When using Solid elements in SOLIDWORKS Simulation, it is crucial to have a well defined mesh in your study to obtain accurate stress results. Here are some items to check to see if your SOLIDWORKS Simulation mesh is sufficient. If not, refine the mesh or add mesh controls to the specific areas.
- 2-3 high quality elements across the thickness of the geometry
- Aspect Ratio below 50 in regions of crucial importance, all other areas should be limited by approximately 1000.
- Jacobian Ratio of 40 or less, with the minimum value no less than 1.
- Smooth stress gradients. Blotchy stress gradients indicate large changes of stress between elements.
The Aspect Ratio is looking for excessively distorted elements through the ratio of the difference in element edge length, element normal length and radius of inscribed/circumscribed circles. By definition, a perfect tetrahedral element has an Aspect Ratio of 1.0.
The Jacobian Ratio looks for distorted elements based on the curvature of the element as High quality elements are second order. When the elements are mapped to highly curved geometry, the midpoints of the nodes cause the element to become distorted. A perfect tetrahedral element will have a ratio of 1.0, given it has straight edges. As the curvature increases, the ratio does as well. An extremely distorted element can have a negative value indicating self-intersecting geometry. A negative Jacobian will cause the study to fail with an error.
Watch this video for a demonstration of this technique: