SolidWorks Simulation solutions include: Drop Test Analysis Overview
In a drop test analysis, the time varying stresses and deformations
due to an initial impact of the product with a rigid or flexible planar
surface (the floor) are calculated. As the product deforms, secondary
internal and external impacts are also calculated, locating critical
weaknesses or failure points, as well as stresses and displacements.
Drop test analysis using SolidWorks Simulation enables you to visualize
the elastic stress wave propagating through the system so that the
correct assembly methods are used.
The maximum “g force” experienced by individual components is one of
the primary unknowns before a drop test. This is a critical parameter
since many electronic and mechanical components are not rated for
further use above a specified maximum g force. Using drop test analysis
with SolidWorks Simulation, designers and engineers can measure the
time varying accelerations (g force) at any location within the
product, providing critical design information and reducing the number
of physical tests needed. A design team can easily verify performance
while they design and select the correct materials, component shape, and
fixture methods to ensure that critical components stay within their
“max g force” limits. Thermal Structural Analysis Overview
Thermal structural analysis is the application of the finite element
method to calculate the temperature distribution within a solid
structure, which is due to the thermal inputs (heat loads), outputs
(heat loss), and thermal barriers (thermal contact resistance) in your
design. Thermal structural analysis solves the conjugate heat transfer
problem with the simulation calculation of thermal conduction,
convection, and radiation.
Two methods of heat transfer—convection and radiation—are applied as
boundary conditions in thermal structural analysis. Both convection
(set by a surface film coefficient) and radiation (surface emissivity)
can emit and receive thermal energy to and from the environment, but
only radiation transfers thermal energy between disconnected bodies in
the assembly.
Radiation—In order to calculate the effect of heat
leaving one component and being transported by a moving fluid to
another component, a SolidWorks Simulation thermal fluid analysis must
be carried out, as the fluid impact has to be calculated.
Convection—Overcome the difficulty of determining
accurate convection surface film coefficients for complex geometries as
SolidWorks Simulation simply imports accurate film coefficients
from SolidWorks Flow Simulation to calculate a more accurate thermal
structural analysis.
SolidWorks Simulation calculates either the steady state or transient temperature fields due to:
Applied fixed or initial temperatures Heat power/flux input or outputs Surface convection rates Radiation—removing heat from the systems Thermal contact resistance between components
With the temperature field calculated, thermal stresses can be
easily calculated, to ensure correct product performance and safety. Plastic and Rubber Part Stress Analysis Overview
The stress analysis of plastic and rubber components, or assemblies
containing plastic or rubber parts, requires the use of nonlinear stress
analysis methods, since these types if parts generally have a complex
load deformation relationship (that is, the basic relationship
assumption of Hooke’s Law is violated).
To carry out plastic component stress analysis, the plastic
stressstrain curve must be known and entered into the SolidWorks
material database to achieve the best results. This database is easily
customizable to include your particular material requirements. You can
choose from:
SolidWorks Simulation uses finite element analysis (FEA) methods to
discretize design components into solid, shell, or beam elements and
applies nonlinear stress analysis to determine the response of parts
and assemblies due to the effect of:
Loads can be imported from thermal and Simulation studies to perform multiphysics analysis. Vibration Analysis Overview
The vibrations your product may experience can reduce performance,
shorten product life, or even cause a catastrophic failure. The effects
of vibrations, which are simply timevarying or transient loads on
your product, are difficult to predict:
Vibration loads can excite dynamic responses in a structure resulting in high dynamic stresses. Ignoring
dynamic stresses could lead you to assume that a product or structure
has a higher factor of safety (FoS) than it actually does.
Frequency Analysis Overview
Understanding the natural frequency is important in predicting
possible failure modes or the types of analysis required to best
understand performance. Every design has its preferred frequencies of
vibration, called resonant frequencies, and each such frequency is
characterized by a specific shape (or mode) of vibration.
Frequency analysis with SolidWorks Simulation uses an Eigen value
approach to determine the natural modes of vibration for any geometry.
