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Nonlinear analysis : How to

deal with your challenging


simulations ?

Technical Support Services

1 © 2015 ANSYS, Inc. August 2, 2017 ANSYS Confidential


Overview
Since some nonlinear structural analyses can be challenging to
solve, understanding how to diagnose non-convergence
problems is critical in obtaining answers.
• The following will be covered in this webinar:
A. Nonlinear analysis overview

B. Obtaining a Solution

C. Solver output

D. Monitoring and understanding the Solution

E. Contact and material nonlinearities

F. Typical error/warning messages

G. Summary

H. Demo
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A. What is nonlinear behavior?

In a linear analysis, the matrix equation [K]{x}={F} is solved in one iteration. That means the
model stiffness does not change during solve : [K] is constant.

A non linear solve allow stiffness changes and uses an iterative process to solve the
problem.

LINEAR NON LINEAR

F F
KT

u u

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A. There are four main sources of nonlinearities:

• Geometric nonlinearities: Large deflections


turned “on”
• Material nonlinearities: A nonlinear stress-
strain relationship
• Contact: A “changing status” nonlinearity
• Special features:
- Compression only support
- Bolt pretension
- Compression/tension only spring…

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A. Newton Raphson Method used to solve changing
stiffness simulation
• In a nonlinear analysis, the response cannot be predicted directly with a set of linear
equations.
• However, a nonlinear structure can be analyzed using an iterative series of linear
approximations, with corrections.
• Mechanical uses an iterative process called the Newton-Raphson Method. Each
iteration is known as an equilibrium iteration.

Load

F A full Newton-Raphson iterative


4
3 analysis for one increment of load.
2 (Four iterations are shown.)

u Displacement

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B. This method will converge only if the starting
configuration is inside the radius of convergence

Load Load
Diverging!
Converged

F F

ustart u Displacement ustartu Displacement

Starting outside the Starting inside the radius


radius of convergence of convergence

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B. Mechanical combines two strategies to obtain convergence:

Auto time stepping Linesearch

F
F

F1

ustart u ustart u

Apply load incrementally to move Use convergence-enhancement


the target closer to the start tools to enlarge the radius of
convergence

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B. … and user controls in Mechanical ?
• Step Controls
Load

Dtstart Time
Dtmax
Dtmin Dtstart Dtmin Dtmax

• Linesearch

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B. Decode Convergence Curves to understand your nonlinear
calculation
• At each iteration, the average force on all the nodes is calculated
based on applied forces. Favg
• The maximum residual among all the nodes is noted Fres aka. Force
Convergence
• Acceptable scalar criterion Fres  0.005Favg (0.5 % by default)

Residual

Criteria

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C. ANSYS solver provides many useful informations about the
resolution process in a text format.

• Knowing how to read it is a keypoint


towards reaching convergence…
• Available from the Tree Outline,
• It indicates:
- License used
- Ansys Release
- Analysis Type & Solver chosen
- Loadstep & Substeps
- Contacts
- Warning/error messages
- Etc…

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C. Graphical output are also plotted in text format in the solver
output

• Force Convergence Evolution

Text Output

Graphical Output

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D. While solving a nonlinear model, it is useful to see what the
nonlinear solution trends are
There are two ways in which users can monitor the solution in WB-Mechanical:

• Solution Information branch to provide equation solver behavior

• Results Tracker to provide response of system during the solution

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D. In the event that non-convergence is encountered, the Newton-
Raphson Residuals are very useful in locating possible problem areas

In the “Solution Information” details view, enter the number of equilibrium


iterations to retrieve Newton-Raphson Residuals. For example, if “4” is entered, the
residual forces from the last four iterations will be returned if the solution is aborted
or does not converge.

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D. … And after solution is stopped or fails to converge?

• Residuals will be available under the “Solution Information” branch, as


shown below.

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E. Keep in mind: contact specificities…
You find below the recommended We must pay attention to the choice of the Contact and the Target.
Concave (C) vs plane or convexe (T)
parameters of a Non Linear contact Fine mesh (C) vs coarse mesh (T)
Flexible (C) vs rigid (T)
Small surface (C) vs big surface (T)
Lower order (edge) (C) vs Higher order (surface) (T)

The Lagrange coefficient 𝝀, which is calculated by the solver, is


added to control the springs restoring force 𝑭𝑹 ; 𝑭𝑹 = 𝑲𝑼 + 𝝀

Allows the user to control the springs stiffness by adding a


multiplier factor ‘FKN’; 𝑭𝑹 = 𝑭𝑲𝑵 ∗ 𝑲𝑼 + 𝝀
We can reduce the stiffness by putting for instance 0.1, 0.01…
instead of 1 to help the convergence but the penetration should be
reviewed and validated. Otherwise, if less penetration is seeked we
can increase the stiffness by putting for example 5, 10, 15…

