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Module 04: Postprocessing, Validation, CAD, and Parameters


Introduction to ANSYS Mechanical

2016 ANSYS, Inc.

March 11, 2016

Module 04 Topics
This module covers Postprocessing, validation, CAD, and parameter management topics that are
common to all mechanical analysis disciplines:

1. Demonstration: ANSYS Mechanical


2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Postprocessing
Section Planes
Probe Tool
Charts
Scoping Results
Coordinate systems
Linearized Stress
Error Estimation
Convergence

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10. Stress Singularities


11. Convergence and Scoping
12. CAD Import
13. Defining Parameters in Workbench
14. Using the Parameter Workspace
15. Updating CAD Parameters
16. Workshop 04.1: Processing Results
17. Workshop 04.2: Parameter
Management
18. Appendix 04.1: Additional
Postprocessing

04.01 Demonstration: ANSYS Mechanical Postprocessing


This demonstration provides an overview of common
postprocessing functionality:
Viewing Results
Legend Controls
Contour Controls
Postprocessing Utilities
Scoping Results
Exporting Results

[video file: 04-Postprocessing.mp4]


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04.02 Section Planes


Section Planes are used to slice the model for viewing.
Select the Draw Section Plane icon, then click-drag with

the left mouse button.


Section planes can be turned on/off using the check box in
the details view.
Delete section planes using the delete icon.
Edit section planes by highlighting desired plane name and
using the handle in the Graphics window.
Can use local coordinate systems to automatically create a
section plane (XY plane).

Click on one side of bar to cap view

RMB
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Move a slice plane by dragging handle

04.03 Probe Tool


The Probe Tool:
Can be scoped to numerous entities depending on the
probe type and results can be made parametric.
The orientation of the result item can be with respect to
global or local coordinate systems.

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04.04 Charts
Combine results data from multiple steps (static or transient) into charts and/or tables:
Select New Chart and Table icon.
From the details Apply the desired result(s).
Use the CTRL key to select multiple results.
Select desired display items in details.

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04.05 Scoping Results


Some examples of scoping results on surfaces/parts:
Result scoped to a single part

Result scoped to selected surfaces

Result scoped to a nodal


named selection
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04.05 Scoping Results


We can also scope results to nodes and elements directly:

1. Select the Node or Element toolbar button selection filter.


2. Select the desired entities in the graphics window.

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04.05 Scoping Results


Contour plots across multi-body parts are
available:

When you select Averaged as the display


option, setting detail Average Across Bodies
to Yes (the default value is No) averages
the results across separate bodies the model.

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04.05 Scoping Results

For more in-depth information on this and


several other postprocessing topics, see
Appendix 04.1: Additional Postprocessing

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04.06 Coordinate Systems


Results containing directional components can be transformed into a local
coordinate system:
In result details select coordinate system from the drop down list.
Stresses in Local Cylindrical Y-Direction

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04.07 Linearized Stress


Using the path plot feature a linearized stress calculation can be plotted
(commonly used various structural codes such as ASME).

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04.08 Error Estimation


You can insert an Error result based on stresses (structural), or heat flux (thermal) to help
identify regions of high error.

These regions can indicate where the model could benefit from a more refined mesh.
Error plots are used to
identify regions where large
energy changes occur
between adjacent elements.
Mesh Refinement

The actual energy value in


the legend is of little
significance on its own.
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04.09 Convergence
In most finite-element analyses as the mesh is refined one expects to get mathematically more
precise results. How much refinement is enough usually requires experience and engineering
judgment. The Mechanical application has a convergence tool that can help assess the mesh
quality.
Obtaining an optimal mesh requires:

Having criteria to determine if a mesh is adequate.


Adding more elements only where theyre needed.
Attach convergence to a
result item and set the
allowable change in the
convergence details.
Specify maximum number of
iterations in the Solution
details.
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04.09 Convergence
After the solution is complete one can view the results normally:
The Convergence history shows the trend for each refinement loop.
Displaying elements in the results plot shows the last mesh (the mesh branch
always displays the original mesh).
Symbol next to convergence branch indicates success or failure.

Convergence
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Divergence

04.09 Convergence
The Convergence tool cannot be used if:
The model contains mesh connection object
You have an upstream or a downstream analysis link
You import loads in the analysis

To use Convergence, you must set Calculate Stress to Yes under


Output Controls in the Analysis Settings details panel.

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04.10 Stress Singularities


In structural analysis there are several situations that can cause singularities.
These artificial hot spots can adversely affect both error plots and convergence.

Crude Geometry

Force

Area
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Point Constraints

As Area

Zero

Point Loads

04.10 Stress Singularities


Consider the affect on error plots when a singularity is present. This situation will also cause
a convergence monitor to chase the singularity.

