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Customer Training Material

Lecture 11
Postprocessing

Introduction to ANSYS
Mechanical APDL
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Postprocessing

Overview

Customer Training Material

The MAPDL general postprocessor (/POST1) has wide range of


capabilities

This lecture will review post-processing tools that were not


discussed in other lectures

query picking
path operations
Variable Viewer
Results transformation, error estimation
Load case combination.

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Postprocessing

/POST1

Customer Training Material

/POST1 operates on one set of results at any time

To access a result set: General Postproc > Read Results

or use SET command

Set command activates a set of results data

reads the boundary conditions and results for a solution set from the
rst file into memory and stores them in the database
by default, the first result set is automatically read

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Query Picking

Customer Training Material

Query picking probes the model for results (stresses, displacement,


etc.) at any picked location.
can also identify maximum and minimum values of the item being queried.

Available only through the GUI (no commands):


General Postproc > Query Results > Nodal or Element or Subgrid Solu
Choose results quantity > OK

PowerGraphics
ON

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PowerGraphics
OFF

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Postprocessing

Query Picking

Customer Training Material

Pick any location in the model to obtain results at that location


Min and Max will identify the value at the minimum and maximum points.
Use Reset to clear all values and start over.
Notice that the entity number, its location, and the results value are also
shown in the Picker.

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Postprocessing

Results Coordinate System

Customer Training Material

All direction-dependent quantities, such as component stresses,


displacements, and reaction forces are reported in the results
coordinate system (RSYS).
RSYS defaults to 0 (global Cartesian).
/POST1 transforms all results to global Cartesian, including results at
rotated nodes.

In many situations it is more informative to review the results in


another coordinate system (e.g. cylindrical coordinate system for
pressure vessels).

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Postprocessing

Results Coordinate System

Customer Training Material

To change the results CS to a different system, use:


General Postproc > Options for Outp
or use RSYS command

All subsequent contour plots, listings, query picks, etc. will report the
values in that system.

Default orientation
RSYS,0
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Local cylindrical
system RSYS,11
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Global cylindrical
system RSYS,1
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Postprocessing

Results Coordinate System

Customer Training Material

The RSYS,SOLU command sets the results coordinate system to


As calculated.
solution coordinate system

All subsequent contour plots, listings, query picks, etc. report


results in the nodal and element coordinate systems.
DOF results (displacements, reaction forces, etc.) will be in the nodal CS.
Element results (stresses, strains, etc.) will be in the element CS.
orientation of the element coordinate system depends on the element type
and the ESYS attribute of the element. Most solid elements default to the
global cartesian system

Not supported by PowerGraphics.

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Postprocessing

Path Operations

Customer Training Material

Path operations can be used to


map results data onto an arbitrary path through the model
perform mathematical operations along the path, including integration
and differentiation
display a path plot to visualize how a result item varies along the path

Available only for SOLID or SHELL elements.


Three steps required to produce a path plot:
Define a path
Map data onto the path
Plot the data

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Define a Path

Customer Training Material

Activate the desired coordinate system (CSYS).

General Postproc > Path Operations > Define Path


Pick the nodes or WP locations that form the desired path > OK
Specify a path name.
Default values are generally used for nSets and nDiv

From

To

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Map Data onto Path

Customer Training Material

General Postproc > Path Operations > Map onto Path


or use PDEF command

Choose desired quantity, such as SEQV.


Enter a label for the quantity- used on plots and listings.
can now display the path if needed.
General Postproc > Path Operations > Plot Paths
or issue /PBC,PATH,1 command followed by NPLOT or EPLOT

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Plot Path Data

Customer Training Material

Path data can be graphed


General Postproc > Path Operations > Plot Path Item > On Graph
or use PLPATH command

or plotted
General Postproc > Path Operations > Plot Path Item > On Geometry
or use PLPAGM command

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Other Path Operations

Customer Training Material

MAPDL allows multiple paths with unique name to be


defined, but only one path can be active at a time.
Other path capabilities include:
Stress linearization used in the pressure vessel industry
to decompose stress along a path into membrane and
bending components.
Calculus functions useful in thermal analyses to calculate
heat transmitted across a path.
Dot products and cross products useful in low frequency
electromagnetics to operate on vector quantities.

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Error Estimation

Customer Training Material

The finite element solution calculates stresses on a per-element basis


stresses are individually calculated in each element.
Nodal stress plots are smooth contours because the calculated element
stresses are averaged at shared nodes.
Element stress plots are discontinuous, because the stresses are unaveraged
Difference between averaged and unaveraged stresses gives an indication of
how mesh quality
savg = 1100
basis for error estimation.
s = 1000

s = 1200

Elem 1

Elem 2

s = 1100

s = 1300

savg = 1200
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Error Estimation

Customer Training Material

Error estimation is is valid only for:

linear static structural and linear steady-state thermal analyses


solid elements (2D and 3D) and shell elements
Full Graphics (not PowerGraphics)
If these conditions are not met, MAPDL automatically turns off error
estimation calculations.

To manually activate or deactivate error estimation: General Postproc


> Options for Outp
or use ERNORM,ON/OFF command

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Postprocessing

Error Estimation

Customer Training Material

/POST1 calculates the following error measures.


