Design of Roll Over Protection Systems and Trailer Rear Impact Guards Using ANSYS Mechanical Energy Absorption Calculations

Many companies use ANSYS to reduce chance of injury and death when an accident occurs such as the overturning of a tractor or the rear impact crash of a car into the back of a trailer. An effective method to minimize danger to vehicle occupants during an accident is to ensure that that the structure absorbs sufficient energy through plastic deformation during the accident impact.

Many vehicles have Roll Over Protection Systems (ROPS) to reduce injury to operators. Figure 1 shows a Bobcat skid steer loader including its ROPS, which is the black cage structure surrounding the driver. Continue reading

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The Impossible is Now Routine

Sometimes, during the course of doing what you might have thought was a routine simulation, you realize that you are doing something that didn’t used to be routine.  In fact, it may have been impossible without advances in software and hardware in recent years.

Recently, DRD was conducting stress simulation for a casting assembly from Davis Tool & Die of Fenton, MO. As the geometry was meshed and examined, small details of the casting continued to become evident and additional refinement was needed.  As seen in the images below, the model became quite large. Continue reading

Tricks for Producing Averaged Results for Surfaces or Volumes In ANSYS Mechanical

Occasionally it may be a requirement to report average values of stress or strain from an ANSYS Mechanical analysis. There are tricks to do this either for a group of nodes/elements on a face or elements within a specific volume.

Depending on the requirement, the goal may be to simply report either :

– “Average” stresses on a face (based on nodes)
– “Average” stresses on a face (based on elements)
– “Average” stresses on a volume (based on elements)

Technique 1 : Reporting weighted area average nodal stress Continue reading

Transferring Deformed Geometry Between ANSYS Applications

Often there is a need to export the deformed geometry from ANSYS Mechanical. Possibly to a 3D printer to show to customers, or maybe a new CAD geometry file is needed that can be used for drawings or further design evaluation. Starting with Release 17, Mechanical offers two options for users for doing this task.

Exporting STL (Standard Tessellation Language) files from the deformed results is one option. The STL file may be opened within ANSYS SpaceClaim Direct Modeler and reverse engineered to create deformed solid geometry from the STL facets. Continue reading

Slip Slidin’ Away! Modifying Friction Coefficients During a Mechanical Simulation

There are situations in which it may be necessary to tweak friction coefficient in a nonlinear contact analysis during the simulation. Currently, the ANSYS Workbench GUI does not support this capability directly; however, it is possible to vary the friction coefficient using a command object.

The ANSYS documentation has several references of doing this as listed under the Help section; Mechanical APDL > Material Reference > Nonlinear Material Properties > Contact Friction as shown below.

image1

This section on the documentation describes defining contact friction using TB,FRIC which is a material property used with current technology contact elements. It can be used to define coefficient of friction for both isotropic or orthotropic friction models. It further discusses varying friction coefficient in a multiple load step scenario, as well as implementing user defined friction  using TB,FRIC with TBOPT = USER.

The example presented here will show how to use commands object within Workbench to vary friction coefficient. The friction coefficient is defined via the TB,FRIC command. To define the friction that is function of temperature, time, normal pressure, sliding distance, etc. you can use the TBFIELD command in conjunction with the TB,FRIC. In this example presented, the friction is varied with time (to simulate it’s change through the load step).

Below is a graphic of the nonlinear contact between the Aluminum housing and steel ring gear.
image2

The command object used to modify friction as a function of time is shown below.
image3

This command object uses the information in the table below to modify friction :

Time                Friction Coefficient
0                      0
0.2                  0.1
0.4                  0.3
0.6                  0
0.8                  0.15
1                      0

As an example of the friction can vary, notice the friction coefficient is zero for time = 0.6 and time = 1.0.

During the run, the output controls under Analysis Settings was set to Yes for Nodal Forces, Contact Miscellaneous and General Miscellaneous.

A quick look at the contact results confirms our findings. The contour plot for contact friction stress shows zero results for time = 0.6 and 1 which makes sense, since the friction coefficient is essentially zero at these time points.
image5

Another sanity check is to check for reaction force through the frictional contact with the extraction method set to contact element option; this also reveals zero (nearly zero reaction force at these time points). The very small discrepancy noted on the reaction force is due to a few overlapping nodes on a boundary condition.
image4.png

 

Customizing the Output in ANSYS Mechanical with User Defined Results (UDR)

In many situations, we have seen customers ask for ways to output custom results from ANSYS Mechanical. The usual results like Total Deformation, Equivalent Stress or Equivalent Plastic Strain may not be enough for your needs. Depending on the requirements (say a specification you are designing a part to), you can create a User Defined Result to output the needed result. ANSYS already outputs various quantities via User Defined Results that can be viewed in the Worksheet. Here is a quick look at some of what is available:

These quantities are used to create your own results output. User Defined Results can be operated on in several ways. Here is an excerpt from the ANSYS Help documentation (Mechanical Applications > Mechanical User’s Guide > Using Results > User Defined Results > User Defined Results Expressions):

Just as a simple example, say Total Deformation is required and is not output automatically (it is, just an example). If you add an UDR to the results, then type in the expression sqrt(Ux^2+Uy^2+Uz^2), keeping in mind these expressions are case sensitive, you get to resultant deformation from all three component values. Compare this to Total Deformation.

One can also do something more complex, say safety factor calculations. If your specified safety factor is not directly related to the Yield Strength or Ultimate Strength of the material, but some factor of, an UDR can be used; constants can be created and used just like any User Defined Result in the Worksheet. An example is shown here, where a safety factor is calculated based on a value of 6,200 psi. The safety factor looks at the First Principal Stress output, computes the safety factor, then caps the display at 7. Values less than 0 psi (compression when looking at the First Principal Stress) are set to the highest safety factor allowed (7 in this case).

A small note on the equation written in the graphic, in order to display a constant value (0 or 7 in this example), it must be multiplied by the identity matrix (matrix of 1’s). If you are just using a constant for equation manipulation, the identity matrix is not required.

User Defined Results can be a powerful tool if the output from ANSYS Mechanical isn’t quite tailored to your needs.