Cornell SimCafe Structures

This SimCafe Structures Learning Track was developed by Dr. Rajesh Bhaskaran at Cornell University in partnership with Ansys. It serves as an e-learning resource to integrate industry-standard simulation tools into courses and provides a resource for supplementary learning outside the classroom. The following courses show how to solve structural problems using Ansys Mechanical. These tutorial-based courses follow the same high-level steps; starting with pre-analysis and ending with verification and validation. The successful completion of these simulation courses will provide a thorough understanding of how to set up a Structural simulation using Ansys Mechanical.


Structures
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Point Loading of Cantilever Beam

The purpose of this SimCafe course is to showcase, in a relatively simple situation, where simple beam theory is no longer as valid as it is in the limit of a long and slender beam geometry.  In some commercial codes, simple one-dimensional cubic beam elements for bending deflection, do not capture shear deflection when the beam is no longer slender. Alternatively in Ansys, if shear deflection is accounted for in the 1D element formulation, results for the beam’s tip deflection will not agree with tip deflections predicted by simple Euler-Bernoulli beam theory. This course is meant to highlight where it is relatively straightforward to apply 3D FEA and resolve a correct solution.

Coronary Artery Disease kills nearly 1 in 4 Americans every year. Implantable stent treatments for arterial disease are constantly evolving with implantable stent innovations leading the way. Over 600,000 cardiovascular stents are implanted every year just in the United States alone. Stents may look relatively simple but are highly engineered lifesaving medical devices. It involves advanced material modeling, complex interaction with the arteries, and extremely high demand for accuracy. Apart from conducting experiments on stents, FEA is a tool that engineers and researchers use extensively to study and design stents. It has the ability to identify some mechanical characteristics of coronary artery stents that may not be easily obtained using traditional mechanical testing. In this SimCafe course, we will go step by step to set up and run a Balloon-Expandable stent simulation.   

A femur is the upper bone of the leg. In biomedical engineering, the mechanical properties of the femur can be studied through conducting tests on rat femur.  The valuable data from tests can then be applied in simulation to predict behaviors of other femurs.  In this SimCafe Course, we will show you step by step how to conduct a bending simulation on a rat femur and evaluate the results.

Stepped shafts are widely used in drive trains. Mostly supported by bearings at the end, the shaft experiences bending loads, axial thrust, and torsional loads. The shaft must have greater strength to withstand these loads. In this Sim Café course, you will learn to estimate the axial stress concentration on a stepped shaft under axial tension using Ansys Structural.

Four-point bending strength is performed to analyze the flexural strength of a material. In this SimCafe course, you will learn to conduct this test, virtually, on a simple T-beam, made of structural steel, to understand the boundary condition setup by following the end-to-end workflow in Ansys Structural. You will create the computational mesh and set up the boundary conditions needed for the simulation. The fundamental concepts and the steps needed to successfully model this structural problem are explained using immersive step-by-step walkthrough videos.

Pressure vessels are used in transportation for storage of gases and liquids. Many gases are stored at very high pressure in the liquid form. The pressure vessels are designed mainly to have high strength in both the circumferential (hoop strength) and axial directions. In this SimCafe Course, we will learn to estimate the hoop, axial, and radial stresses in pressure vessels using Ansys Structural.

The design of the telescope truss should be able to sustain dynamic loads and must be flexible enough to provide support for different motions. In this SimCafe course, you will learn end-to-end workflow for importing a realistic geometry and understand the importance of FEA simulations when designing the telescope truss. You will create the computational mesh and set up the boundary conditions needed for the simulation. The fundamental concepts and the steps needed to successfully model this structural problem are explained using step-by-step instructions.

Buckling analysis calculates the buckling load factor and associated mode shapes. The buckling load factor multiplied by the applied load gives the magnitude of the compressive load that can cause buckling. In this SimCafe course, you will learn to analyze buckling on a simple column by following the end-to-end workflow in Ansys Structural. You will create the computational mesh and set up the boundary conditions needed for the simulation. The fundamental concepts and the steps needed to successfully model this structural problem are explained using immersive step-by-step walk-through videos.

