Element technology refers to the numerical formulation for the solid finite element used in the simulation. This includes the mesh order, reduced integration, and mass lumping.
The available parameters are:
It is possible to select particular reduced integration and lumped mass configurations for the different parts of the model by creating different Element definitions in the simulation tree, just below the Element technology element. Please be aware that this option is only available when using the Custom definition.
First-order elements are less expensive to use in terms of computational resources but require a finer mesh to properly capture the variations in the fields across the geometrical features. In thin-walled parts, we recommend the use of second-order elements. Using reduced integration second-order elements will reduce computation time, but some artificial deformations can be obtained, due to numerical errors (hour-glassing of elements).
What is an hour-glass deformation mode?
Hour-glass deformation of elements is a numerical error phenomenon that can arise in reduced integration, second-order mesh elements. The error causes the elements to deform under no stress condition, creating a lack of precision in the results. If you detect strange, irregular deformations in your results, try changing back to standard (full integration) second-order elements and compare.
For thermal simulations, it is always recommended to use first-order elements. This condition becomes relevant for thermomechanical simulations using second-order mechanical elements.
Last updated: August 15th, 2022
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