Structural Analysis

Application domain

Structural testing and analysis is a basic requirement for engineers in every industry. In fact, the use of FEA for structural analysis has become so commonplace that some suggest it is “commodity technology” that can be selected on the basis of price. Smart engineering and CAE managers, however, are recognizing that price and cost are not synonymous. Choosing structural analysis solutions that can grow with your evolving needs, rather than become obsolete, leads to lower overall cost of ownership and the difference between a costly mistake and an achievement to be proud of.

Hexagon (MSC Software) provides a family of high performance solutions for structural FEA that meet the needs of beginning engineers and designers, experienced experts, and everyone in between. These solutions help companies meet their business challenges by helping engineers to develop deeper insight in their products through virtual testing. Engineers using Hexagon’s (MSC Software) structural analysis are able to evaluate many different types of designs, giving high confidence that the final design will successfully meet prescribed requirements, before the physical product is built. From single components to large complex systems, from linear static to highly non-linear dynamic problems, Hexagon’s (MSC Software) structural analysis capabilities are built to grow with your business, optimize your cost of ownership, and support you in achieving your goals.

Structural finite element mesh
Suspension strut
Washer machine
Capabilities include :

Analysis Types

Product operating conditions and functional requirements dictate the type of analysis that needs to be performed on a structural component or system. Often, these solution types require a specialized type of simulation technique to provide accurate, efficient and fast simulations, and most products will have structural requirements in multiple categories. Primary simulation types include:

  • Linear and nonlinear analysis
  • Static and dynamic analysis
  • Buckling analysis
  • Steady state, transient, frequency response, modal, and acoustic analysis
  • Multiphysics and multidiscipline analysis
  • High velocity and impact analysis
  • Damage, Failure, and wear analysis

Hexagon (MSC Software) has been developing and delivering leading solution technologies in all of these key areas for over 40 years, often being driven by the most advanced needs for aerospace and automotive vehicle development. Since the fundamental engineering and design principles are common across products from many different industries, everyone can benefit from the proven capabilities available in Hexagon’s (MSC Software) structural analysis solutions.

Stress in a hospital bed frame
Tapered rolling simulation
Stress in a lower control arm

Large Model, Systems and Assembly Modeling

Complex structural systems and large assemblies require special capabilities for efficient and accurate simulation. Hexagon (MSC Software) offers industry proven, high performance technology and methodologies for correctly and efficiently modeling and simulating these types of models. These include:

  • Techniques for correctly modeling welded, glued, and fastened assemblies, as well as jointed connections
  • ACMS – Automated Component Mode Synthesis for faster, parallelized modal analysis of large models
  • External Superelements for use in assembly process – Superelements enable logical partitioning of a full-vehicle and reuse of component information helping reduce solution time
  • 3D Contact simulation to account for complex assembly interactions

Based on over 40 years of experience in solving industrial problems, Hexagon (MSC Software) has developed and implemented some of the most efficient and accurate solver techniques and methods available. These solvers can take advantage of the latest in shared memory parallel and distributed memory parallel high performance computing platforms, to help solve some of the largest and most complex structural systems problems seen.

900M DOF body-in-white model
Vehicle system assembly for interior acoustics

Comprehensive Finite Element Modeling and Analysis

Hexagon (MSC Software) offers a comprehensive set of finite element modeling and analysis software that allows engineers, designers, and structural analysts to complete the analysis process from CAD to CAE Report. Key capabilities include:

  • Standalone or CAD embedded CAE modeling and analysis environments
  • Multi CAD import and native CAD access
  • Geometry creation and editing
  • Mid-surface extraction and geometry cleanup
  • Advanced solid and shell meshing tools and algorithms for linear and higher order HEX, TET, QUAD, TRIA and BEAM elements
  • 3D contact analysis
  • Material modeling including composite layups
  • Extensive toolsets for creating and assigning loads and boundary conditions
  • Analysis setup and job submission
  • Static and animated plots and charts for structural deformations, stresses, strains, and failure with scalar and vector quantities
  • Macro and template creation for automated simulation process and reporting
Automated reporting
Structural finite element mesh

Composites and Advanced Material Modeling

Hexagon (MSC Software) provides capabilities for modeling very broad spectrum of material types to meet the needs of many industries. Material modeling capabilities include:

  • Metals, plastics, rubbers, foam, composites, fluid, soil, reinforced concrete, rock and more
  • Composite laminates with per ply and stacking definitions
  • Combined thermal structural material models for multi discipline simulation
  • Extensive failure and yield models
  • Time, rate and temperature dependent material properties
  • Properties for De-lamination, crack propagation
  • Creep
  • Tabulated material properties
Advanced modeling for material damage and failure
Detailed composite layups for impact simulation

Optimization and Design Improvement

During the design and development stage of the Product Development (PD) process, the goal is to identify the best design to meet a number of different requirements. This requires the ability to identify the feasible design space, and then to develop the best or optimum design. Hexagon (MSC Software) offers solutions to help address design improvement and optimization through gradient based shape, size and topology techniques for structural component or systems and multi-run techniques to help understand the global behavior of a design, giving confidence that a robust design is delivered.

