Compute a model with multiple input parameters to compare results.
Run Mechanical Analyses with Extensive Multiphysics Capabilities
The Structural Mechanics Module, an add-on to the COMSOL Multiphysics® platform, is an FEA software package tailored for analyzing mechanical behavior of solid structures. The module provides you with modeling tools and functionality for solid mechanics, dynamics and vibrations, materials modeling, shells, beams, contact, fractures, and more. Application areas include mechanical engineering, civil engineering, geomechanics, biomechanics, and MEMS devices.
The Structural Mechanics Module brings built-in multiphysics couplings that include thermal stress, fluid–structure interaction, and piezoelectricity. Combining with other modules from the COMSOL product suite allows for advanced heat transfer, fluid flow, acoustic, and electromagnetics effects; further extend your modeling to include specialized materials modeling and CAD import functionality.Contact COMSOL
Several analysis types are available for predicting structural performance in a virtual environment. Using the Structural Mechanics Module, you will be able to answer questions concerning stress and strain levels; deformations, stiffness, and compliance; natural frequencies; response to dynamic loads; and buckling instability, to name a few.
Compute a model with multiple input parameters to compare results.
Optimize geometric dimensions, shape, topology, and other quantities with the Optimization Module.
Understand the impact of model sensitivity, uncertainty, and reliability with the Uncertainty Quantification Module.
The Structural Mechanics Module provides a full suite of modeling tools for the various types of structural analyses. Based on the finite element method, there is functionality not only for modeling 3D solids, but also 2D formulations (plane stress, plane strain, generalized plane strain, and axial symmetry). Similarly, there is functionality for shells and plates, membranes, beams, pipes, trusses, wires, and transitions between all these different formulations.
For 3D solids modeling, there are many options for the element shapes and orders. Triangle, quad, tet, hex, prism, and pyramid elements are all available. Choose from first-, second-, and higher-order elements, and for multiphysics analysis, mixed-order elements.
The Structural Mechanics Module provides specialized features and functionality for running a variety of structural analyses and works seamlessly in the COMSOL Multiphysics® platform for a consistent model-building workflow.
The options for modeling solid mechanics include full 3D; 2D (plane stress, plane strain, and generalized plane strain); 2D axial symmetry; 1D (plane stress or plane strain in transverse directions); and 1D axial symmetry, and provide the most general approach to analyzing solid structures with built-in multiphysics couplings to a large number of physics areas. There is a wide variety of material models available for accurately describing your solid mechanics problem, and it is easy to extend these features via equation-based modeling. Define material properties yourself with constant, spatially varying, anisotropic, or nonlinear expressions; lookup tables; or combinations of these. Elements can be activated and deactivated based on user-defined expressions. It is also possible to assign material models to surfaces, internal or external. This can be used to model, for example, glue layers, gaskets, fracture zones, or claddings.
For thin structures, using shell (3D, 2D axisymmetry) and plate (2D) elements can be very efficient. The formulations allow for the transverse shear deformations needed to model thick shells. You can prescribe an offset in the direction normal to a selected surface, which simplifies modeling where you work with a full 3D representation of the geometry. The results from shell element analyses can be presented as a full solid representation.
Very thin structures, such as thin films and fabric, require a formulation with no bending stiffness. This is possible in the Membrane interface, in which curved plane stress elements in 3D or 2D axisymmetry are used to compute in-plane and out-of-plane displacements, including the effects of wrinkling. When studying this type of structure, the ability to start from a prestressed state is used extensively.
Model the propagation of elastic waves in isotropic, orthotropic, anisotropic, and piezoelectric solids, for single-physics or multiphysics applications, such as vibration control, nondestructive testing (NDT), or mechanical feedback. Application areas range from micromechanical problems to seismic wave propagation.
The Solid Mechanics interface uses a full structural dynamics formulation that accounts for the effects of shear waves and pressure waves in solids and analyzes elastic waves. Mechanical port conditions can be used to excite and absorb propagating modes in waveguide structures and to compute a scattering matrix of a component. Absorbing boundary conditions and perfectly matched layers (PMLs) enable efficient modeling of unbounded domains.
The Elastic Waves, Time Explicit interface is dedicated to transient linear elastic waves propagation problems over large domains containing many wavelengths. The interface uses a higher-order dG-FEM time explicit method. The interface is multiphysics enabled and can be seamlessly coupled to fluid domains.
The Structural Mechanics Module provides linear elastic, viscoelastic, and piezoelectric material models, but you can also access a wide range of nonlinear material models, including hyperelastic and elastoplastic, by adding the Nonlinear Structural Materials Module or Geomechanics Module.
In addition, there are many possibilities to extend the existing material models or create your own. Enter expressions that depend on stress, strain, spatial coordinates, time, or fields coming from another physics interface directly in the input field for a material property. In frequency-domain analyses, you can enter complex-valued expressions. You can, for example, add custom differential equations to provide inelastic strain contributions.
The material models can accommodate thermal expansion, hygroscopic swelling, initial stresses and strains, as well as several types of damping. Material properties can be isotropic, orthotropic, or fully anisotropic. You can include your own material model by providing external functions coded in the C programming language.
The Structural Mechanics Module provides you with a multitude of different loads and constraints options, which facilitates high-fidelity modeling. Define distributed loads on domains, boundaries, and edges, follower loads, and moving loads. Specify a total force, include gravity or added mass, and include rotating frames with centrifugal, Coriolis, and Euler forces.
For constraining the model, there are springs and dampers, as well as prescribed displacement, velocity, and acceleration. Periodic boundary conditions, low-reflecting boundaries, perfectly matched layers (PMLs), and infinite elements aid in reducing model size for efficient modeling.
