Simulation – Why Should I Increase the number of elements through the thickness
Every once in a while a question will come in about a simulation result not showing the results that were expected. Well this doesn’t mean the software is wrong or that the user is wrong it just means that the study hasn’t been fully developed. What I mean by this is that the mesh has not been refined enough to allow the software enough movement to obtain the expected result. More specifically there are not enough rows of elements through the thickness of the component. To illustrate this, think of a chain where each link in the chain represents a row of elements through the thickness of a part. Hold just one link and notice that you can’t get any other shape then the shape of a single chain. Now hold three links and this time notice that you can manipulate the three links into several different contours. Now continue to hold more and more links, where each link represents a new row of elements. You will see that the more links or rows of elements you have the more shapes the chain can take. This is how it works with simulation and increase the number of element rows in a part. So the next time you run a study that isn’t given you the results you want, try increasing the number of elements through the thickness by controlling the mesh size or by using mesh control. The smaller the mesh size the more rows can be fit through the thickness.
Nick Jansen, CSWP