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Lecture 2

14.5 Release

in Mechanical APDL
2012 ANSYS, Inc. February 5, 2013 1 Release 14.5
This lecture covers understanding and defining ANSYS LS-DYNA elements.

A. Overview of Explicit Dynamic Elements
B. Reduced Integration Formulation
C. Hourglassing
D. Defining ANSYS LS-DYNA Elements
E. LINK160 -- 3-D Spar (Truss)
F. BEAM161 -- 3-D Beam
G. PLANE162 -- 2-D Solid
H. SHELL163 -- 3-D Thin Shell

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Topics (continued):
I. SOLID164 -- 3-D 8-Node Brick
J. COMBI165 -- 3-D Spring or Damper
K. MASS166 -- 3-D Mass
L. LINK167 -- 3-D Cable
M. SOLID168 3-D 10-Node Tetrahedral
N. General Element Guidelines
O. Elements Workshop

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A. Overview of Explicit Dynamic Elements
The ANSYS LS-DYNA program has 9 different explicit element types that can be
LINK160: 3-D explicit pin-jointed truss (similar to LINK8)
BEAM161: 3-D explicit beam (similar to BEAM4)
PLANE162: 2-D explicit planar solid (similar to PLANE42)
SHELL163: 3-D explicit thin shell (similar to SHELL181)
SOLID164: 3-D explicit brick (similar to SOLID185)
COMBI165: 3-D explicit spring or damper (similar to COMBIN14)
MASS166: 3-D explicit structural mass (similar to MASS21)
LINK167: 3-D explicit cable (similar to LINK10)
SOLID168: 3-D explicit tetrahedral (similar to SOLID187)
All explicit dynamic element types are 3-D except for the 2-D axisymmetric/plane
stress/plane strain PLANE162 element.
PLANE162 and SOLID164 support the ALE method, which is discussed in a later

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Overview of Explicit Dynamic Elements
Each element type is valid for most of the material models and nonlinear
options supported in ANSYS LS-DYNA.
Some explicit element types have several different formulations. SHELL163
has the most with twelve. The default formulation is usually single point
Explicit dynamic elements have a linear displacement function, except for
SOLID168, which has a quadratic displacement function, due to its mid-nodes.
Extra shape functions and P-elements are not available in ANSYS LS-DYNA.

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B. Reduced Integration Formulation
A reduced integration element is an element which has a minimum number of
integration points. A reduced integration brick element has one integration point
at its centroid. A reduced integration shell has one in-plane integration point, but
still has multiple integration points through the thickness of the shell.
Fully integrated elements are typical in implicit ANSYS. In ANSYS LS-DYNA, fully
integrated brick elements have eight integration points and fully integrated shells
have four in-plane integration points (with multiple points through the thickness).
Reduced integration saves CPU time by minimizing element processing.
Therefore, it is the default formulation most often used in ANSYS LS-DYNA.

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Reduced Integration Formulation
In addition to saving CPU time, single point integration elements are also
extremely robust in large deformation. ANSYS LS-DYNA elements can
undergo much greater deformations than standard ANSYS implicit elements.
Two basic disadvantages of reduced integration elements are:
Deformations with zero energy modes are possible (Hourglassing).
The accuracy of stress results is directly related to the number of the
integration points.

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C. Hourglassing
Hourglassing is a zero-energy mode of deformation that oscillates at a
frequency much higher than the structures global response. Hourglassing
modes result in stable mathematical states that are not physically possible.
They typically have no stiffness and give a zigzag deformation appearance to a

Single-point (reduced) integration elements with linear displacement

functions are prone to zero energy modes (hourglassing).
The occurrence of hourglass deformations in an analysis can invalidate results
and should always be minimized or eliminated.
If the overall hourglass energy is more than 10% of the internal energy of a
model, the results are suspect. Determining the level of hourglass energy will
be discussed later (LS-DYNA ASCII output files GLSTAT and MATSUM are
covered in the postprocessing lecture). In some cases, even an hourglass
ratio of 5% can be considered excessive.

