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Tutorial: Connecting Rod Stress Analysis


Displacement of Rod simulated with SimScale
Displacement of a Rod

In this tutorial we will conduct a structural analysis of a connecting rod. Doing this, we like to show you how to set up a simulation run and produce results in a very short period of time.

Create Simulation

As a first step, import the tutorial project into the SimScale workbench.

Import tutorial project into workbench

By importing the tutorial project, a new project will be created for you, and the ‘Workbench’ will open with the prepared tutorial geometry already loaded into the viewer.

Workbench view of simscale for rod analysis tutorial with simscale
Workbench View
  • To create a new simulation, click on the “+” button next to ‘Simulations’ in the tree or the “Create Simulation” button on the geometry panel.
Creating a simulation in SimScale
Creating a Simulation
  • Select the “Static” analysis type and click “Create Simulation“.
Creating a new simulation in SimScale
Creating a Simulation
  • A new simulation tree containing all parameters and settings needed to define the conditions of the analysis will be created.
Simulation tree of Simscale
Simulation Tree
  • All setup steps that are completed are highlighted with a green check. Steps that require some user input are shown with a red circle. Steps that have a blue circle indicate optional settings.

Simulation Setup


Give an appropriate name to the Simulation. Example: Static-Stress-Analysis

Naming the Simulation
Naming the Simulation


The geometry is automatically assigned to the simulation

Assigning a Geometry
Assigning a Geometry


  • Material can be assigned to the geometry by selecting the “Materials” from the simulation tree
Assigning a Material to Geometry in Simscale
Assigning a Material to Geometry
  • A selection of materials can be chosen and click “Apply” to confirm operation
Material Dialog Box
Material Dialog Box

Boundary Conditions

  • For our simulation, we’ll only assign two boundary conditions: A pressure load at the lower end and a fixed support at the top end of the connecting rod.
  • Depending on the analysis type we chose, there would be even more boundary conditions available
  • We will start with the force boundary condition
  • So we click on the “+” button to add a new Boundary condition
Choosing a Boundary Condition in SimScale
Choosing a Boundary Condition
  • Automatically, a new boundary condition called ‘boundary condition 1’ is created
  • First we’ll give it the meaningful name Pressure-Load for our reference
  • Set the value for pressure as 20.000.000 Pa which is around 20 bar
  • To complete the boundary condition setup, we have to choose on which faces this boundary condition shall be assigned to
  • So we select the two of the inner faces at the lower end of the connecting rod
  • This completes the pressure boundary condition which is indicated by the green check in the tree item of the boundary condition
Pressure Boundary Condition
Pressure Boundary Condition
  • Similarly, a fixed constraint boundary condition is defined at the top of the connecting rod
  • To do this, a Fixed value boundary condition is selected and all displacement values are set to zero, which indicates that these faces are not allowed to move
 Fixed Value Boundary Condition
Fixed Value Boundary Condition


The tree item Numerics allows us the control the solving mechanism in detail, where default values are left as such for this case

Simulation Control

The next important tree item is Simulation Control which allows to steer the overall simulation settings – however in our case, we will leave everything as it i

Mesh Setup

  • For this tutorial, the default mesh settings are sufficient to get a good quality mesh
  • Click on the Generate Button to start the meshing operation
Mesh Settings
Mesh Settings
  • The Job Status box in the bottom left corner will show the progress of the operation
Job Status of mesh generation in Simscale
Job Status
  • The mesh immediately appears in the viewer and we can see the small elements that have been created
Generated mesh for static analysis in SimScale using tet-dominant mesh
Generated Mesh


Mesh Refinements can be added if there are specific regions that need to be observed in more detail.

Start Simulation

Now the simulation setup is complete and you’re ready to start your simulation. To begin the simulation, a simulation Run needs to be created. A simulation Run creates a snapshot of the current setup and tries to compute the results based on the snapshot settings.

  • To create a new Run, click “+” next to Simulation Runs. Name your simulation and click on “Start“.
Creating a New Simulation Run in SimScale
Creating a New Simulation Run
  Starting a New Simulation Run
Starting a New Simulation Run


Computation of the results can take up to a few hours. You’ll be informed via email once your simulation run is finished. Once finished, you’re ready to analyze the results.

  • Next we will visualize the results of the simulation we just completed
  • Click on the Post-process Results button to load the results on the viewer
Post-process Results in SimScale
Post-process Results
  • For example, to check the von Mises stress on our model, click on the Results and then select the von Mises stress fron the Scalar list below.
Visualization of von Mises Stress
Visualization of von Mises Stress
  • We can use further post-processing filters to generate a different visualization of the connecting rod according to the computed displacement field
  • A list of all the available filters can be seen on the left side.

Congratulations! This concludes this connecting rod stress analysis tutorial.

Last updated: April 2nd, 2020

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