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ANSYS Mechanical APDL

By Dr.Mohammad Reza Vafaei
Hossein Shad
Hamid Pesaran Behbahani


ANSYS is a general purpose finite element modeling

package for numerically solving a wide variety of
static/dynamic structural analysis (both linear and nonlinear), heat transfer and fluid problems, as well as
acoustic and electro-magnetic problems.

Three Stages of Solving the problems

In general, a finite element solution may be broken into the following

three stages. This is a general guideline that can be used for setting
up any finite element analysis.

1.Preprocessing: defining the problem; the major steps in

preprocessing are given below:

Define key points/lines/areas/volumes

Define element type and material/geometric properties

Mesh lines/areas/volumes as required

The amount of detail required will depend on the dimensionality of the

analysis (i.e. 1D, 2D, axisymmetric, 3D).

Three Stages of Solving the problems

Solution: assigning loads, constraints
and solving ; here we specify the loads
(point or pressure), constraints
(translational and rotational) and finally
solve the resulting set of equations.


Three Stages of Solving the problems

Post processing: further processing and
viewing of the results; in this stage one
may wish to see:


Lists of nodal displacements

Element forces and moments

Deflection plots

Stress contour diagrams

START: Run Mechanical APDL Product Launcher

Main Window

Main Window
The Utility Menu contains functions that are available throughout the ANSYS
session, such as file controls, selections, graphic controls and parameters.

where you will graphically view the model

The Main Menu contains the primary ANSYS functions, organized by
preprocessor, solution, general postprocessor, design optimizer. It is from
this menu that the vast majority of modelling commands are issued.

Utility Menu>>>File

Utility Menu>File

Defining the Jobname:

The jobname is a name up to 32 characters that identifies the ANSYS job. When you
define a jobname for an analysis, the jobname becomes the first part of the name of
all files the analysis creates. (The extension or suffix for these files' names is a file
identifier such as .DB.) By using a jobname for each analysis, you ensure that no files
are overwritten.

Tips on Save and RESUME

Periodically save the databases as you progress through an analysis. ANSYS does Not
do Automatic saves.

You should definitely SAVE the dastabase before attempting an unfamiliar operation
(such as a delet). RESUME can then be used as an undo if you dont like the results
of that operation.

SAVE is also recommended before doing a solver.

Utility Menu > File> Change Jobname

Utility Menu>File
Save and Resume
It is good to Save your project frequently so that you can restore the
information in the event of a computer crash or power failure.
The SAVE operation copies the database from memory to a file called the
database file ( or db file for short).
The easiest way to do a save is to click on: Toolbar > SAVE_DB
Or use : Utility Menu > File > SAVE_DB
Utility Menu >file >Save as
To restore the data base from the db file back into memory, use the RESUME
Toolbar >RESUME_DB
Or use Utility Menu > File >Resume Jobname.db
Utility Menu >File >Resume from .
The default file name for SAVE and RESUME is jobname.db, but you can
choose a diffrenet name by the Save as or Resume from functions.
Choosing the Save as or Resume from function does NOT change the
current jobname. If you save to the default file name and a jobname.db
already exists, ANSYS will first copy the old file to jobname.dbb as a backup

Utility Menu>File

Defining an Analysis Title:

Utility Menu> File> Change Title

This will define a title for the analysis. ANSYS includes the title on all graphics displays and
on the solution output. (Please include your name and student ID in the analysis title for
all original graphs)

ANSYS: Saving and Restoring Jobs


Format of files

frame.db Database file (binary). This file stores the geometry, boundary conditions and any

frame.dbb Backup of the database file (binary).

frame.err Error file (text). Listing of all error and warning messages.

frame.out Output of all ANSYS operations (text). This is what normally scrolls in the output
window during an ANSYS session.

frame.log Logfile or listing of ANSYS commands (text). Listing of all equivalent ANSYS command
line commands used during the current session. etc...

Depending on the operations carried out, other files may have been written. These files may
contain results, etc.

Utility Menu-Select

Select>Entities---Select objects such as nodes,

element type, material properties and etc.

Utility Menu>>>List

make a list from Nodes, areas,

Volumes, elements and their
Make a list based on
elements properties such as
material, element sections
and etc.
Make list from loading types,
constraints, concentrated loads and

Utility Menu>>>Plot

Utility Menu>>>PlotCtrls
Setting for Numbers
setting related to graphical
demonstration of constraints and
Make animation from output

Plotting of Images
1)Utility Menu>>> Plot Ctrls>>>Capture Image

Export Images
2) Utility Menu>>> PlotCtrls
>>>Hard Copy >>>To File

Main Menu >>>Preference

This tells ANSYS what type of analysis
you want to see menu choices for.
Click on the structural box.