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Zero energy deformations for the one-point integrated solid element:

This mesh distortion produces no strain or volume change in the

mesh. Hourglass control brings additional stiffness or viscous
damping to minimize these non-physical, zero energy modes.

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Minimizing hourglassing in ANSYS LS-DYNA:
Avoid single point loads, which are known to excite hourglass modes. Since one
excited element transfers the mode to its neighbors, point loads should not be
applied. Try to apply loads over several elements as pressures, if possible.
Refining the mesh often reduces hourglass energy, but a larger model
corresponds to increased solution time and larger results files.
Use fully integrated elements, which do not experience hourglassing modes.
However, penalties in solution speed, robustness, and even accuracy may
result, depending on the application. Alternatively, a few fully integrated
seed elements may be dispersed through the mesh to minimize hourglassing.
Full integration is not available for PLANE162 elements and beams are not
effected by hourglassing. The higher order SOLID168 tet is not subject to
hourglass modes, but it is not as robust as the lower order tet (collapsed
SOLID164 brick).

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Minimizing hourglassing in ANSYS LS-DYNA (continued)
Globally adjust the models bulk viscosity to reduce hourglass deformations.
It is possible to increase the bulk viscosity of a model using the linear and
quadratic coefficients of the EDBVIS command:
Solution > Analysis Options > Bulk Viscosity
Viscous hourglass control is
recommended for problems
deforming with very high
velocities (e.g., shock waves).
Applicable elements include
PLANE162 and SOLID164.

It is not recommended to dramatically change the default values (1.5 and

.06) of the EDBVIS command because of the adverse effects that they will
have on the global modes of the structure.

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Minimizing hourglassing in ANSYS LS-DYNA (continued)
Globally add elastic stiffness to reduce hourglass energy. This can be
done for the entire model by increasing the hourglassing coefficient
(HGCO) of the EDHGLS command:
Solution > Analysis Options > Hourglass Ctrls > Global

Stiffness hourglass control is

recommended for problems
deforming with lower velocities
(e.g., metal forming and crash).
Applicable elements include
PLANE162, SHELL163, and

Care should be used when increasing the hourglassing coefficient.

Values above 0.15 have been found to over-stiffen the models
response during large deformations and cause instabilities.

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Minimizing hourglassing in ANSYS LS-DYNA (continued)
Locally reduce hourglassing in high risk areas of a model without dramatically changing
the models global stiffness. The EDMP, HGLS command is used to apply hourglass
control only to a specific material. Define the hourglass control type (viscous or
stiffness), hourglass coefficient, bulk viscosity coefficient, and shell bending and shell
warping coefficients:
Solution > Analysis Options > Hourglass Ctrls > Local

LS-DYNA locally applies

hourglass control on a
Part ID basis (not on a
material basis), so any
Part with the specified
material will have this
hourglass control.
VAL1=5 is often used to
reduce hourglassing.

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D. Defining ANSYS LS-DYNA Elements
Define explicit dynamic elements using standard ANSYS methods:
Select LS-DYNA Explicit for ANSYS GUI filtering
ANSYS Main Menu > Preferences

Selecting LS-DYNA Explicit will limit the elements

available in the current analysis to the explicit

It is very important to remember that explicit and

implicit elements can not be used in the same

If implicit elements are defined in the same

model, the analysis will automatically be
terminated upon execution of the SOLVE

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Defining ANSYS LS-DYNA Elements
Add element type:
Preprocessor > Element type > Add/Edit/Dele....
Setting the preferences limits
the type selection to only the
explicit elements (160 168)

Keyopts and real constants are defined using standard ANSYS format

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E. LINK160 -- 3-D Spar (Truss)

This 3-D pin-jointed spar element is

used to carry an axial load.
Three nodes are used to define
the element.
The 3rd node is for the initial spar

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F. BEAM161 -- 3-D Beam
This 3-D beam is suited for rigid body rotations
because it does not generate strains.
Three nodes are used to define the element.
The 3rd node is for the initial orientation of the
Several standard beam cross sections can be

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G. PLANE162 -- 2-D Solid
PLANE162 2-D, 4-Node Solid
3-node triangle available (not recommended) J K

