Shell Elements for Structural Analisys

I very often work with laminated composite structures. These structures are often extremely difficult (if at all possible) to model as a solid. Obviously there is also the difficulty of the material directional properties. A good first step would be to be able to use shell elements in structural analysis. Both Code Aster and Calculix support shell elements. A shell mesh can also be created using netgen. This just leaves integrating them :smile:

Hello @afernandez,

I totally agree that shell elements are an indispensible feature in FE simulations as it may reduce the computational costs heavily, increase the quality of the results and, as you already mentioned, it might not even be reasonable or possible to cover your physical model with 3D elements.
We are looking into this right now and it will not take much longer until shell elements will be available for you on the platform. Of course, regarding composite materials this will only be the first step, but there will be some follow-up as well on that topic in the near future.
Thank you for your feedback. It always helps understanding the needs of our users!

Great to hear. If at some point you’d like someone to test the solution I have some experience and I’ll be glad to help.
Best regards

That would be great! We will definitely collect some user feedback before releasing the feature. I will contact you once everything is set up for that.

Best regards


Is there any update on shells being implemented in Simscale? I have a number of problems I would like to try that are really best solved as shell elements. Thanks.


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Hello @wseppelt,

sorry for my very late reply! As you obviously noticed the feature dropped a bit in prioritization in our product road map. We were continuing to work on it though at the side.
Can you share the problems that you are facing and that you want to address with shell elements? It would help a lot to check if the first version that we are heading for could provide what you want.

Best Alex

No worries on the rely.

I am interested in a solving problems that involve large aspect ratios geometries i.e. things like frames, large sheet metal parts, or just those parts that really are better as shells. One example that sticks in my mind is the rubber boot someone solved on here a while ago. It was simple geometry but trying to mesh it with 3D tets made it so much larger then it needed to be. If it was a shell element problem it would have been much more effiecnet and simple to do. Continuum shells like Abaqus SC8R would be useful as well.

Are there any plans to add hex meshing for structural analyses in the near term? I find hexes to be a lot more efficient in some cases over tets.

Is the road map a public document somewhere? Thanks.