If the pinball is not large enough to detect the Target surface when
the Contact nodes are penetrating it. We must put a manual radius

It depends on the situation:


Adjust to Touch: project the Contact nodes to the Target
important when not cleaned geometry, at t=0 the contact is closed
Add offset, Ramped Effects is better for NL contacts
A positive offset value allows Shrink-fitting modelisation
A negative value allows to add a gap
Add offset, No Ramping is not advisable for NL contacts
15 © 2015 ANSYS, Inc. August 2, 2017 ANSYS Confidential
E. … And check it using contact tool in pre/post-processing

In pre-processing: Information such as status, number of elements contacting,


penetration, pinball, etc…

In post-processing: Provide informations such as status, penetration, etc… for


converged substeps. Use it in order to correct the model.

16 © 2015 ANSYS, Inc. August 2, 2017 ANSYS Confidential


E. Keep in mind: Material nonlinearity specificities
• For material nonlinearity, we can deactivate the non
linear effet on one or more bodies as shown here

• For both Multilinear and Bilinear laws, the slope of


the last line defining material behavior must not be
too low

• For high order plasticity, we must use the true stress-


strain data rather than the engineering stress-strain
data

• The ratios between the tangent modulus and the


Young modulus must not exceed 100

• For a Multilinear material law, the values entered for


the deformation correspond to the plastic
deformation

• We must pay attention to the Unit System when


entering the points coordinates in a plastic law

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F. Warnings and Error Messages

What is wrong ?
 Rigid Body Motion
 Deformation large compared with bounding box
 Contact Changes Abruptly
 Element distortion
 Solution Not Converged

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F. Rigid Body Motion: Internal Magnitude Exceeded

Insufficient constraints, either with Supports


or Contact Regions, may allow for parts to ‘fly
off’ into space

• What to do :
• Activate Weak Springs

• Run a modal analysis (especially for


only contact constrained part)

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F. Large Deformation: Compared with Bounding Box

• What to do :
• Check for Rigid Body Motion
• Check Reaction Forces on Weak Springs
• Activate Geometry Non Linearity and check if the results are the same.

• Anyways, Large Deflection effects should always be tested for a given


modelization.
• If results are not the same, Large Deflection must remain switched ON.

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F. Contact Changes Abruptly : from Contact -> No Contact

Warning indicating that the contact elements enter or exit the ‘Pinball Region’
drastically.

• What to do :
• Rarely a problem.
• This may be due to parts sliding or separating.
• If the load is too high, apply it with more increments.

21 © 2015 ANSYS, Inc. August 2, 2017 ANSYS Confidential


F. Mesh distortion: One or more element have become highly
distorded

Element distortion messages are usually severe


problems due to excessive loading

What to do :
• Review Newton Raphson Residuals and Post Process
the available results

• Modify the mesh so that it can anticipate the future


deformation

• Apply the load incrementally using substeps

22 © 2015 ANSYS, Inc. August 2, 2017 ANSYS Confidential


F. Solution Not Converged

• What to do ?
• Initial convergence issue ?
– Increase Initial Substep value
– Try to Apply a displacement rather than a force
initially easier to converge (In the following
Load Step, deactivate the displacement and
apply the working load force defined from your
spec sheet).
– Careful with the load gradient between Load
Steps.
• When dealing with contacts: This usually
indicates a Contact Stiffness problem
• Bissection from Time to Time ?
– Reduce differences between Initial, Min and
Max Substeps values
• Non-Convergence at some point ?
– Create a new Load Step to have a better local
control of substeps

23 © 2015 ANSYS, Inc. August 2, 2017 ANSYS Confidential


G. Summaries

Linear Model + 1st type of


nonlinearity + 2nd type of
nonlinearity + 3rd type of
nonlinearity

• Do not add all the nonlinearities at the same time, post process gradually the results to a
better understanding
• Always verify the contacts initial information and the choice of contact and target sides for NL
contacts. Think of reducing the FKN in order to help for convergence and check
the penetration value on the contact results.
• Verify all the Solution Output data and check for warning and error messages
• Turn on at least 3 or 4 Newton-Raphson Residuals before running the solve in the solution
information
• Use the trackers for the problematic contacts to track some strategic points deformations
• Try to add more substeps and analyse the evolution of the convergence with the different
substeps numbers

More information on the Customer Portal:


- NL Generalities
- NL Materials
- NL Contacts
Customer Trainings and Registration:
- http://www.ansys.com/Ansys/en_us/Support/Training+Center

24 © 2015 ANSYS, Inc. August 2, 2017 ANSYS Confidential