Lagrangian and ALE formulations supported

UX, UY, VX, VY, AX, AY degrees of freedom I

Y axis = symmetry axis for axisymmetric models

Mixing of 2D and 3D element types NOT permitted y

Fully integrated option not available

PLANE162 KEYOPT settings: x

Keyopt(2) - Area weighted or volume weighted (AXISYM)

Keyopt(3) - Plane stress, axisymmetric, or plane strain
Only one 2-D type can be used in any given analysis (i.e., you cannot have both
axisymmetric and plane stress elements in the same model)
Keyopt(5) Element continuum treatment
Lagrangian (default)
ALE (Arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian) (discussed later)

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PLANE162 -- 2-D Solid
PLANE162 modeled in X-Y plane (+X for axisymmetric case)
No real constants associated with PLANE162
Many material models (e.g., plasticity, composite, Mooney-Rivlin) are supported
RSYS supported for displacements and stresses (not strains)
Lagrangian formulation is based on large strain deformation theory in which
bodies of interest are discretized and the geometry is continuously updated over
time as the mesh physically deforms. This formulation is also used in implicit

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H. SHELL163 -- 3-D Thin Shell
SHELL163 has 12 different element formulations. Key ones include:
Belytschko-Tsay (BT, KEYOPT(1)=0 or 2, default):
Simple shell element
Very fast (relative cost = 1.0)
Wrong results for warping
Belytschko-Wong-Chiang (BWC, KEYOPT(1)=10):
Relative cost = 1.28 * BT
Correct results for warping
Belytschko-Leviathan (BL , KEYOPT(1)=8):
Relative cost = 1.25 * BT
First element with physical hourglass control
(no parameters for EDMP,HGLS,Mat,Val1)
S/R co-rotational Hughes-Liu (S/R CHL, KEYOPT(1)=7):
Shell without hourglassing
Relative cost = 8.84 * BT

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SHELL163 -- 3-D Thin Shell
The element formulations BT, BWC, BL use only one integration point in-plane,
but the S/R CHL uses 4-point integration (in-plane).
All shell elements can have an arbitrary number of integration points (NIP)
through the thickness.
NIP = 2 is necessary for elastic behavior (default)
3 < NIP < 5 is needed for plastic behavior (NIP=5 recommended)
Real constants are used to define the number of integration points
NSET = real constant set reference number
SHRF = shear factor (5/6 is recommended for thin shells)
NIP = number of integration points
T1 = element thickness

Currently, SHELL163 does NOT support the new shell section commands

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SHELL163 -- 3-D Thin Shell
Specify the number of integration points through the thickness for
output with the EDINT command
Solution > Output Controls > Integ Pt Storage
SHELLIP is the number of shell integration points for output
Each integration point is associated with a LAYER
Default is 3 (top, middle, and bottom layers)
BEAMIP is the number of beam integration points for output

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SHELL163 -- 3-D Thin Shell
Four Hughes-Liu shell element formulations are available:

normal CS co-rotational CS

CPU factor 2.45*BT CPU factor 1.49*BT

normal KEYOPT(1)=1 KEYOPT(1)=11
full reduced 1 integration point 1 integration point

CPU factor 20.01*BT CPU factor 8.84*BT

selectively reduced KEYOPT(1)=6 KEYOPT(1)=7
fully integrated 4 integration points 4 integration points

This formulation is comparable to the

formulation of SHELL143

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SHELL163 -- 3-D Thin Shell
Two triangular shell element formulations are available:
C0 triangular shell (KEYOPT(1)=4)
Based on Mindlin-Reissner plate theory
Formulation is rather stiff, not recommended for entire mesh
BCIZ triangular shell (KEYOPT(1)=3)
Based on Kirchhoff plate theory
In mixed meshes, C0 triangular shells are always better than degenerated 4-
noded element formulations. Always include the following command if area
meshes are mixed (free meshing):
ITRST = 1 : degenerated quadrilateral shells are treated as triangular shells (default)
ITRST = 2 : degenerated quadrilateral shells remain unchanged
Preprocessor > Shell Elem Ctrls > Triangular Shell Sorting > Full Sorting >

