Specifying an Appropriate Element Size for Stress Analysis — Lesson 1

Specifying an appropriate element size for finite element meshes is critical to obtaining accurate results in a reasonable amount of time. Coarse meshes may give inaccurate results if the stress gradients are too large for the elements to capture properly. Too small of an element size will unnecessarily increase the computation costs and solution times.  Ansys Mechanical has various tools to specify the element size to achieve the typical end goal of a mesh-independent solution, where the results do not change with further increases in mesh density. In this video, we will illustrate the effects element size has on derived results quantities, such as stress and strain. We will cover several of the mesh sizing options available. While the proper element size may not be known before the solution, there are post-processing settings (such as results averaging and nodal differences) to check the appropriateness of the element size specified. We will deliver a short lecture and then get into Ansys Mechanical to illustrate the concepts on a mechanical part.

Video Highlights

2:21 - Contour Results Display Options: Averaged, Unaveraged, Nodal Difference

6:27 - Engineering Data: Material View

7:41 - Bearing Load

10:35 - Multiple Viewports

13:30 - Mesh Transition

15:01 - Scoping Results to Surfaces

Simulation Files

Download the accompanying geometry and archived project file used in the video lesson here. Download Ansys Student for free here.