If a design’s natural modes and its expected service vibration
environment are closely matched, a harmonic resonance may occur and
lead to excessive loads which will result in failure.
By understanding the design’s natural modes of vibration, you can
carry out preventative measures, such as changes in material, component
sections, mass dampers, and so forth, so that component natural
frequencies do not coincide with the frequency of the loading
environment. This results in a design that would not only perform as
desired, but also have a longer service life.
To push the natural frequency of a design out of the critical range, you can:
Change geometry Change materials (resonant frequencies are directly proportional to the materials [Young’s (elastic) modulus] Change the characteristics of the shock isolators Strategically place mass elements
Finite Element Analysis (FEA) Overview
SolidWorks Simulation uses the displacement formulation of the
finite element method to calculate component displacements, strains,
and stresses under internal and external loads. The geometry under
analysis is discretized using tetrahedral (3D), triangular (2D), and
beam elements, and solved by either a direct sparse or iterative solver.
SolidWorks Simulation can use either an h or p adaptive element type,
providing a great advantage to designers and engineers as the adaptive
method ensures that the solution has converged.
Integrated with SolidWorks 3D CAD, finite element analysis using
SolidWorks Simulation knows the exact geometry during the meshing
process. And the more accurately the mesh matches the product geometry,
the more accurate the analysis results will be.
The majority of FEA calculations involve metallic components, just
as the majority of industrial components are made of metal. The
analysis of metal components can be carried out by either linear or
nonlinear stress analysis. Which analysis approach you use depends upon
how far you want to push the design:
If you want to ensure the geometry
remains in the linear elastic range (that is, once the load is removed,
the component returns to its original shape), then linear stress
analysis may be applied, as long as the rotations and displacements are
small relative to the geometry. For such an analysis, factor of safety
(FoS) is a common design goal. Evaluate the effects of
postyield load cycling on the geometry, a nonlinear stress analysis
should be carried out. In this case, the impact of strain hardening on
the residual stresses and permanent set (deformation) is of most
interest.
The analysis of nonmetallic components (such as, plastic or rubber
parts) should be carried out using nonlinear stress analysis methods
(link to SolidWorks Nonlinear Stress Analysis capability page), due to
their complex load deformation relationship.
SolidWorks Simulation uses FEA methods to calculate the
displacements and stresses in your product due to operational loads such
as:
Loads can be imported from thermal, flow, and motion Simulation studies to perform multiphysics analysis. Linear Stress Analysis Overview
Linear stress analysis calculates the stresses and deformations of geometry given three basic assumptions:
The part or assembly under load deforms with small rotations and displacements The product loading is static (ignores inertia) and constant over time The material has a constant stress strain relationship (Hooke’s law)
SolidWorks Simulation uses finite element analysis (FEA) methods to
discretize design components into solid, shell, or beam elements and
uses linear stress analysis to determine the response of parts and
assemblies due to the effect of:
Loads can be imported from thermal, flow, and motion Simulation studies to perform multiphysics analysis.
In order to carry out stress analysis, component material data must
be known. The standard SolidWorks CAD material database is
prepopulated with materials that can be used by SolidWorks Simulation,
and the database is easily customizable to include your particular
material requirements. Structural Analysis Overview
Designers and engineers primarily use structural simulation to
determine the strength and stiffness of a product by reporting
component stress and deformations. The type of structural analysis you
perform depends on the product being tested, the nature of the loads,
and the expected failure mode:
A short/stocky structure will most likely fail due to material failure (that is, the yield stress is exceeded). A long slender structure will fail due to structural instability (geometric buckling). With time dependent loads, the structure will require some form of dynamic analysis to analyze component strength.
The component material you use can also influence which type of analysis you perform:
Metallic components, under moderate loads, generally require some
form of linear analysis, where the material has a linear relationship
between the part deformation and the applied load below the materials
yield point Rubber and plastics require a nonlinear analysis, as elastomers
have a nonlinear relationship between the part deformation and the
applied load. This is also the case for metals beyond their yield
point.


