview Surface
Mesh features do not support the thin model sweeper.
• See Notes on Face Meshing Controls for Mapped Meshing for information
about using mapped Face Meshing controls with the thin model sweeper.

Considerations for Selecting Source Faces for the Thin Model Sweeper
The thin model sweeper meshes one side of a thin solid (the source), and then sweeps
the mesh to the other side (the target). You can control which side the mesher uses as
the source by selecting source faces manually. (To do so, set the Src/Trg
Selection control to Manual Thin as described below.)

For most geometries, you can select just 1 of the faces in the complete set of faces that
you want to be used as the source set, and the mesher will properly identify the other
faces that are a part of that source set. However, for more complicated models (such as
those containing multibody parts), you need to select all source faces in the source set
in order for the mesher to be successful in finding the complete set of source faces.

A general rule of thumb is if you can select a single face and then extend the selection
to its limits, the mesher can also identify the proper complete set of source faces. (For
details about extending selections, refer to the description of the Extend Selection
command in the Mechanical help.) If the geometry contains sharp angles that make the
limit extension selection difficult, it will also be difficult for the mesher to use a single
face for the source face definition, and you should select the complete set of source
faces.
Topological Requirements of the Thin Model Sweeper
If a thin model mesh fails, turn on the Edge Coloring > By Connection option to see
if the edge connectivity is unusual. In some cases, the geometry connectivity may not
be as expected, and this may create problems during meshing. These problems can be
fixed in the DesignModeler application, the CAD package, or possibly through the use
of virtual topologies

The thin model sweeper supports M source faces to N target faces, where M and N can
be any positive whole numbers. Between source faces and target faces, there must be
"side faces." The angles between side faces and either source faces or target faces
must be sharp enough that the faces are NOT considered to be smoothly connected.
Therefore, a knife with a thin blade would not be appropriate for thin model sweeping
because the cutting edge (i.e., blade) does not form a "side face." During the thin
model sweeping meshing process, the features (vertices, edges, and faces) on the
target may not be preserved and therefore, you should avoid applying boundary
conditions to the target. The side faces must connect to both source and target. No
edges or vertices are allowed on side faces. In this sense, no hard edges on side faces
are allowed. Side edges must connect directly from source to target. You can use virtual
topology to eliminate some features.

Figure 126: Example (a) N Source to 1 Target or 1 Target to N Source Topology

Figure 127: Example (b) N Source to N Target Topology


Figure 128: Example (c) 1 Source to N Target Mesh
Figure 129: Example (d) N Source to 1 Target Mesh

Figure 130: Example (e) N Source to N Target Mesh


Use Virtual Topology to create a single edge between source and target faces.

Figure 131: Using Virtual Topology to Create Single Edge Between Source/Target Faces
Mesh Controls and the Thin Model Sweeper
Mesh Controls applied on the target faces/edges are ignored. Only mesh controls
applied to the source faces/edges are respected.

In example (a) below, the Mapped Face Control is ignored because it is applied to the
target face.

Figure 132: Example (a) Mapped Face Control Applied to Target Is Ignored
In example (b) below, the Mapped Face Control is respected because it is applied to the
source face.

Figure 133: Example (b) Mapped Face Control Applied to Source Is Respected

Thin Model Sweeping for Single Body Parts


This section provides the basic steps for using thin model sweeping to mesh a single
body part.
To use the Thin Model Sweeper to mesh a single body part:

1. Click the Mesh object in the Tree and select Insert> Method from the
context menu.
2. Scope the Method control to the thin body.
3. In Details> Definition, set Method to Sweep.
4. Set Src/Trg Selection to Manual Thin or Automatic Thin.

Although Automatic Thin may work for simple cases, you may need to
select Manual Thin depending on the complexity of the model.

5. If you selected Manual Thin, scope the source face(s), remembering the
recommendations provided in Considerations for Selecting Source Faces for
the Thin Model Sweeper.
6. Enter additional sweep option settings, as desired, in the Details View. These
may include Free Face Mesh Type, Sweep Num Divs, and Element
Option. For descriptions of these options, see Sweep Method Control.
7. Define other mesh controls, as desired.
8. Generate the mesh.

