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ANSYS Workbench Nonlinear Buckling with Pre-Buckled Shape Distortion | FEA | Tips and Tricks | Newsletters 13/05/2015 10:47

ANSYS WORKBENCH NONLINEAR BUCKLING WITH


PRE-BUCKLED SHAPE DISTORTION
ANSYS Workbench Nonlinear Buckling with Pre-Buckled
Shape Distortion

In some symmetrical structures, the most likely shape for buckling


may be ambiguous. In FEA models, some nonlinear large-
displacement models may not buckle in an expected shape,
because nothing initiates an expected buckling deformation. Success with such
models can be aided if either a small load initiates the failed shape deformation, or if
the "perfect" unloaded shape is slightly deformed in the pattern of a typical linear
eigenvalue buckling shape.

The following image shows a thin part subject to a pressure on the thin top face, and
simply supported at the ends. The support is from Remote Displacement objects that
prevent UX, UY, ROTY and ROTZ. The far end also prevents UZ. The part will bend
like a simply supported beam. When sufficiently loaded, the part will buckle out of
plane, in the UX direction.

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ANSYS Workbench Nonlinear Buckling with Pre-Buckled Shape Distortion | FEA | Tips and Tricks | Newsletters 13/05/2015 10:47

Note that the applied loading is a pressure on the thin upper face. In the large-
displacement analysis, this pressure will act as a follower load, changing the direction
in which it pushes as the face rotates. Users may prefer to apply a force to the face, so
that the direction is not modified during large-displacement analysis.

The buckled shape can be seen further below. In a nonlinear large-displacement


analysis, this example fails to buckle because of the perfect symmetry of the model
and load. To trigger nonlinear buckling, some sort of UX offset loading or geometric
imperfection needs to be applied. An often-preferred technique is to perform a linear
eigenvalue buckling analysis based on the applied loads, and use a buckling mode
deformation to apply a slight distortion to the unloaded mesh employed in the
nonlinear large-displacement buckling analysis. This can be facilitated via the
UPGEOM command of ANSYS. In Workbench, the deformation can be applied by
APDL Commands Objects.

The following image shows a deformation plot for a large-displacement nonlinear


analysis with the above loading. Deformation is in the YZ plane, without buckling in
the UX direction. To trigger buckling in the UX direction, either a load in X is
required, or a slight deformation of the unloaded mesh from a linear eigenvalue
buckling analysis. (Note that the very slight UX movement is due to Poisson's Ratio
effects, but the significant movement is restricted to the YZ plane.)

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ANSYS Workbench Nonlinear Buckling with Pre-Buckled Shape Distortion | FEA | Tips and Tricks | Newsletters 13/05/2015 10:47

Application of deformation of the unloaded mesh in a shape based on the result of a


linear eigenvalue buckling analysis can be applied with UPGEOM, which adds
displacements from a previous analysis (in this case a linear eigenvalue buckling
analysis) and updates the geometry (node positions) of the finite element model mesh
to the deformed configuration. The command includes selection of a load
step/substep from a previous analysis, and a node displacement amplitude scaling
factor. It is typical in pre-deformed nonlinear large displacement buckling analysis to
apply a maximum displacement magnitude on the order of maximum manufacturing
variation. The user must be aware of the units employed in solving to get the scaling
factor to be appropriate.

This article illustrates nonlinear buckling with a pre-buckled linear buckling shape
applied, using the Workbench Mechanical interface. Two small APDL Commands
Object snippets are included in the model Outline that convey the result of a linear
eigenvalue buckling analysis to the shape of the unloaded mesh in the nonlinear
large-displacement buckling analysis.

The following image shows a Project Schematic for a model that is to undergo
nonlinear buckling analysis. The schematic starts with a Linear Static Structural
Analysis for the chosen model. The full intended load can be applied, as long as it is
suitable for providing pre-stress to a Linear Eigenvalue Buckling Analysis. The linear
static analysis would use small displacement, linear material properties, and contact
pairs that were all linear in their behavior—either bonded or no-separation.

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ANSYS Workbench Nonlinear Buckling with Pre-Buckled Shape Distortion | FEA | Tips and Tricks | Newsletters 13/05/2015 10:47

Below the Linear Eigenvalue Buckling Analysis, there is a schematic for a Nonlinear
Buckling Analysis. Note that it shares "Model" taken from the Static Linear Structural
Analysis. This means that all settings prior to the loading on the environment will be
shared, and the analyses will be part of the same Outline in Workbench Mechanical.

There is a second Nonlinear Buckling Analysis schematic in the lower right corner of
the Project Schematic image. This last analysis shares the same model. This final
schematic was used to examine the result of applying a larger amplitude deformation
by a linear eigenvalue buckling shape to the same model and loading.

The next image shows the Workbench Mechanical Outline resulting from the above
Project Schematic. The static structural linear analysis environment automatically
sends its loads into the linked linear buckling analysis environment. Below that are
the two large-displacement nonlinear buckling analyses.

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ANSYS Workbench Nonlinear Buckling with Pre-Buckled Shape Distortion | FEA | Tips and Tricks | Newsletters 13/05/2015 10:47

Note the presence of a Commands Object in the linear buckling postprocessing area.
It makes a copy of the RST results file from the Linear Buckling analysis. There is
another Commands Object in each nonlinear buckling environment, which applies a
distortion taken from a chosen linear buckling mode shape in the RST file copy, using

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ANSYS Workbench Nonlinear Buckling with Pre-Buckled Shape Distortion | FEA | Tips and Tricks | Newsletters 13/05/2015 10:47

it to slightly distort the unloaded mesh in a nonlinear buckling run.

This model has been meshed with Solid Shell elements, requiring only one element
through the thickness. Mapped meshing was employed.

The following image shows deformation for the first buckling mode as calculated in a
Linear Eigenvalue Buckling model. Note that the ―Time‖ is 0.89028 – this is the
Load Factor, a factor indicating the fraction of the applied load that would cause
buckling of the elastic structure. Note also that the largest displacement in this plot
has been normalized to a value of 1.0.

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ANSYS Workbench Nonlinear Buckling with Pre-Buckled Shape Distortion | FEA | Tips and Tricks | Newsletters 13/05/2015 10:47

This shape can be chosen to drive a mesh deformation for the non-loaded mesh in the
nonlinear buckling analysis that follows. The deformation is intended to help initiate
this buckling shape in the nonlinear analysis.

In the postprocessing area of the Linear Eigenvalue Buckling analysis, an APDL


Commands Object is inserted to write copy of RST file. It is placed two levels up in the
file system subdirectories. This is at the same level as the Workbench project file, and
should act as a ―neutral‖ location. Users may prefer a location of their own choosing,
but it should be able to be reached via relative directory references.

Here is the APDL Commands Object contents:

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