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What to do when it's crunch time: new simulation software makes it easier to more accurately model the real world. (CAD/CAE).

Version 6.3 of Abaqus, an FEA software package for solving sophisticated problems in non-linear analysis, offers new tools for advanced linear and dynamics applications as well as finite element modeling and post-processing.

Abaqus is used by product development and research organizations around the world to simulate and improve the performance of components, materials, and products subject to environmental and operational loading conditions. The product suite consists of Abaqus/Standard, Abaqus/Explicit, and Abaqus/CAE.

Version 6.3 has more than 80 enhancements including general contact and spot welds, a method for solving multiple load cases, extended parallel processing for faster computing, additional capabilities in inertia relief, and usability improvements such as direct CAD import and a virtual topology feature for idealizing finite element models from complex geometry.

"We have developed Abaqus 6.3 in close collaboration with major customers," explains Marc Schrank, director of product management for Abaqus Inc., formerly known as Hibbitt, Karlsson & Sorensen. "This release continues to advance Abaqus as the leading software for non-linear FEA. These industry-leading non-linear analysis capabilities, combined with new capabilities for linear and dynamics applications, offer users an unprecedented range of analysis power."

Abaqus/Explicit is a system for solving transient dynamic analyses such as those involving drop-test and impact simulations. Its new general contact capability eases the simulation of complex contact interactions that were difficult to solve in the past. General contact facilitates quick and accurate definition of contact models, eliminating the traditional, time-consuming manual methods that analysts have used to define individual contact surfaces. One application of general contact technology is impact simulation of complex assemblies typically found in consumer electronics such as cell phones or digital cameras.

"A robust general contact capability makes Abaqus/Explicit a powerful impact simulation solution for many of our safety applications," says Dr. Alois Starlinger, head of structural analysis and testing at Alcan Mass Transportation Systems in Zurich, Switzerland. "We tested a pre-release version of Abaqus 6.3 to examine complex contact interaction and large deformations in a rail-car crush zone. The new general contact feature greatly simplified model preparation, and simulation results agreed very well with corresponding tests. Additionally, Abaqus 6.3 improved the solution time for our contact problems by at least 20 percent."

Peak computing performance is required to solve the increasingly large models used to analyze complex mechanical systems. A new domain-level parallelization approach in Abaqus/Explicit, along with extended parallelization of the sparse and Lanczos solvers in Abaqus/Standard, was engineered with performance gains in mind for large models. Another goal was to improve the tools in Abaqus/Standard for advanced linear applications such as those involving airframes and launch vehicles. The software now provides a new approach to solving multiple discrete load cases quickly--in some cases, more than 10 times faster.

Other enhancements to Abaqus/Standard include new cylindrical elements and concrete damage models, new material models to support high-temperature fatigue assessment, expanded submodeling, support for complex underwater shock analysis, and new inertia relief capabilities. Inertia relief enables analysis of the forces acting on a quasi-static body such as an aircraft in flight. In addition, the Nastran-import capability in Abaqus has been upgraded to provide support for Nastran-specific inertia relief setup.

The Abaqus/CAE finite-element modeling environment has also been improved in Version 6.3. Along with expanded capabilities for native geometry creation, the software now offers direct import of native geometry from a number of CAD systems including Catia, I-Deas, Pro/Engineer, Unigraphics, and all other systems that export Parasolid-based models. In addition, new virtual topology tools allow insignificant details in complex CAD geometry to be eliminated by combining model faces and surfaces automatically or semi-automatically to provide an effective model for meshing.

More information is available by contacting Abaqus Inc., 1080 Main St., Pawtucket, RI 02860, calling (401) 727-4200, writing in 60 on our reader service card, visiting, or replying online at
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Publication:Product Design & Development
Date:Feb 1, 2003
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