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How Do I Calculate Additional Results in FEA (Heat flux, Reaction Force)?

This article covers how to calculate additional results in FEA simulations. For example, SimScale is able to calculate additional results, such as heat fluxes for Thermomechanical simulations and do a statistical analysis of the results.

Please visit the documentation page to learn more about all the result control items in FEA.

Result Control

1. Solution Fields

The results saved by the solution fields section basically saves the result parameters of every cell in the mesh. However, you can only see these results after the simulation starts running.

The parameter type that can be seen depends on the analysis type. As an example, in heat transfer simulations, the default result parameter is only Temperature, but in static simulations, displacement, Cauchy stress, von Mises stress, and total strain parameters are the default parameters.

You will need to enable these additional calculations. As an example, you can save Heat Flux results in Heat Transfer Analysis.

steps to show the user how to enable heat flux calculation for structural analysis with heat flux calculation visualized
Figure 1: Steps to include heat flux calculations for structural analysis

In structural dynamic simulations, you can enable additional calculations such as force parameter which has two variants: Nodal force and Reaction force. To include these calculations, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Click the ‘+’ symbol beside Solution fields.
  2. Select ‘Force’.
  3. Select the Force type that you want to calculate. You can choose between ‘Reaction force’ and ‘Nodal force’.
steps to show the user how to enable force calculation for dynamic analysis
Figure 2: Steps to enable force calculation for dynamic analysis.

2. Data Plots

Data plots visualize the result item as a time-dependent 2D plot and users can choose the result region as an area, volume or as a point.

The calculation type should be chosen with respect to the result type. If the force data over a specific region is of interest, then the sum is the suitable calculation type. However, if pressure data is selected, area average or minimum and maximum would be suitable.

You can do this by following the steps below:

  1. Click the ‘+’ button besides Area calculation.
  2. Select the calculation of interest.
  3. Choose a Field selection. For example, we will calculate the reaction force.
  4. Select ‘Reaction’ as the Force type.
  5. Select in which direction will the force be calculated in Component selection. Here we will calculate the force in all directions, therefore we select ‘All’.
  6. Assign the faces where the statistical analysis will be conducted.
steps to show the user how to enable statistical analysis for structural analysis
Figure 3: Steps to enable statistical analysis for structural analysis.

SimScale will update the plot while the simulation is running and you can see the final plot when the simulation is over. For example, the plot below is the plot of reaction force:

plot of reaction force after enabling force calculation as an example of additional calculations done in simscale
Figure 4: Reaction force plot


If none of the above suggestions solved your problem, then please post the issue on our forum or contact us.


Last updated: January 21st, 2021