Structural Analysis of a Trachea Using Ansys Mechanical

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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. It is formed by several rings called tracheal cartilages. Each ring is connected to muscle and connectivity tissue on the back side. The trachea branches into two primary bronchi tubes before connecting to 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 course, we will learn to simulate the effect of this pressure load on the trachea. The course demonstrates how realistically human body parts can be simulated using Ansys software. Such engineering simulations help medical professionals and bioengineers evaluate and design materials capable of replacing human body parts by recreating the exact physical conditions.

This SimCafe Structural Course was developed by Dr. Rajesh Bhaskaran, Swanson Director of Engineering Simulation at Cornell University, and Zach Michael Brothers. 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. In this course, we will learn to simulate the effect of air pressure on the trachea using Ansys Mechanical. We will highlight the step-by-step procedure to perform the structural analysis.

For more ways to learn, check out the Cornell edX course, A Hands-on Introduction to Engineering Simulations at

Cornell University also offers a Fluid Dynamics Simulations Using Ansys online certificate authored by Dr. Rajesh Bhaskaran. Learn more here:


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