Figure 134: Thin Solid Sweeper Used to Mesh a Single Body Part shows a model of a
timing cover that consists of a single body. The thin solid sweeper was used to mesh
the body. To obtain this mesh, Free Face Mesh Type was set to Quad/Tri, Sweep
Num Divs was set to 2, and Element Option was set to Solid Shell.

Figure 134: Thin Solid Sweeper Used to Mesh a Single Body Part
Figure 135: Thin Solid Sweeper Used to Mesh a Single Body Part: Detail shows detail of
the timing cover. The Sweep Num Divs setting of 2 is apparent in this view.

Figure 135: Thin Solid Sweeper Used to Mesh a Single Body Part: Detail
Thin Model Sweeping for Multibody Parts
This section provides the basic steps for using thin model sweeping to mesh multibody
parts. You can define thin sweep for each thin body in the multibody part.

To use the Thin Model Sweeper to mesh a multibody part:

1. Select a thin body in the Geometry window, right-click, and select Insert>
Method.
2. Set Method to Sweep.
3. Set Src/Trg Selection to Manual Thin or Automatic Thin.

Although Automatic Thin may work for simple cases, you may need to
select Manual Thin depending on the complexity of the model.

4. If you selected Manual Thin, scope the source face(s) of the thin body,
remembering the recommendations provided in Considerations for Selecting
Source Faces for the Thin Model Sweeper.
5. Enter additional sweep option settings for the thin body, as desired, in the
Details View. These may include Free Face Mesh Type and Element
Option. For descriptions of these options, see Sweep Method Control.
6. If the part contains multiple thin bodies, repeat step 1 through step 5 for
each.
7. If the part contains any thick sweepable bodies, repeat step 1 through step
5 for each, but set Src/Trg Selection to Automatic, Manual Source,
or Manual Source and Target (depending on complexity of the model).
8. If the part contains any non-sweepable bodies, define mesh methods for
each, if desired. If the mesh methods are left undefined, the Meshing
application will determine the most appropriate methods to use for the non-
sweepable bodies.
9. Define other mesh controls, as desired.
10. Generate the mesh.

Figure 136: Thin Solid Sweeper Used to Mesh a Multibody Part shows a model of a
bracket that consists of four bodies. The thin solid sweeper was used to mesh the
bodies. To obtain this mesh, Free Face Mesh Type was set
to Quad/Tri and Element Option was set to Solid.

Figure 136: Thin Solid Sweeper Used to Mesh a Multibody Part


Additional Considerations for Using the Thin Model Sweeper
This section describes several models and scenarios to consider before using the thin
model sweeper.

The first example involves a multibody part that models a laminated composite
material, as shown below. Defining source faces for such models may be confusing.

Figure 137: Thin Solid Sweeper and Laminated Composite Models

The part contains nine bodies. Assume that the Manual Thin option for Src/Trg
Selection will be applied to each of them. With the Manual Thin option, source faces
must be defined for each selected body (i.e., each body must have at least one face
selected as its source face). There are different ways that you can select faces to meet
this requirement, and it is logical to assume that defining nine source faces (one for
each body) is one way that will work. However, in cases of laminated composites, we
recommend that you specify every other face as a source face.

Consider the figure below, in which nine faces (indicated by arrows) are defined as
source faces for the nine bodies. As illustrated by the figure, Body 1 has two faces
defined as source faces, and the same is true for bodies 2 through 8. This source face
definition causes ambiguity for the thin sweep mesher, which will have trouble
determining a target face in bodies 1 through 8 and may fail.

Figure 138: Ambiguous Source Face Definition for Laminated Composite Model

Now look at the figure below. Here every other face has been selected as a source face,
for a total of five. With this source face definition, each body still has one face selected
to be its source face, so the requirement for Manual Thin source face selection has
been met. With this source face definition, the thin sweep mesher will have no problem
determining target faces for each of the bodies.

