Analyzing Mechanical
Systems & Designs

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Mechanical Analysis: The Modern Start of the Product Life Cycle

 

There are many ways to set up a structural analysis. Your structure can be subjected to static and dynamic loads, constraints, and forces, where you can perform stationary, transient, modal, or frequency response analyses. These analyses can be done through modeling solids, shells, beams, trusses, plates, and membranes, using a variety of mesh elements, such as tetrahedral and hexahedral elements. Once you have solved your model, you can use the many different results and analysis tools available to understand, optimize, and verify your mechanical design or system.

Scroll through this showcase to see many different examples from a variety of mechanical applications.

Structural Analysis

There are many ways to set up a structural analysis. Your structure can be subjected to static and dynamic loads, constraints, and forces, where you can perform stationary, transient, modal, or frequency response analyses. These analyses can be done through modeling solids, shells, beams, trusses, plates, and membranes, using a variety of mesh elements, such as tetrahedral and hexahedral elements. Once you have solved your model, you can use the many different results and analysis tools available to understand, optimize, and verify your mechanical design or system.

Featured User Story (PDF)

Analysis of Subsea Umbilicals and Cables

JDR Cables, Cambridgeshire, UK

Continuum Blue, Hengoed, UK

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Featured User Story (PDF)

Optimizing Built-in Tire Pressure Monitoring Sensors

Schrader Electronics, Northern Ireland, UK

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Featured Video (Tutorial)

This video will guide you through the modeling of a standard structural mechanics problem, calculating the stress in a wrench when torque is applied to a fixed bolt.

Learn more about structural analysis by visiting the:
Structural Mechanics Module

Nonlinear Materials

When a structure is subjected to loads past a certain limit, the stress-strain relation will no longer be linear. Operating conditions, such as high temperatures and pressures, may also result in nonlinear material behavior. In these situations, more advanced material models are required, and you can use a variety of different plastic, hyperelastic, viscoplastic, and creep material models to perform your structural analyses. This is true for manufactured structures as well as geomechanical applications.

Featured Model (PDF Documentation)

The plastic deformation of a biomedical stent as it expands.

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Featured Model (PDF Documentation)

Temperature-dependent materials are explored in this model. A fast temperature transient (top) can lead to high stresses (bottom).

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Compression of an Elastoplastic Pipe

Featured Model (PDF Documentation)

A circular pipe, made from an elastoplastic material, is squeezed between two plates to illustrate an analysis of large plastic deformation and contact.

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Learn more about the analysis of nonlinear materials by visiting:

Structural Mechanics Module   Nonlinear Structural Materials Module   Geomechanics Module

Thermal Stresses and Deformation

The introduction of heat to a mechanical structure leads to expansion and deformation. If this structure expansion is hindered, or the heat transfer occurs very rapidly, there is a build-up of thermal stresses within the structure. Cooling the structure can prevent the damage before it becomes permanent. Yet, sometimes thermal stresses are unavoidable during the manufacture of a component or part, and they should be analyzed and understood before connecting it to a structure or assembly.

Featured User Story (PDF)

Ugitech Optimizes Steel Casting Process Using COMSOL Multiphysics

Ugitech S.A., Ugine, France

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Featured User Story (PDF)

Boeing Simulates Thermal Expansion in Composites with Expanded Metal Foil for Lightning Protection of Aircraft Structures

Boeing, WA, USA

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Featured Video (Tutorial)

Watch how the displacement, temperature, and stress in a model of a stator blade are evaluated using the Thermal Stress interface in COMSOL Multiphysics.

Thermal stresses can be understood and analyzed using the:

Heat Transfer Module   Structural Mechanics Module  

Multibody Dynamics

Many real-life mechanisms consist of multiple components or bodies that are connected through a variety of joints. Rather than solving for an assembly with contact between the different components, you can apply a multibody dynamics technique, where standard constraints simulate the behavior of different types of joints. A multibody dynamics analysis allows you to assume that some of the bodies are rigid, while others may undergo elastic or plastic deformations. The results can be also be evaluated with respect to fatigue.