FEA simulations are used to study the mechanical behavior of bone tissues. The real-life bone tissue model is obtained from CT scans. Multiple CT scans are merged together to create a 3D bone model. Bones/skeletons bear the structural loads that bodies encounter; failing to do so can cause a fracture. In this SimCafe course, you will learn to estimate the equivalent stiffness of the 3D bone structure in Ansys WorkBench using Ansys Mechanical. You will set up the boundary conditions needed for the simulation. The fundamental concepts and the steps needed to successfully model this structural problem are explained using step-by-step instructions.

During the heat transfer process, the temperature of the body is either increasing or decreasing with time. Any change in the imposed thermal conditions of the body, such as the addition of a heat source or sink or change in the boundary condition, will cause the system to undergo a transient approach for establishing a different steady-state solution. In this SimCafe course, we show how to simulate and analyze the transient heat conduction of a system under realistic boundary conditions using Ansys Transient Thermal.

When designing any system, it is important to have a sound knowledge of its naturally excited vibration frequency. If the structure experiences an external vibration in the range of its natural frequency, it creates resonance. This can cause a catastrophic failure of the system. In this SimCafe course, you will learn the end-to-end workflow for importing a realistic geometry and understand the importance of performing modal analysis of a space satellite. You will set up the boundary conditions needed for the simulation. The fundamental concepts and the steps needed to successfully model this structural problem are explained using step-by-step instructions.

A body at any temperature can exchange energy with its surroundings in the form of thermal radiation, which is characterized by the emission of electromagnetic waves from the body. It is the only mode of heat transfer that does not require a medium and can take place in a vacuum. Therefore, in space applications, it becomes important to understand the amount of heat incident on the systems. In this Simcafe Course we show how to analyze and estimate the net thermal radiation of a system under realistic boundary conditions using Ansys Transient Thermal.

When designing any system, it is important to have a sound knowledge of its naturally excited vibration frequency. If the structure experiences an external vibration in the range of its natural frequency, it creates resonance. This can cause a catastrophic failure of the system. In this SimCafe course, you will learn the end-to-end workflow for importing a realistic geometry and understand the importance of performing modal analysis of a space satellite. You will set up the boundary conditions needed for the simulation. The fundamental concepts and the steps needed to successfully model this structural problem are explained using step-by-step instructions.

Modeling the beams using 3D elements increases the overall solver time compared to the simplified 1D approximation. Having said that, you might wonder — is it possible to model the beams using 2D elements? If so, which of the following approximations is more appropriate — plane stress or plane strain? And finally, how much is accuracy compromised by this assumption? This course provides the answers to all of the above questions. In this Sim Café course, we demonstrate the structural analysis of a simply supported beam using a 2D approximation in Ansys Mechanical.

Excessive vibration of the wing can cause a catastrophic failure that, more often than not, leads to loss of life or property. When designing any system, it is important to have a sound knowledge of its naturally excited vibration frequency. To avoid resonance, it is important to design the wing such that the natural frequency of the wing does not match the external frequencies of vibrations. In this SimCafe Course, we will learn to perform the modal analysis of a wing and estimate the first 6 modes of vibration in Ansys Workbench.

Almost all bodies undergo thermal expansion i.e., their volume increases as the temperature of the body is increased. If the body is constrained, it cannot freely expand with increasing temperatures and the object of interest develops stresses, which are often called thermal stresses, because of this confinement. Mechanical components are generally constrained to achieve the desired mechanism. Hence, these components can generally develop thermal stresses in high-temperature environments. In this SimCafe course, we will look at a canonical problem involving a bar that is rigidly fixed at one end and estimate the thermal stresses in this bar using Ansys Workbench.