Main Menu>>>Pre-processor
In Preprocessor, It can be define key points/lines/areas/volumes ,Define element type and
material/geometric properties ,Mesh lines/areas/volumes as required.

Define Type of Element

Define Material and the type of Material ( linear, non-linear and

Meshing tools

Define constants of elements

such as thickness, moment
inertia and etc.

Creat and edit the

Setting for numbering and merge

Coincident and Couple of Nodes, Define rigid diaphragm

Loading, constraint and etc. (It is available in Solution part as well.

Main Menu>>>Solution
In Solution part, it can be apply the loads (point or pressure),
constraints (translational and rotational) ,solve the resulting set of

Select type of Analysis and setting


Define Loads and boundary


Main Menu>>>General Postproc

Select the Units

Main Menu >>> Material Props >>> Material Library >>>Select Units

Explain during Examples

Solid Modeling - Top-Down Modeling

Boolean Operations

Boolean operations are computations involving combinations of

geometric entities. ANSYS Boolean operations include add,
subtract, intersect, divide, glue, and overlap.


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Inventory #001441

Input entities

Boolean operation

Output entity(ies)

Solid Modeling - Top-Down Modeling

...Boolean Operations


Combines two or more entities into one.

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Boolean Operations


Attaches two or more entities by creating a common boundary between them.

Useful when you want to maintain the distinction between entities (such as for different materials).

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Boolean Operations


Removes the overlapping portion of one or more entities from a set of base entities.

Useful for creating holes or trimming off portions of an entity.

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Boolean Operations


Cuts an entity into two or more pieces that are still connected to each other by common boundaries.

The cutting tool may be the working plane, an area, a line, or even a volume.

Useful for slicing and dicing a complicated volume into simpler volumes for brick meshing.

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...Boolean Operations


Keeps only the overlapping portion of two or more entities.

If there are more than two input entities, you have two choices: common intersection and
pairwise intersection

Common intersection finds the common overlapping region among all input entities.

Pairwise intersection finds the overlapping region for each pair of entities and may produce more than
one output entity.


January 30, 2001
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Problem Stress Concentration in plate

with Central Hole

Procedure Summary

1) Start Ansys
2) Preprocessing (make model)
Specify title
Set analysis preferences
Define element types to be used
Define material properties and real
Generate model geometry
Mesh Geometry
Apply loads and boundary conditions
3) Solution
4) Postprocessing (view results)
View displacements
View stresses

d = 0.2 m
w = 1.0 m
l = 3.0 m
t=1 cm
E = 200 GPa
= 0.3
P=1 MPa

Specify Title. File > Change Title
The title (maximum 72 characters)
appears on all graphic displays. A title
is not required but is often useful.
Click OK when finished.

Set Preferences. Preferences

This tells ANSYS what type of analysis you

want to see menu choices for. Click on the
structural box. Note the various disciplines
included in ANSYS. Click OK when finished.

Define Element Types

Preprocessor > Element Type > Add/Edit/Delete

Define Element Options

Preprocessor > Element Type > Options
Each element type will have a variety of different options. The online help will describe the
selected element and available options. The PLANE42 element has 4 nodes with x and y
displacements at each node. For this example, change the element behavior to plane stress with

Define Real Constants (Example)

Preprocessor > Real Constants
Real Constants define additional geometry and behavioral definitions for the elements. Typical inputs are
thickness for 2-D plates and cross-section properties for beams. We need to set the thickness of our
elements to 1 cm. There may be more than one real constant set for each element type.

Define Material Properties

Preprocessor > Material Props > Material Models

Create Geometry
Preprocessor > Create > Areas > Rectangle > By 2 Corners

Create the Circular Section for the Hole

Preprocessor> Modeling-Create> Area-Circle> Solid Circle

Subtract the Circle From the Square

Our geometry can be completed by subtracting the circle from the square. Be sure to select the correct areas. The
rectangle is area 1, and the circle is area 2. If the wrong area is selected by accident, click on the Reset button on
the menu to clear the selection. If there is an error in your result, reload the database (Toolbar:RESUME_DB) and
try again.