The Structural Mechanics Module covers transient as well as frequency-response analysis. Frequency-response analysis includes eigenfrequency, damped eigenfrequency, and frequency sweep analyses. In addition, specialized study types are available for random vibration and response spectrum analysis. Random vibration analysis allows inputs based on power spectral density (PSD) as a function of frequency, including uncorrelated as well as fully correlated loads. A typical example is the wind load on a tower. Response spectrum analysis is used as an efficient method for determining the structural response to short nondeterministic events like earthquakes and shocks.
Component mode synthesis (CMS), also known as dynamic substructuring, reduces linear components to computationally efficient reduced-order models using the Craig–Bampton method. These components can then be used in dynamic or stationary analyses, improving computation time and memory usage.
There are specialized element types for modeling beams, described by their cross section properties. Formulations for both slender beams (Euler–Bernoulli theory) and thick beams (Timoshenko theory) are available. Predefined couplings allow for mixing beams with other element types to study reinforcements for solid and shell structures. A library of common cross section types are available as well as the capability of modeling general cross sections.
Additionally, the Structural Mechanics Module enables the modeling of slender structures that can only sustain axial forces (trusses and wires). These elements can also be used for modeling reinforcements.
Structural analysis of pipes is similar to that of beams but with the addition of an internal pressure that usually contributes significantly to the stresses in a pipe. Also, temperature gradients usually occur through the pipe wall, rather than across the entire section. The loads from internal pressure and drag forces can be taken directly from the results of a pipe flow and thermal analysis using the Pipe Flow Module.
Situations where objects come into contact with each other occur frequently in mechanical simulations. Static and dynamic analyses can include contact modeling, and the objects in contact can have arbitrarily large relative displacements. Additionally, the effects of friction, both sticking and sliding, can be modeled.
The contact analysis functionality also includes the possibility to prescribe adhesion and decohesion between the contacting objects, and to model removal of material by wear when the objects are sliding relative to each other.
Several different approaches to crack modeling are supported. A crack can either be infinitely thin and represented by a single boundary or represented by disjoint surfaces in the geometry. A crack can have any number of branches and corresponding crack fronts.
J-integrals and stress intensity factors can be computed in 2D and 3D. You can also prescribe a load on the crack faces.
By adding the Nonlinear Structural Materials Module or Geomechanics Module, you can model damage and cracking in brittle materials according to various criteria.
In the Structural Mechanics Module, you will find several structural engineering features that help you create real-world models more quickly. These features include boundary conditions such as rigid connectors for modeling rigid regions and kinematic constraints, bolts with pretension, stress linearization for analysis of pressure vessels, and more.
Specialized analyses, completely integrated with the COMSOL Multiphysics® software environment.
The Nonlinear Structural Materials Module and the Geomechanics Module extend the functionality of the Structural Mechanics Module with more than 100 different nonlinear material models.
Add the Composite Materials Module to analyze thin, layered structures (composite materials), such as fiber-reinforced plastic, laminated plates, and sandwich panels found in aircraft components, wind turbine blades, automobile components, and more.
Add the Fatigue Module to compute the fatigue life of structures: high-cycle fatigue, based on stress, and low-cycle fatigue, based on strain or energy. There is functionality for rainflow cycle counting, cumulative damage, and multiaxial and vibration fatigue.
Add the Rotordynamics Module to model rotating machines where asymmetries can lead to instabilities and damaging resonances. Build rotor components with disks, bearings, and foundations, and analyze the results with Campbell diagrams, orbits, waterfall plots, and whirl plots.
Choose from a number of interfacing products to connect with COMSOL Multiphysics®.
Import a variety of industry-standard CAD formats into COMSOL Multiphysics® for simulation analysis using the CAD Import Module. Available features include options to repair and clean up your CAD geometry to prepare it for meshing and analysis, as well as access to the Parasolid® geometry kernel for advanced solid options. The Design Module also includes these features, plus it lets you perform the following 3D CAD operations: loft, fillet, chamfer, midsurface, and thicken.
Choose from a line of interfacing products, known as LiveLink™ products, with which you can synchronize the CAD-native model for use in the COMSOL® software. You can also simultaneously update geometry parameters in both the CAD system and COMSOL Multiphysics®, as well as perform parametric sweeps and optimization over several different modeling parameters.
Easily combine two or more physics interactions, all within the same software environment.
Thermal stress and expansion, with a given or computed temperature field, in solids and shells.
One-way or two-way couplings between a fluid and solid structure, including both fluid pressure and viscous forces.
Stresses and strains of phase-composition-dependent materials during steel quenching and other heat treatment processes.
An extensive set of tools for simulating mixed systems of flexible and rigid bodies.
Piezoelectric devices including metallic and dielectric components.
Solid–acoustic, acoustic–shell, and piezo–acoustic interactions, as well as vibration and elastic wave propagation.
Porous media flow coupled to solid mechanics to model poroelastic effects.
Absorption of moisture and hygroscopic swelling in polymers and batteries.
Piezoresistivity, electromechanical deflection due to electrostatic forces, and electrostriction.
Magnetostrictive, electrostrictive, and ferroelectric elastic devices.
Deformations in electronic devices and electric motors due to electromagnetic forces.
Mechanical deformation and stress affecting the performance of RF and microwave devices and components such as filters.
Stress-induced birefringence in waveguides.
Structural-thermal-optical performance (STOP) analysis on optical systems.
Every business and every simulation need is different.
In order to fully evaluate whether or not the COMSOL Multiphysics® software will meet your requirements, you need to contact us. By talking to one of our sales representatives, you will get personalized recommendations and fully documented examples to help you get the most out of your evaluation and guide you to choose the best license option to suit your needs.
Just click on the "Contact COMSOL" button, fill in your contact details and any specific comments or questions, and submit. You will receive a response from a sales representative within one business day.
Request a Software Demonstration