Point Load

High Energy Gradient


To remedy this we need to either remove the singularity (e.g., with more realistic loads
and/or geometry) or we need to avoid the problem areas. We can avoid problem
areas/singularities by scoping convergence results.
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04.11 Convergence and Scoping


A useful technique to avoid stress singularities when using convergence is to
scope results away from them.
If a singularity region is not an area of interest, one can scope results to selected
part(s) or surface(s) and add convergence controls only to those results.

Example:
Possible stress
singularity

Region of interest
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04.11 Convergence and Scoping


Convergence controls added to the
entire model.
Geometric discontinuity causes a
stress singularity causing
divergence.
Solution becomes very costly by
including the stress singularity.
Convergence controls on scoped
results allows adaptive refinement
only in user-specified locations.
Provides more control over the
mesh and the adaptive solution.
Accurate stresses realized in the
region of interest.

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04.12 CAD Import


Numerous Geometry Interfaces are available for commercial CAD systems:

For the latest information on CAD geometry interfaces and supported platforms see the
ANSYS Workbench Mechanical documentation.

Geometry Interface licenses can be run in reader mode for all licenses.
Geometry Interfaces can be run in plug-in mode for the CAD software listed under
Associative.

DesignModeler is the Workbench geometry application and supports all the functions
and capabilities listed for commercial CAD systems.
Note the SpaceClaim Direct modeler also supports these features.
Please note: Not all import capabilities described here are available with all CAD systems.
Features depend on CAD capabilities and the support provided through the CAD vendors
API.

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04.12 CAD Import


Workbench geometry properties control the import of
numerous CAD items in addition to geometry:
Parameters, Coordinate Systems, Material properties, etc.
To display geometry import properties:
RMB > Properties, or

View > Properties.

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Geometry Interface
ACIS (.SAT)
AutoCAD
Autodesk Inventor
Catia V4
Catia V5
Catia V6
Creo Parametric
Design Modeler
Gambit
IGES
JT Reader

Availability

Monte Carlo N-Particle


NX
Parasolid
Solid Edge
SolidWorks
SpaceClaim
STEP

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04.12 CAD Import


Import solid, surface, or line bodies:
Assemblies with mixed solids and surfaces are OK.
Select desired geometry type to filter import.
Cannot import a part with mixed solids and surfaces.
Use Associativity:
Allows updating CAD geometry in Mechanical without redefining
material properties, loads, supports, etc..
Smart CAD Update:
only modified components of a CAD assembly are updated.

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04.12 CAD Import


Local Coordinate systems:
Allows local CS from CAD models to import with geometry.
See current documentation for CAD system support.

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04.12 CAD Import


Parametric CAD dimensions can be imported into Mechanical.
Check Parameters:
The Parameter Key provides a filter. When used, only
parameters whose names contain the key will be imported
(default is DS).
Note, multiple filters can be used by separating each with ;
(e.g. NS; AB; VR).
To import all CAD parameters leave the parameter key field
blank.
CAD parameters will appear in the Details view for the part.

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04.12 CAD Import


Groups defined in CAD systems can be imported as Named
Selections.

Check the Named Selections box:

The Named Selection key provides a filter. When used only


groups containing the specified prefix in their name will be
imported (default is NS).
Note, multiple filters can be used by separating each with
; (e.g. NS; AB; VR).
To import all groups leave the named selection key field
blank.
Imported Named Selections appear in the tree.

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04.12 CAD Import


For most CAD systems Workbench offers an alternate way of working with
groups of geometry via the Named Selection Manager in the CAD system.
Access the NS Manager from the ANSYS menu within the CAD system.
Once opened the NS Manager allows groups to be created independent of the internal
CAD groups. Create, Select, Delete, etc. operations

Sample menu from


CAD

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04.12 CAD Import


Material Properties assigned in a CAD system can
be imported to Workbench (Engineering Data).
Check Material Properties:
Materials imported from CAD will appear in Engineering Data
Material assignments will match the CAD material assignments.

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04.13 Defining Parameters in Workbench


Parameters are defined in Mechanical by toggling the parameter flag on/off.

Example of input parameters

Click in the square and a blue P will appear.


Material properties are parameterized in the engineering data application.

Example of output parameters

CAD parameters must be flagged as well to allow access in Workbench


(otherwise they are read-only).

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Example of CAD input parameters

04.14 Using the Parameter Workspace


Workbench Mechanical uses the Parameter Set workspace to manage parametric data
from analysis and geometry sources.
Derived parameters and constants can be created and managed as well.

Double click or RMB > Edit the


Parameter Set to access parameters:

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04.14 Using the Parameter Workspace


Parameter information is presented in a series of tables:
Outline: lists all input, output or derived parameters.
Property: lists information regarding the parameter highlighted in the outline.

