Dassault Systemes is kicking it up a notch with its Abaqus unified finite element analysis (FEA) software, adding new capabilities to take advantage of high-performance computing along with features to better simulate fracture and failure analysis and noise and vibration, among other areas.
An overarching theme of the 6.9 release is to leverage innovative advancements in HPC technology along with mechatronics capabilities to make simulation technology available to a much broader community, according to Steve Crowley, director, SIMULIA Product Management. "This is consistent with the growing recognition of the value of simulation as an integral part of your business process," Crowely says.
As such, a key highlight of the new Abaqus 6.9 release, from Dassault's SIMULIA brand, is the implementation of the Extended Finite Element Method (XFEM), a powerful tool for fracture and failure analysis via its ability to simulate crack growth along arbitrary paths that don't correspond to element boundaries. Such a feature could be used in the aerospace industry, for example, to help predict the durability and damage tolerance of composite aircraft structures, or in the energy sector to evaluate the growth of cracks in pressure vessels.
There are additional features on the analysis front. A new co-simulation method lets engineers combine both implicit and explicit solvers into a single simulation, greatly reducing computation time. With this approach, automotive engineers could combine a substructure representation of a vehicle body with a model of the tires and suspension to see how the vehicle would respond when running over potholes. There are also easier-to-use methods for defining contact interactions in a model, which come in handy when modeling complex assemblies like gear systems and hydraulic cylinders.
These new, multi-level substructuring techniques dramatically improve performance for large scale noise and vibration problems, Crowley says. In addition, they, along with the new co-simulation method, are examples of advancements in mechatronics that take advantage of new HPC platforms to handle rapidly growing model sizes in a more cost-effective manner, he explains.
In the modeling and visualization arena, Abaqus 6.9 sports a variety of new surface meshing enhancements making it easier and faster to mesh complex parts. In addition, a number of geometry import and repair tools have been augmented to allow automatic or selective stitching of part bodies and edges with a user-specified tolerance value.