Topology optimization

Multidiscipline, Coupled and Chained Simulations

Obtaining correct loading and boundary conditions for a structural simulation can be challenging. The quality of the result of a simulation is directly related to the quality of the inputs. When it is difficult to obtain good loads and boundary conditions it is often best to rely on other CAE simulations to generate that information. This is where multidiscipline, coupled and chained simulations can both simplify the process of re-using simulation data, and improve the overall simulation fidelity, which in turn improves the quality of and confidence in the simulation. Here are some examples of how Hexagon’s (MSC Software) solutions can improve your simulation capabilities:

  • Motion-Structure Integration:
    • Can improve the simulation quality by providing more accurate loading data obtained from a multibody dynamics simulation – chassis and suspension loads applied to the vehicle structure – aircrafts, automobiles, washing machines
    • Provide more efficient stress predictions by using flexible bodies in a multibody dynamics simulation; vehicle and aircraft frame/structure fatigue, fatigue life of the read/write heads on a computer hard disk drive
  • Coupled thermal-structural analysis can give more accurate stress results when accounting for both the thermal loads and the structural loads simultaneously – combined friction and pressure loading of brake disk and rotor
  • Fluid-Structure Interaction (FSI)- coupled solution provides more accurate fluid flow simulation when deformed structure is considered, and structure loading is more correctly applied on affected surfaces – tire hydroplaning; airbag deployment; blood flow over an artificial valve
  • Chained structural simulations will provide more accurate analysis for example by applying pre-loads/pre-stress before event simulation – aircraft engine blade-out simulation; automotive engine modal analysis
Integrated motion–structure simulation for vibration analysis
Integrated motion–structure simulation for durability analysis
Aircraft ditch in water with airbags

Simulation Process Automation and Content Management

In addition to being able to simulate structural behavior using CAE, many engineers and managers are concerned with making sure the simulation process is repeatable, to ensure high confidence results and enable process improvement, and also that it can be re-done quickly to support design studies and shorten product development time. A side effect of this ability to support higher engineering throughput is that it generates more information that should be tracked and managed. Hexagon (MSC Software) provides next generation solutions for to help capture, author, and manage your CAE processes and content, helping to get the most out of your CAE strategy and investments.

Repeatable process for bottle top load simulation
Simulation portal for managing and tracking simulation processes, history and content
Industry Uses:
  • Aerospace & Defense: Airframe Stress and Vibrations, Landing Gear and Brake System Stress and Vibration, Aircraft Structural Systems Analysis, Aircraft Subsystems and Components Development, Composite Material Structures
  • Automotive: Strength, Durability, N&V for: Vehicle System, Body-in-White, Trimmed Body, Chassis, Powertrain, Closures, HVAC system and Components, Interior Components; Vehicle Crash and Safety Development: Airbag deployment, Vehicle Crash, Roof Crush; Sound Engineering, Interior and Exterior Acoustics
  • Consumer Products & Packaging: Power Tool N&V, Glass Forming, Thermal Forming, Extrusions, Blow Molding, Hotfilling, Analysis of fluid filled bottles, thermos, cooking utensils and stove, Sporting Goods N&V, Strength and Durability, Composite Materials
  • Electronics: Electrical-Thermal-Mechanical Micro-Actuator, MEMS Devices, Soldering, PCB cooling, Ultrasonic motor, Structural Solenoid Actuator, Impact and Drop Testing, Vibration, Stress, Fatigue
  • Energy: Cooling Pipes, Transformers, Joule Heating, Electrical Laminations, Capacitor, switches, circuit breakers; Generator Vibrations and Acoustics; Wind Turbine Blade and Transmission Strength, Vibrations and Acoustics
  • Government: Highway acoustic barriers, Explosion and safety of structures, Accident investigation
  • Heavy Equipment & Machinery: Acoustic and vibration analysis, Composite and elastomer curing, furnace, Material processing including cutting, machining and rolling
  • Medical: Blood flow analysis, Fluid bags, Laser welding, heart and other muscles, defibrillators, pacemaker, Artificial Valves, Prosthetics, Artificial Joints, Drug Delivery
  • Shipbuilding & Transportation: Liquid transportation and sloshing, accident investigation, underwater explosion, arc welding, sonar, cabin noise control, exterior acoustics
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D2S International offers consultancy services using finite element software from HEXAGON (MSC Software).


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