Preprocessor> Modeling>Operate> Booleans-Subtract> Areas

First Pick Area 1 (Apply)

Then Pick Area 2 (Apply)

Toolbar: SAVE_DB

Set Mesh Size Controls

Before creating our mesh (the nodes and elements), we are going to set a parameter to control the size (and number) of
the elements created. We will do this by setting a global size for all the elements. This defines approximately how long
the sides of each element are. We will start by specifying an edge length of 0.05 m. We will later use more powerful
meshing options.
Preprocessor > Meshing>Size Controls >Manual Size-Global-Size

An Alternative Mesh Tool

Preprocessor > Meshing- Mesh Tool

Resulting Mesh

Apply Loads and Boundary Conditions

Preprocessor > Loads >Apply >Structural Displacement >On Lines

Pick the line on the left

Edge of the rectangle

Apply the Load as a Pressure Load

We will apply a 1 MPa pressure load on the left.
Preprocessor > Loads >Apply >Pressure > On Lines

Pick this line

Solution > Solve Current LS


Postprocessing (Viewing the Solution)

General Postproc > Plot Results > Nodal Solution:DOF solution

Displacement Contour

Stress Contour Plot Stress in X Direction

General Postproc > Plot Results > Nodal Solution:Stress/X-Component

Stress Output Options

Components: x, y, z, xy, yz, zx

Principal Stresses: 1, 2, 3
Stress Intensity: Maximum difference in principal stress
von Mises equivalent stress

Refine and Reanalyze


Define the Problem

Utility>>>File >>> Change Title /Save as/Save as


Note: to get the title to appear immediately, select

Utility Menu > Plot > Replot

Select the ty

Main Menu>>>Preference(((Structure)))

Define Keypoints
Define Keypoints>>>Preprocessor > Modeling > Create > Keypoints > In Active CS

Note: When entering the final data point, click on 'OK' to indicate that you are finished entering keypoints. If you first press
'Apply' and then 'OK' for the final keypoint, you will have defined it twice!
If you did press 'Apply' for the final point, simply press 'Cancel' to close this dialog box.

Form Lines

Preprocessor > Modeling > Create > Lines > Lines > In Active Coord

Disappearing Lines Please note that any lines you have created may 'disappear'
throughout your analysis. However, they have most likely NOT been deleted. If
this occurs at any time from the

Utility Menu select: Plot > Lines

Define the Type of Element

Main Menu>Preprocessor>Element Type>Add/Edit/Delet (2D Spare Link)

Define Geometric Properties

Main Menu>Real Constants> Add/Edit/Delete (A=3250 mm2)

Define Material

Material Props > Material Models<><><>select Structural > Linear > Elastic
> Isotropic (E=200 Gpa)

Meshing > Size Cntrls > ManualSize >

Lines > All Lines(1 division per line)

Meshing > Mesh > Lines

Plot Numbering: To show the line numbers, keypoint numbers, node


Utility Menu >PlotCtrls > Numbering...

Solution Phase: Assigning Loads and Solving

Define Analysis Type
Main Menu>Solution >Analysis Type > New Analysis (STATIC)

Apply Constraints
Define Loads > Apply > Structural > Displacement > On Keypoints

Apply Loads

Define Loads > Apply > Structural > Force/Moment > on Keypoints

Solving The System

Solve > Current LS

Results Using ANSYS

Reaction Forces:

Main Menu>General Postproc > List Results > Reaction Solu

Deformation : Main Menu>General Postproc >Plot Results > Deformed


Deflection: Main Menu>General Postproc >Plot results > Contour Plot >
Nodal Solution (USUM)

List of deflection: General Postproc > List Results >Nodal Solution

For line elements (ie links, beams, spars, and pipes) you will often need to use the
Element Table to gain access to derived data (ie stresses, strains). For this example we should obtain axial stress to
compar with the hand calculations. The Element Table is different for each element, therefore, we need to look a the
help file for LINK1 (Type help link1 into the Input Line). From Table 1.2 in the Help file, we can see that SAXL can
be obtained through the ETABLE, using the item 'LS,1'
Axial Force: General Postprocessor>Element Table >Define Table

As shown above, enter 'SAXL' in the 'Lab' box. This specifies the name of the item you are defining. Next, in the
'Item,Comp' boxes, select 'By sequence number' and 'LS,'. Then enter 1 after LS, in the selection box
Plot the Stresses by selecting Element Table > Plot Elem Table
Utility Menu > PlotCtrls > Style > Contours > Uniform Contours