Figure 139: Recommended Source Face Definition for Laminated Composite Model
Note: For cases in which the Automatic Thin option can be used, an alternative
method to consider is to apply the Manual Thin option to only one body, define its
source face, and apply the Automatic Thin option to the remaining bodies.

Before using thin solid sweeping, remember that the mesher meshes one side of faces
and then sweeps the mesh to the second side of faces. Consider Figure 140: Thin Solid
Sweeper Limitation, which shows a model containing three plates. In the thin sweep
operation, the edges that are common to two source faces are present on the source
side. If the edges are different on the opposite side, the mesher will use the nodes from
the source side in the mesh on the opposite side anyway. Thus, if there are features on
the non-source side that are unique and need to be captured, you should not use the
thin solid sweeping approach, as the mesher will ignore these features.

In Figure 140: Thin Solid Sweeper Limitation, there is no valid way to mesh the middle
plate with the thin solid sweep method, as there is an imprint coming from both the
plate above and the plate below the middle plate, unless:

1. The plate is decomposed (sliced) to ensure all target face(s) have a


corresponding source face.
2. The multibody part is broken into single parts (non-conformal mesh at
common interfaces).
3. Some other mesh method is used. (In Figure 140: Thin Solid Sweeper
Limitation, a tet mesh method is used.)
4. The source and target faces have similar pairs, and the source faces are
selected properly (described below).

Figure 140: Thin Solid Sweeper Limitation

Figure 141: Adding Face Projections (Splits) in the DesignModeler Application illustrates
an alternative approach to meshing the model above. In the DesignModeler application,
the Projection feature allows face(s) to be split so that the source and target pairs will
align. (For this model, the Edges on Face type of projection was used.)

Figure 141: Adding Face Projections (Splits) in the DesignModeler Application


With the addition of the face splits, the model can be meshed successfully with the thin
solid sweep method by applying the Manual Thin option for Src/Trg Selection to all
three bodies, and defining the top surface of each body as its source faces, as shown
below. In this example, two faces are selected as source faces for the body on the left,
three for the middle body, and two for the body on the right. Defining the source faces
in this way ensures that everything is meshed from one side of the multibody part to
the other.

Figure 142: Defining Source Faces when Face Splits Are Present
Figure 143: Three Plates Model Meshed with Thin Solid Sweeper shows the meshed
model.

Figure 143: Three Plates Model Meshed with Thin Solid Sweeper

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.

Suppressing Objects

Certain objects in the Mechanical application tree outline can be suppressed, meaning
that they can be individually removed from any further involvement in the analysis. For
example, suppressing a part removes the part from the display and from any further
loading or solution treatment.

For Geometry and Environment folders, the objects that you Suppress are removed
from the solved process.

For Solution folder, if you suppress a solved result object, the result information will be
deleted for the suppressed result object. The suppressed object is not considered in the
subsequent result evaluations. You can use this feature to leave out an under-defined
result object and obtain values for other results under Solution. You
can Unsuppress the result object and evaluate all results to get an updated result
value.

To suppress results objects from the context menu, right-click the result object, and
then click Suppress. Click Yes to suppress the object, or No to cancel the message
box.
How to Suppress or Unsuppress Objects

If available, set the Suppressed option in the Details view to Yes. Conversely, you can
unsuppress items by setting the Suppressed option to No.

You can also suppress/unsuppress these items through context menu options available
via a right mouse button click. Included is the context menu option Invert
Suppressed Body Set, which enables you to reverse the suppression state of all
bodies (unsuppressed bodies become suppressed and suppressed bodies become
unsuppressed). You can suppress the bodies in a named selection using either the
context menu options mentioned above, or through the Named Selection Toolbar.

Another way to suppress a body is by selecting it in the graphics window, then using a
right mouse button click in the graphics window and choosing Suppress Body in the
context menu. Conversely, the Unsuppress All Bodies option is available for
unsuppressing bodies. Options are also available in this menu for hiding or showing
bodies. Hiding a body only removes the body from the display. A hidden body is still
active in the analysis.

Release 16.2 - © SAS IP, Inc. All rights reserved.