Tutorial 1: Stress analysis of a connecting rod

In this tutorial you will learn to quickly set up a basic structural simulation of a connecting rod and conduct stress analysis using the SimScale Workbench.

Stress field of the connecting rod under pressure load.

Figure 1: Stress field on the connecting rod under pressure load


Getting started

  • The tutorial project “Tutorial 1: Connecting rod stress analysis” has been imported and is open in your SimScale Workbench.

I. Simulation Creation

  • To create a new simulation, click on the 'Create Simulation' button.
    Creating a simulation in simscale

    Figure 2: First step to creating a simulation in SimScale

  • Select 'Static' as the Analysis Type and click 'Create Simulation'.
    Lists of simulations in simscale

    Figure 3: Selecting 'Static' analysis for connecting rod stress analysis

  • A new Simulation tree will automatically be generated in the left side of your screen, containing all parameters and settings required to start the simulation.

II. Model

  • You will need to define the direction of gravity for your simulation. In this case the gravity will move in the negative y-direction. To modify the direction of gravity, click on 'Model'.
    How to modify gravity

    Figure 4: Defining gravity in SimScale

  • Here, you can determine the magnitude and direction of the gravity that will be applied in the simulation.

    Figure 5: Defining magnitude and direction of gravity, with '9.81' m/s as the magnitude and e_y as '-1' to indicate gravity moving in the negative-y direction.

III. Material Assignment

  • To assign a material to your model, click on the '+' button next to Materials in the simulation tree.
    How to select a material

    Figure 6: First step to assigning a material in SimScale

  • The Material Library will open. Scroll down to select 'Steel' and click 'Apply'.

    Figure 7: Lists of pre-defined materials for structural analysis and assigning them to a model.

  • The material will automatically be assigned to the connecting rod.
    Note: The color blue indicates that you are in Assignment mode.
    Assigned material

    Figure 8: Steel with its physical properties applied to the connecting rod model. Assigned part will turn blue when material is selected.

IV. Boundary Conditions Assignment

Two boundary conditions (Pressure-Load and Fixed Support) need to be assigned.

  1. Add the 'Pressure' boundary condition first
    1. To create a new boundary condition, click on the '+' button next to Boundary conditions in the simulation tree. Select 'Pressure' in the lists of the boundary conditions.
      How to add a boundary condition

      Figure 9: Selecting the pressure boundary condition in SimScale

    2. Set the pressure value to '200' bar. You can change the units by clicking on it and selecting 'bar' as the unit of pressure.
      how to change units in SimScale

      Figure 10: Entering the amount of pressure and changing the units to 'bar'.

    3. Now we need to select the faces on which the pressure should act. In the viewer, select the two inner faces at the smaller opening of the rod.
      Note: The color turns blue, indicating that they will be assigned to the current boundary condition.

      Figure 11: Pressure boundary condition applied to the two inner faces of the small opening.

  2. Adding the 'Fixed Support' boundary condition
    1. Add another boundary condition by clicking on the '+' button next to Boundary conditions in the simulation tree. Select 'Fixed Support'.
    2. Select all the inner faces at the upper end of the connecting rod in the viewer.

      Figure 12: Fixed support boundary condition applied at the other end of the connecting rod.

V. Simulation Run

Now you are ready to start your first simulation run.

  1. The Numerics, Simulation Control and Mesh sections are set by default and do not have to be changed for this case.
  2. Create a simulation run by clicking on the '+' button next to Simulation Runs in the Simulation tree.

    Figure 13: Starting a simulation run in SimScale

  3. In the New Run dialog click 'Start' to start the simulation run.

    Figure 14: Starting a simulation run in SimScale with resource estimation displayed

  4. Once the simulation run is finished, the status will be changed to Finished in the run settings panel.

    Figure 15: Example of a finished run

VI. Simulation Results

  1. To access the post-processor you can click 'Post-process results' or 'Solution fields' under your run to load the solution fields in the Post-processor.

    Figure 16: Double access to the built-in post-processor

  2. Click on 'Results' to see the results of the simulation.
  3. Now scroll down and choose 'von Mises stress' from the scalar list 'SCL' under the Results Config section to view the stress results.

    Figure 17: Steps to visualizing von Mises stress

  4. Take a look at the stress field displayed on the model in the viewer. Regions of high stress load are colored red while lower stress regions are shown in blue.

    Figure 18: von Mises stress distribution on a connecting rod

Congratulations! You just finished your first Stress Analysis simulation on SimScale!

Find more tutorials on our website: SimScale Tutorials and User Guide