Table of DP
Outline

Properties

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Table of Design Points: allows multiple


parameter configurations to be
prepared before solving

04.14 Using the Parameter Workspace


To modify a parameter value one can enter a new value in the Value field in the Outline
window then Update/Refresh the project.

Create custom parameters by entering expressions. Expressions can be created using


functions or by using already existing parameters.

Units can be entered


using braces as necessary.

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04.14 Using the Parameter Workspace


Use the Table of Design Points to enter multiple sets values for the input
parameters. This allows a number of scenarios to be predefined for study.

Once the Table of Design Points is complete, choose Update All Design Points
to automate the solving of each scenario.
By default, each scenario overwrites the results of the previous one, retaining
only the output parameter values. If you wish to retain complete results sets,
check the Retain box for any or all rows.
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04.14 Using the Parameter Workspace


Example using design points: A CAD dimension has been
promoted to a WB input parameter.
The stress in a particular region of the model is promoted
as an output parameter.
The mass of the geometry has also been promoted to a
parametric output.

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04.14 Using the Parameter Workspace


Example . . .
Opening the parameter workspace,
the parameters can be seen in the
outline.

In the table of design points, 3 new


values are added to the current CAD
parameter value.

From the top menu Update


All Design Points initiates the
process.
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04.14 Using the Parameter Workspace


Example . . .
The progress of the updates is reflected in the
table.

With updates complete various charts can be


created to investigate the data.

Stress vs Fillet Radius

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04.14 Using the Parameter Workspace


Additional processing in the parameter workspace:

Parameter Parallel Chart shows configuration of all parameters per DP


DP3
Each XY intersection provides a snapshot of all
parameters for a particular DP
DP2
DP0
Colored lines represent
design points.
DP1
Vertical lines represent
parameters (P1, P2, ).
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04.14 Using the Parameter Workspace


By highlighting parameters, different chart configurations can be selected.

With P1 highlighted, notice that the chart options


are with respect to this parameter.
After selecting, double-click the desired chart
to configure the display.

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04.14 Using the Parameter Workspace


As charts are created they are stored in the outline
window and can be retrieved by highlighting them.
Using a RMB in various areas of the chart,
users can Edit Properties to control
colors, styles, symbols, interpolation type,
legend, line display, background, etc.

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04.15 Updating CAD Parameters


Updating from current values in the CAD tool:
After modifying the geometry in the CAD system, RMB the Geometry cell
and Update From CAD. This will update the Mechanical geometry to match
the CAD system.

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04.15 Updating CAD Parameters


Updating from current values in Workbench:
Make sure CAD parameter is promoted in Mechanical.
Modify parameter value in WB Parameter Set.
Refresh: causes CAD and Mechanical geometry to match new parameter values.
Update: causes CAD and Mechanical geometry to update and remesh.

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04.16 Workshop 04.1: Processing Results


Goal:
Analyze the mechanical arm shown below and then use some of the
advanced postprocessing features to review the stress and estimate the
error associated with the default mesh.

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04.17 Workshop 04.2: Parameter Management


Goal:

Use the Workbench Parameter Workspace to setup multiple scenarios to


explore structural responses in the bracket shown. Material thickness will be
varied in the gusset with the bracket thickness held constant, then the process
will be reversed.

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04.18 Appendix 04.1

Additional Postprocessing

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04.18 Appendix 04.1: Viewing Results


The Context toolbar allows for numerous alternatives for viewing results:
Outline Display

Displacement Scaling

Display Method

Min/Max

Probe

Visualisation of results

Contour Settings

Vector Display Controls

Distribute

Export AVI

Timeline allows users


to animate results
Play

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Pause

Markers

Frame Rate Control

Scale to Multisteps

04.18 Appendix 04.1: Viewing Results


Displacement Scaling:

In structural analysis a default scale factor multiplies actual displacements.


The scale factor can be changed using several built in values or to a user specified one.

Automatic Displacement Scaling

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True Scale

04.18 Appendix 04.1: Viewing Results


We can now view results in a worksheet form.
Multiple Post-Processing entities can be viewed in one go rather than scoping
individual entities under the solution branch.
RMB on solution allows users to view worksheet result summary.

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04.18 Appendix 04.1: Legend Controls


Right Clicking on the legend in the graphics area allows the user to modify the
legend display.
Edit Value
Export/Import/Switch to a saved legend setting
Increase/Decrease Contour Bands

Horizontal/Vertical legend

Display Date/Time
Switch to Logarithmic Scale
Number of Significant Digits

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Display Max/Min label on the legend


Switch to Scientific Notation

04.18 Appendix 04.1: Legend Controls


The legend bounds can be
manipulated to show result
distributions more clearly for
contour plots.