Featured Model (PDF Documentation)

Helicopter flight control is achieved through the operation of a swashplate mechanism where, in this example, the rotor blades are analyzed as flexible bodies, and all other components are assumed to be rigid.

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Featured User Story (PDF)

Keeping Cool: SRON Develops Thermal Calibration System for Deep-space Telescope

SRON, Netherlands

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Compression of an Elastoplastic Pipe

Featured Model (PDF Documentation)

The stresses generated through operating a three-cylinder reciprocating engine are investigated in this multibody dynamics analysis.

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Learn more about multibody dynamics by visiting the:

Multibody Dynamics Module   Structural Mechanics Module  

Acoustics

Acoustics is an area of mechanical design where analysis helps you understand and produce the components that either create, measure, harness, or muffle acoustic waves. Acoustic pressure wave propagation in solids, porous media, and fluids is dependent on the medium that the waves are passing through, as well as the size, structure, and damping properties of the component. To obtain an accurate description of your system's acoustic properties, you will have to consider all of these contributions as well as other participating physics, such as thermoacoustics or fluid flow.

Featured User Story (PDF)

Sonar Dome Vibration Analysis

INSEAN, Rome, Italy

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Featured User Story (PDF)

Floating on Sound Waves with Acoustic Levitation

Argonne National Laboratory, IL, USA

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Featured Video (Demo)

An analysis of the acoustics behavior of a loudspeaker is shown being built from scratch in this video. Considered are how this behaviour is affected by the electromagnetic and structural mechanical characteristics of the loudspeaker.

See how you can simulate acoustic waves and related phenomena by visiting the:

Acoustics Module  

Fatigue

Structures can be subjected to repetitive loads which do not compromise structural integrity in the static sense, yet still fail after a large number of cycles. This is due to the phenomenon known as fatigue and should be understood and factored into situations where repetitive load application occurs. Minimizing the risk of fatigue damage early in the design process through analysis provides multiple advantages. A virtual fatigue analysis can predict whether your component will fail or not, and even determine the number of load cycles it can withstand.

Featured Model (PDF Documentation)

The solder joints in a ball grid array between the chip and the printed circuit board are subjected to thermal strain cycling when the heat generation in the chip varies over time. This example shows a fatigue analysis based on the Darveaux energy-based model.

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Featured Model (PDF Documentation)

The S-N curve, better known as the Wöhler curve, relates stress amplitude to the fatigue life. In this example with a bracket geometry, the S-N curve is used to compute the number of load cycles to failure.

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Fatigue Analysis of a Car Wheel Rim

Featured Model (PDF Documentation)

In this model, a fatigue analysis performed on a wheel rim using the Findley fatigue criterion.

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Find out how to minimize the risk of fatigue by visiting the

Fatigue Module   Nonlinear Structural Materials Module

CAD Integration and Optimization

The product lifecycle for mechanical systems requires simultaneously working on your CAD and analysis models to provide the details for accurate and efficient manufacturing. An effective and seamless integration between the two allows for more effective optimization of your design and its manufacturing process – and shortens your product lifecycle and time-to-market.

Featured User Story (PDF)

Numerical Simulation-Based Topology Optimization Leads to Better Cooling of Electronic Components in Toyota Hybrid Vehicles

The Toyota Research Institute

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Featured Model (PDF Documentation)

The Optimization Module is used in this example to minimize the mass of a bracket given limits on the maximum stress and minimum natural frequency. This is achieved by changing the size and position of various objects in the bracket geometry.

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Featured Video (Tutorial)

This video tutorial shows how geometric parameters can be modified and updated between a simulation and CAD software in order to run a parametric sweep.

Find out more about simultaneously working on your CAD and analysis models by visiting the:

Optimization Module   CAD Import Module

Start Analyzing Mechanical Systems & Designs

Analyzing mechanical designs and systems gives you the understanding and ability to optimize your components and assemblies. COMSOL simulation software is the perfect tool for achieving this. Test it out by attending a hands-on workshop, where you can get a trial version of COMSOL Multiphysics and its modules.

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