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SHELL163 -- 3-D Thin Shell
Two membrane element formulations are available:
Belytschko-Tsay-Membrane (KEYOPT(1)=5):
Simple membrane element with one-point integration
Fully integrated Belytschko-Tsay-Membrane (KEYOPT(1)=9):
Membrane element with four-point integration
Fully-integrated Belytschko-Tsay shell available (KEYOPT(1)=12):
Does NOT need hourglass control
Shear locking remedied by assumed small strain for the transverse shear
Four-point integration (2 X 2 quadrature) in-plane, but still fast
2.5 times slower than reduced-integration Belytschko-Tsay shell
Recommended if hourglass modes cannot be easily controlled
Layer stress results averaged at element center of each layer

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I. SOLID164 -- 3-D 8-Node Brick

A degenerated tetrahedral mesh is strongly NOT recommended

An all-tet mesh may not even run for certain applications

Use mapped meshing for explicit dynamic elements

A dragged or extruded mesh with singular prisms is acceptable
Try to keep the brick shapes as close to cubes as possible

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SOLID164 -- 3-D 8-Node Brick
Two brick element formulations are available:

Single point integrated solid (constant stress over the element)

Default formulation
Very fast and very robust for large element deformations
Hourglass controls may be needed to prevent hourglass modes

Fully integrated solid (2x2x2 integration)

Slower formulation, but has no hourglass modes
Both shear locking and volumetric locking (for high Poissons ratios) can
occur, giving poor results
Accuracy more sensitive to element shape than for default formulation
Can be used in selected regions to minimize ill effects

In addition to the pure Lagrangian element formulation, SOLID164 also

supports the ALE method (discussed later).

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J. COMBI165 -- 3-D Spring or Damper
Defined using two nodes and discrete material properties
Can be connected to all other explicit elements
May have translational or torsional properties
Complex nonlinear force-displacement relations are possible
Unlike COMBIN14, springs and dampers must be separate elements
Since only the spring or damper option can be used with COMBI165, two
elements must be overlaid for a spring-damper assembly.

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K. MASS166 -- 3-D Mass
MASS166 is a point mass element having up to nine DOFs: translations,
velocities, and accelerations in the x, y, and z directions

The element has an additional option for rotary inertia without mass:
KEYOPT(1)=0 3-D Mass without inertia: mass input
KEYOPT(1)=1 3-D Rotary inertia (no mass): 6 inertia values input

This element is used to adjust the mass of a complex model like a full car crash
model, where many components (e.g., seats, headlights, instrument panel,
dummy, etc.) are not modeled

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L. LINK167 -- 3-D Cable
Three-noded tension-only element
3rd node initially orients element
Used to model cables

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M. SOLID168 -- 3-D 10-Node Tet
SOLID168 is a 3-D, 10-node tetrahedral
3 DOFs at each node (translations in the nodal
x, y, and z directions) plus nodal velocity and
acceleration solution results.
Well suited modeling irregular meshes
(especially curved shapes).
Default formulation (KEYOPT(1) = 0,1) uses
quadratic displacement behavior with five
point integration.
Composite formulation (KEYOPT(1) = 2) is an
assemblage of linear sub-tetrahedral shapes
that overcome the difficulty of lumped mass
calculations and volume locking inherent with
quadratic elements.
Automatic contact recommended.

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N. General Element Guidelines
Avoid small elements whenever possible as they will significantly reduce
the time step size, thereby increasing the run time. If small elements
are required, use mass scaling (discussed later).
Minimize the use of triangular/tetrahedron/prism elements. Although
these elements are supported, they are highly NOT recommended.
Avoid acute angled elements and warped shells, as they will degrade the
accuracy of the results.
Fully integrated elements can be defined in regions of a model where
hourglass control is needed. However, volumetric locking (due to
Poissons ratios approaching 0.5) and shear locking (e.g., in the bending
of a simply supported short beam) are possible with fully integrated
brick elements.

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O. Elements Workshop
This workshop consists of the following problem:
WS02. Explicit Dynamic Elements
Please refer to your Workshop Supplement for instructions.

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