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3 Amazing Structural Analysis Examples for Engineers

The Ansys Mechanical user interface

Since the debut of Ansys’ structural mechanics solutions in 1969, engineers have relied on structural analysis software to optimize their designs and validate their products.

Ansys simulation technology continues to evolve to meet the needs of engineers who use simulation software to create innovative products, systems and processes.

So, without further ado, here are three structural analysis examples that highlight the importance of simulation software.

For history on Ansys Mechanical, read: Making the Best in Class Even Better. For a look into Mechanical’s future, read: Structure a New Industry Standard.

Structural Analysis Example of How Engineers Design Parts for Additive Manufacturing

Rosswag Engineering formerly underwent 10 printing iterations before their additive manufacturing (AM) team produced a part that met specifications. Because one print could cost a company thousands of dollars in development time, delays and materials, the trial and error approach wasn’t conducive to business.

These bicycle frame parts need to align if they are to fit into the assembly. This can be a challenge when engineers produce the parts using additive manufacturing. Ansys Additive Print reduces distortions enabling the part to be built properly the first time.

Rosswag later introduced Ansys Additive Print into the development cycle to help predict the internal stresses of the part and how the printing material would perform.

By predicting the distortions and stresses using this simulation process, Rosswag successfully optimized its designs to compensate. As a result, the development time reduced by months and the parts printed properly on the first build.

To learn more about how Rosswag achieved this, read: Reducing the Strain of Additive Manufacturing.

The History of Hallquist’s Creation of a Structural Analysis Tool for Nonlinear Dynamics

With the acquisition of Livermore Software Technology Corporation (LSTC), Ansys users will benefit from increased multiphysics compatibility between the Ansys portfolio and the nonlinear dynamics solver of LS-DYNA. This enables engineers to study systems that experience severe material deformation, or failure, over a short timeframe.

Ansys LS-DYNA created this car crash simulation.

John Hallquist began creating LS-DYNA in 1976 at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to code a solver with explicit time integration that could study nonlinear dynamics. The software’s success led to the creation of LSTC in 1987 — with LS-DYNA serving as the flagship product.

Hallquist and LSTC continued to improve the software to support other analysis methods including:

  • Arbitrary Lagrangian Eulerian method
  • Incompressible computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • Conservation element/solution compressible fluids
  • Discrete element method (DEM)
  • Electromagnetism
  • Element-free Galerkin method
  • Fluid–structure interaction (FSI)
  • Implicit simulations
  • Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH)
  • Smooth particle hydrodynamics
  • Heat transfer

To learn more of the history of LS-DYNA and how its various functionalities will fit into the Ansys portfolio, read: Ansys Expands Access to Advanced Multiphysics Simulation with LSTC Acquisition.

This Structural Analysis Example Piles on the Material Savings

The mesh of a suction pile

Suction piles are a fascinating offshore mooring technology. These devices are essentially a cylinder with one end open. This involved placing the pile on the seabed, suction the water out of the structure and use that differential under pressure to push the device into the soil.

Once the pile enters the soil, it provides a strong anchor for offshore drilling, exploratory vessels, windmills and anything else that needs to remain stationary in water and above 3000m.

The stronger the soil, the better stability it offers. However, that also means that engineers need to ensure the suction pile can withstand more pressure as it digs into the soil.

Traditionally, engineers simulated the system using radial springs with nonlinear stiffness. This created a conservative solution that used a lot of expensive steel to create the structure.

To address this challenge, Ansys elite channel partner EDRMedeso used Ansys Mechanical to simulate the system using finite element analysis (FEA) and the geomechanics library. They saved their client over $280,000 in material costs without risking the performance of the pile.

To learn how, read: Stability Under Pressure.

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