Max/Min values
are unchanged

Click and drag contour


dividers (or type in values) to
specify contour ranges.
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04.18 Appendix 04.1: Legend Controls


Independent Bands allow neutral colors to represent regions of the
model above or below the specified legend limits.

Legend Contour Range

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04.18 Appendix 04.1: Contour Controls


The Geometry icon controls the contour display
method. Four choices are available:
Exterior

IsoSurfaces
Exterior is the default
display option and is most
commonly used.
IsoSurfaces is useful to
display regions with the
same contour value.

Capped IsoSurfaces

Slice Planes

Capped IsoSurfaces will


remove regions of the model
where the contour values
are above (or below) a
specified value.
Slice Planes allow a user to
cut through the model
visually. A capped slice
plane is also available, as
shown on the left.

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04.18 Appendix 04.1: Contour Controls


Capped IsoSurfaces are manipulated by an independent controller:
Icons allow isosurface cap to be top or bottom.
The cap threshold can be controlled via the slider or by typing the value directly.

Top Capped Isosurface


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Bottom Capped Isosurface

04.18 Appendix 04.1: Contour Controls


The Contours icon controls the style of color bands
used when plotting results:
Smooth Contours

Isolines

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Contour Bands

Solid Fill

04.18 Appendix 04.1: Contour Controls


The Edges icon controls the display of the
undeformed geometry or the mesh:
No Wireframe

Show Undeformed Model

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Show Undeformed Wireframe

Show Elements

04.18 Appendix 04.1: Contour Controls


Vector plots can be used to display result quantities defined with directions such as
deformation, principal stresses, and heat flux.

Activate vectors for directional quantities using the vector graphics icon:
Once the vectors are visible the vector display controls toolbar is available:
Vector Length
Length Control
Control

Proportional Vectors

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Equal Length
Length Vectors
Vectors

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Element Aligned
Aligned

Vector Density
Density Control
Control

Grid Aligned
Aligned

Line Form

Solid Form

04.18 Appendix 04.1: Alerts


Alerts are simple ways of check to see if a scalar result quantity satisfies a criterion:
Highlight the particular result branch, RMB and insert an Alert.
In the Details view, specify the criterion.

In the Outline tree, a green checkmark indicates that the criterion is satisfied. A red exclamation
mark indicates that the criterion was not satisfied.

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04.18 Appendix 04.1: Windows


Multiple viewports can be used to display various images at the same time
(model or postprocessing data).
Useful to compare multiple results, such as results from different environments or
multiple mode shapes

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04.18 Appendix 04.1: Videos


The animation toolbar allows user to play, pause, and stop animations:

Start/Stop/Pause

Multi-solve results (e.g. nonlinear, transient)


creates animation based on solution points.

Control resolution and speed


Single solve results use distributed animation to
interpolates results.

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Export video
(avi) file

04.18 Appendix 04.1: Constraint Equation Display


Various operations in Mechanical result in networks of constraint equations being
added to the model (e.g., remote boundary conditions, spot welds, weak springs, etc.).
Visibility for these connections is controlled from the Solution Information details and
Graphics tab.

Remote Force

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04.18 Appendix 04.1: Scoping Results


Limiting the scope of results displays can be useful when postprocessing:

Scoping automatically scales the legend to results for selected regions.


To scope contour results:

Pre-select geometry or named selection then request the result of interest.


The non-selected geometry will be displayed as translucent.

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04.18 Appendix 04.1: Scoping Results


Results can be scoped to a single edge (or vertex):
Select edge(s) for results scoping.

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04.18 Appendix 04.1: Scoping Results


Construction geometry consists of either a path or surface.
Paths are defined using coordinate systems, model
edges or existing points.
Surfaces are located and oriented using coordinate
systems.
Existing results scoped to edges can be converted to
path plots automatically (RMB).

RMB

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04.18 Appendix 04.1: Scoping Results


Results may be mapped onto construction geometry.

Path Plot Example:

Surface Plot Example:

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04.18 Appendix 04.1: Scoping Results


Path results may also be displayed in graphical form.
The X axis may be displayed as path location (S) or time (transient analyses).

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04.18 Appendix 04.1: Scoping Results


In addition to contoured results, a reaction probe can be scoped to a construction
surface. Reactions across the surface are displayed and listed in the details.

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04.18 Appendix 04.1: Exporting Results


To export result items, worksheet information and tables:
Highlight item, RMB > Export
For Worksheet:
Select the branch and click on the Worksheet tab.
Right-click the same branch and select Export.

Export as text or Excel *.xls file types.

Export Worksheet

Export Results

Note: To include node location information in exports, set


the Include Node Location option to Yes under Tools >
Options > Mechanical: Export
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Export Tables