Adding Mesh Controls to Beam Elements in SOLIDWORKS Simulation

Article by Scott Durksen, CSWE updated February 24, 2017


Beam elements in SOLIDWORKS Simulation are simplified elements that don’t require any size settings when meshing.  The SOLIDWORKS Simulation Beam Elements are meshed with a default size that’s required for the calculations.

However in situations where you have bonded contacts between a solid or shell and the beam somewhere along its length, the default element size may not be sufficient.  The contacts may not hold if the beam elements are too large over the contacting area.  The solution is to add Mesh Controls to the beams of importance to refine their mesh.

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Beam Elements

Mixed Mesh with Solids and Beams – Beam elements not refined

In the example above, you’ll notice we have a small contacting region between the solid and beam.  The beam doesn’t even have a full element over this contact area which may cause the contact to fail and make the model unstable.  Simply add a Mesh Control to these two beams with an element size that will reduce it enough to have several elements over the contacting region.

Add Mesh Controls to Beam Elements

Add Mesh Controls to Beam Elements

Beam Elements have been Refined

Beam Elements have been Refined

Be sure to add Local Bonded Contact Sets where you have a mixed mesh interface to ensure the contact is defined properly.

Local Bonded Contact Set - Define one for each beam

Local Bonded Contact Set – Define one for each beam

The refined mesh and local bonded contacts ensure a strong bond and the components remain locked together through the deformation.

Displacement Results

Displacement Results

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Scott Durksen, CSWE

Scott is a SOLIDWORKS Elite Applications Engineer and is based in our Dartmouth, Nova Scotia office.