The structures are subjected to various loading. The objective of the design engineer is to ensure that the structure has minimum stresses and strains. Using the Ansys optimization tools, engineers can solve structural optimization problems. The optimised designs is where multiple input parameters can control and optimize the design objectives. In this SimCafe Course, we provide a detailed walkthrough of the Optimization analysis of a structural problem in Ansys Workbench.

Beams are one of the most used fundamental structural elements. The deflection and load-carrying characteristics can be obtained using the beam theory formulation. In this course, we simulate the load-carrying capacity of a simple cantilever beam using beam elements. We will also estimate the modal frequencies using beam theory. On comparing the obtained results, we find that the Ansys beam element results match closely with the beam theory. In this SimCafe Course, we will learn a detailed setup of the modal analysis of a Cantilever structure using beam elements in Ansys WorkBench.

A bike crank is a lever arm that gives the bicycle rider a mechanical advantage when pedaling. When the rider presses their feet on the pedals, the bike crank revolves and causes rotation of the sprocket wheel. This drives the chain, which in turn drives the rear wheel​. In this SimCafe Course, we will learn how to simulate mechanical crank part to analyze the strain using Ansys Mechanical and compare the strain values with the analytical approach.

ModelA signpost is an example of a combined loaded structure, a structure which experiences both axial and bending loads. The weight of the signboard acting through its center of gravity (CG) creates a bending moment that results in bending stresses. The weight of the signpost acting along the axis of the column structure creates additional compressive stresses in the column. Finally, we also must consider environmental factors such as the pressure loading due to the blowing wind. In this Sim Café course, we demonstrate the structural analysis of a 3D Signpost structure using step-by-step instructions in Ansys Mechanical.

Contacts are essential means of transferring forces in any mechanical system. Although the mechanical components are designed to sustain the operating forces, special care must be taken for the contacts as they are found in very small areas. Because of this, the transferred loads through such small areas develop high stresses. These localized stresses may result in highly localized yielding. In this Sim Café course, we we will learn to solve the contact mechanics on a simple spherical canonical object that is in contact with a rigid wall using Ansys Mechanical.

When designing the structure, it is important to take the gravitational force into account. Even in the absence of external operating loads, the weight of the structure is always acting on the body and is trying to pull the structure towards the earth. In this SimCafe course, we will learn about simulating stresses developed due to the Earth’s gravity on a canonical structural component using Ansys Workbench.

Generally, the solution in Ansys Mechanical is calculated in a cartesian coordinate system. In case of a curved structure, such as curved beams and pressure vessels, it is more intuitive to visualize the results in the axial, radial, and circumferential directions. In this course, we will use a solved model of a curved beam with a rectangular cross-section under a moment and learn to post-process the results in the cylindrical coordinate system. In this SimCafe course, we will outline the detailed steps to post-process as well as discuss how to interpret the results using Ansys Mechanical.

The trachea, commonly known as the windpipe, is a cartilage tube that connects the larynx, which is an organ in the neck, to the bronchi tubes in the lungs. With each inhalation, the trachea widens and elongates. Similarly, as we exhale, it returns to its resting position. During the respiration process, the air moving in and out of our lungs exerts forces on the inner walls of the trachea. In this SimCafe Course, we will learn to simulate the effect of air pressure on the trachea using Ansys Mechanical.

A current passing through a metal heats it up in what is commonly called Ohmic heating. In this phenomenon, the metal heats up because of the electrical resistance offered by the metal to the flowing current. As this heating continues, the temperature of the metal becomes uniform throughout and continues to rise with time. The temperature rise can weaken the metal or even deform in to an extent that it may become structurally fragile. Using the finite element method, it is possible to estimate the time it takes for the body to reach a certain temperature.In this SimCafe course, we will highlight the step-by-step procedure to perform the thermal analysis across the platinum micrometer bridge circuit using Ansys Thermal