Stress analysis:

percentage error in energy norm (SEPC)


element stress deviations (SDSG)
element energy error (SERR)
maximum and minimum stress bounds (SMXB, SMNB)

Thermal analysis:
percentage error in energy norm (TEPC)
element thermal gradient deviations (TDSG)
element energy error (TERR)

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Percentage error in energy norm (SEPC)

Customer Training Material

SEPC is a rough estimate of the error (stress, displacement,


temperature, thermal flux, etc.) over the entire set of selected elements.
Can be used to compare similar models of similar structures subjected
to similar loadings.

SEPC is shown in the legend column of deformed shape displays.


Can be manually listed using
General Postproc > List Results > Percent Error.
or with PRERR command

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SEPC

Customer Training Material

As a general rule of thumb, SEPC should


be less than 10%
SEPC = 35.149

If it is higher:
unselect element near point loads or other
stress singularities.
plot the element energy error. Elements
with high values of energy error are
candidates for mesh refinement.
SEPC = 3.484

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Postprocessing

Element stress deviations (SDSG)

Customer Training Material

SDSG is a measure of the amount by which an elements stress differs


from the average stress at its nodes.
To plot SDSG contours: General Postproc > Plot Results > Contour
Plot > Element Solu...
or use PLESOL,SDSG command

A high value for SDSG is not necessarily bad, especially if it is a small


percentage of the nominal stresses in the structure.
for example, the plate-with-a-hole model shows only a 1.5% stress
deviation in the region of interest.

SDSG at location of interest = ~450 psi,


which is ~1.5% of ~30,000 psi nominal
stress
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Postprocessing

Element energy error (SERR)

Customer Training Material

SERR is the energy associated with the stress mismatches at the


nodes of the element. It is the basic error measure from which the
other error quantities are derived.
has units of energy.

To plot SERR contours: General Postproc > Plot Results > Contour
Plot > Element Solu
or use PLESOL,SERR command

Generally, the elements with the highest SERR are candidates for
mesh refinement, unless it occurs near stress singularities.

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Postprocessing

Stress bounds (SMXB and SMNB)

Customer Training Material

The stress bounds (SMXB and SMNB ) can help assess the effect of
mesh discretization error on the maximum stress.
They are displayed on stress contour plots in the legend column as
SMXB (upper bound) and SMNB (lower bound).
The bounds are not estimates of the actual maximum and minimum,
but they do define a confidence band.
if elements near stress singularities are active, the stress bounds may be
meaningless
unselect elements near stress singularities to achieve realistic stress
bounds

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Postprocessing

Load Case Combinations

Customer Training Material

Whenever multiple load steps are solved, the results of each load step
are stored as separate sets on the results file
identified by load step number and referred to as load cases

A load case combination is an operation between two sets of results


operation occurs between the load case currently stored in the database
and another load case stored on the results file.
result of the operation (the combined load case ) is then stored in the
database.

Load case in database


(computer memory)

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Load case
on results file

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Combined load case in database


overwrites previous contents

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Postprocessing

Load Case Combination Procedure


1.
2.
3.

Customer Training Material

Create load cases


Read one load case into the database
Perform the desired operation

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Create Load Cases

Customer Training Material

A load case simply acts as a pointer to a set of results.


Requires two pieces of information:
a unique ID number
the results set it represents (load step and substep number)

Use General Postproc > Load Case > Create Load Case
or use the LCDEF command

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Postprocessing

Load Case Combinations

Customer Training Material

To read a load case into the database (memory), identify


the results set by its load case number using
General Postproc > Load Case > Read Load Case.
or the LCASE command

or use any of the standard Read Results choices in the


postprocessor
use the SET command

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Postprocessing

Load Case Operations

Customer Training Material

Many load case operations are available (see menu)


To access: General Postproc > Load Case >
or use the LCOPER command

The results of the operation are stored in the database


as load case 9999.

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Postprocessing

Load Case Combinations

Customer Training Material

Two options available to save the combined load


case:
Write a load case file
Append the load case to the results file

To write a load case file use: General Postproc >


Write Results
creates a file that is similar but much smaller than
the rst file.
or use LCWRITE command

To append load case to rst file use: General


Postproc > Load Case > Write Load Case
adds combined load case to results file and
identifies it with a given load step number and time.
or use RAPPND command
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Postprocessing

Variable Viewer

Customer Training Material

The Variable Viewer (time history post-processor or /POST26) can be


used to post-process results with respect to time.

The Variable Viewer can be started by:


opening the Time History Postprocessor or
Main Menu > TimeHist Postproc > Variable Viewer

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Postprocessing

Variable Viewer

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Customer Training Material

9 10

11

12

13

Add variable button

Delete variable button

Graph variable button

List variable button

Properties button

6 Import data button


7

Export data button

Export data type

Clear Time History Data

10

Refresh Time History Data

11

Real/Imaginary Components

12

Variable list

13

Variable name input area

14

15

16

17

14 Expression input area


15 Defined APDL variables

Defined Post26
variables
17 Calculator
16

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Postprocessing

Variable Viewer

Customer Training Material

k = 36kN/m

100kg
x
k = 36kN/m
25kg
y
F
4000 N , t 0
F
0, t 0

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Postprocessing

Workshops

Customer Training Material

Refer to your Workshop Supplement for instructions:


W11A. Connecting Rod
W11B. Spherical Shell
W11C. Axisymmetric Fin with Multiple Load Steps

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